Fly Rod Eyes Explained

Ever wondered why your fly rod rings are set up the way they are? Does it really matter what sort of guides you have? Our blog explains all!

Fly rod guides can have real effect on casting and fish playing performance. Most anglers never pay attention to the eyes when making a rod purchase, but they should – because eye configuration and quality can make a big difference to your fishing.

Fly rod guide types

You will find three main types of rod rings on a fly rod.

At the butt end you will always find a stripping guide. This is the largest eye, with a wide diameter to allow line to shoot through it easily on the cast. They tend to be manufactured with a ceramic insert to reduce friction. They are built to handle the energy from the power generated in a stiff rod butt section. On higher line rated rods designed for distance or throwing large flies, you will often find two stripping guides. If you intend to do a lot of distance casting, then a rod with two of these guides is a must.

Stripper guides

Typical stripper guides

Snake eyes are the most commonly found guides on a fly rod blank. Basically these are simply twisted pieces of wire; designed to help your rod flex and your fly line flow through them unhindered. Made of chrome, stainless steel or even titanium, the standard double snake guide is very lightweight and a favourite the world over.

Double leg snakes

A double leg snake eye

Theses guides will be spaced at an optimum distance apart to allow for smooth flexing of the rod and for good line flow. The diameter of snake guides vary, according to what the rod builder had in mind for the performance of the rod.

If large diameter guides are used, this helps with shooting line for extreme distance; however some line control is lost in the process which can affect presentation and accuracy. Narrow eyes allow for precise control of the cast and better loop formation, but distance is harder to achieve. Most fly rods are built with their guide diameters as a nice balance between distance and line control.

Single leg snakes are also very popular on UK fly rods. These reduce the weight further by having just one leg that requires whipping to the rod blank – thus reducing the quantity of rod epoxy and thread needed to attach them.

In the UK most fly rods sold feature either standard double or single leg snakes, bucking the trend from heavy, narrow, lined ceramic eyes that were very popular a decade or two ago.

Single leg snake

Single leg snake

The tip eye (or tip top) is a vital guide that is fitted to the end of your fly rod. They are especially important as they are the most prone to wear, and need to transfer casting energy at the thinnest part of your rod. So they need to be of superior quality and just the right size for best performance.

Hayfork tip eyes

Hayfork tip eyes

Hayfork tip eyes are the most common, but there are also round tip tops available. These reduce friction because there is nowhere for the fly line to catch or get slowed down in. They are used by some of the top manufactures such as Sage.

In addition to the three main rod eyes described above, keeper rings are generally found just above the rod handle. These are usually just a simple looped piece of wire, placed to accommodate your fly.

The addition of a keeper eye on a fly rod is for convenience – it will help you resist the temptation to plant your fly into the cork handle, or onto the stripper eye and risk damaging the lining. Several modern fly rod manufactures have taken to leaving the keeper eye off their rods –  a trend that some may find annoying, or may not be bothered by. But, it’s something worth considering and checking when making a purchase.

Keeper eye - with or without?

Keeper eye – with or without?

Remember the more you pay for a fly fishing rod, the better the guide quality and overall thought to rod ring size and their placement is likely to be. These little differences can make a rod massively easier to fish and cast with. Be warned that on cheaper rods chrome snake eyes of poor quality can get grooved, or even corrode within a season or two. The old saying ‘buy cheap buy twice’ certainly rings true when it comes to fly rods and their guides.

Airflo Stormbox Competition Tackle Boxes

The Stormbox by Airflo is the ultimate fly and tackle storage system for the boat angler.

Fully waterproof, durable and shock resistant the Stormboxes have rapidly become a firm favourite of boat based competition and pleasure anglers throughout the UK and Ireland.

A large central compartment swallows up multiple fly lines, spools, fly boxes and leader material with ease, whilst the strong bash resistant ABS plastic construction will keep your gear safe and sound in the boat, car and on the jetty whatever the conditions.

The Airflo Stormbox is available in two sizes:

Large (55.5 x 42.8 x 21.1 cm)
XL (59.4 x 47.3 x 21.1 cm)

The larger XL model has wheels and an extendable handle.

Many Stormbox owners are turning to the services of Andrew Barrowman, who is providing high quality custom ‘Foamtex’ interiors built to whatever specification the customer requires. Some examples below show Andrew’s excellent handiwork.

Airflo Storm boxes with custom inserts

Airflo Storm boxes with custom inserts.

Customise your Airflo Stormbox interior!

Customise your Airflo Stormbox interior!

For more details on obtaining a customised interior for you Airflo Stormbox, visit Andew’s new Foamtex Facebook page here

Does Fly Colour Matter?

Fishtec fly colour header

Fly colour can make a difference

Do fish respond differently to different fly colours, or is it all in the eye of the angler? Dominic Garnett applies modern logic to that age-old question: fly-colour.

“They want something with a hint of green in it today!”

How many times have you heard anglers at your local fishery make such a claim about the flies that catch on any given day? It happens too often to be pure coincidence, but how much of this is down to the anglers as opposed to the fish?

I’ve fished with a great variety of people. Many of them swear by certain colours, others are skeptics who claim that colour is not terribly important. But who is correct? And if it really does matter, which are the best colours for fishing flies? With a little science and plenty of my own trial and error, I hope I can provide some useful tips in this blog post.

How do fish see the world?

Fly Colour - Fish Shadows

When fish look up, they often see shadows and shapes rather than distinct colours.Photo credit: Dom Garnett

Don’t assume that fish share your opinions on what’s attractive or edible-looking! Perhaps the easiest trap for anglers to fall into, is to see the world through their own, all too human, eyes. But how do fish see things? This varies massively according to factors like light levels, depth and water clarity.

As humans looking down into watery worlds, it’s fair to say we get a very different view to that of our quarry. Fish, especially those like trout, which feed on insects, tend to look up for food. They probably don’t see a wide array of colours but instead see prey silhouetted against the light of the sky. Perhaps this is why black remains one of the most effective of fly colours.

Fly tying has always used colour to play on the natural curiosity and aggression of fish. By contrast, natural prey like freshwater shrimps and various nymphs tend to be dull-coloured greens and browns. Whether it’s a subtle, shiny rib or a bright red tag on a fly, there’s value in creating interest and grabbing the attention of your quarry; nature has the opposite objective!

As a good general rule, I tend to pick dull colours and subtle flies for wild fish, and go with brighter colours and larger patterns for more aggressive stocked trout. There are also times when I turn the rules on their head. Where stock fish have been peppered with bright lures, a dark fly can bring the bites back, just as a bright, gaudy lure might produce a sudden aggressive reaction from a wild fish that has refused more natural-coloured flies.

A question of depth

Fly colour guide - depth

Fly colours become dull over depth and distance

The visibility of our flies can change quickly no matter where we’re fishing, but it’s especially true for anyone who fishes in deeper or larger waters with sinking lines.

Fish can indeed see a range of colours (their world isn’t black and white). However, scientific studies show that the colours in their visual spectrum change as depths increase. Below 40 ft, all colours appear dull or greyish. Reds and oranges are the first colours to “disappear”, followed by yellows and greens, while blue and black flies and lures tend to retain their colour best at greater depths.

The “bottom line” is, while we might confidently use flies with a little or a lot of red or yellow in the upper water layers, black and blue flies might be better choices for fishing at great depths, or when the fish have to home in on our flies from distance.

Water Clarity

Fly colours - clarity

A hint of contrast is a classic ploy to make flies stand out; this fish was fooled by a drab Cruncher enhanced with a brighter thorax.Photo credit: Dom Garnett

Depth isn’t the only consideration, water clarity matters too, which is why red and orange flies can be a bit of a lifesaver in some circumstances.

A classic example of this is when otherwise clear lakes go greenish in hot weather, due to algal blooms. One of the best tips I ever got for fishing these waters came from Steve Cullen, whose thoughts on the subject really grabbed my interest as I struggled on a real peasoup of a lake. At first I wondered whether the fish would accept the bright red and orange versions of standard flies he recommended. However, my local brown trout found them very appealing indeed. You would think that the loud colours would spook wild fish, but perhaps where clarity is poor they’re less cautious.

Another common scenario is water which, often due to acidity, looks peaty or even black. These waters are common in places like Scotland or even my favourite Dartmoor lakes. The fish will still pick out a range of flies, but one thing you notice about so many of the classic loch-style patterns is the way in which they use two contrasting tones, or even three or four colours. This is not purely decorative, but helps fish pick them out in the “stained” or blackish water.

Light Levels

Fly Colours - Light levels

Waves, cloud and the position of the sun will all affect light levels.Photo credit: Dom Garnett

Light levels vary according to the time of day, the position of the sun in the sky, weather conditions and the effect of wind and waves. As light penetration changes, so does fishes’ colour perception and visibility, making flies that combine two or more colours easier to pick out than monotone patterns.

As a general rule, black and dark flies with perhaps just a touch of brighter contrast or sparkle, tend to be universally useful. At times it can seem counterintuitive, but even when it’s dark, black works; sea trout anglers fishing the silly hours of the night still catch on jet black lures. Equally, on bright sunny days when the conditions have looked all wrong, I’ve found pike flies in black to be blank savers.

Another consideration we’ve not discussed so far is reflective materials. Using flies with a bit of flash in sunny conditions can certainly work to provoke fish, particularly with predatory species, but perhaps the biggest revelation for me, has been the use of ultraviolet (UV) reflective materials in low light conditions.

Special modern tinsels and dubbings will reflect UV light even on a dull morning or at last light. I once considered these special flash materials to be a gimmick, but these days I use them with great confidence in any low-light or depth-fishing situation, whether it is a UV rib on a nymph or a dose of UV tinsel in my predator streamers. Give it a try!

For a quick, simple and visual guide to fly colours use our infographic below:
Fishtec fly colour guide

For a full choice of Caledonia Flies as shown in this guide, visit our fly fishing tackle shop online.

To embed this infographic on your website, simply copy and paste the code below:

Top 10 Fishing Gifts For Fathers’ Day

fishing

Don’t struggle for a Fathers’ day gift idea if you’ve got a fishing-mad dad.

Is your dad an angler? If the answer is a yes then you know what to do this Fathers’ Day (Sunday June 18th ). Aftershave won’t cut it. Novelty ties won’t cut it. Beer just might work, but it’ll be gone in no time. So why not give him what he wants?

Here are ten brilliant gift ideas for fisherman everywhere this Fathers’ Day.

1. Stylish sun protection

sunglasses

Fortis Aviator Sunglasses aren’t just for fishing

Every fishing father needs a decent pair of polarising glasses for the summer. They’ll protect his eyes and are as handy for driving as they are for fish spotting. They’ll also help him maintain the illusion that he is listening attentively to family chat, when he’s really daydreaming about fishing…

Stylish glasses needn’t cost the earth either. This Fortis Aviator pair are a chic example and cost less than £25.

2. A tonne of top fishing tales

Crooked Lines book

Crooked Lines by Dom Garnett is an entertaining bedtime read.

Most fishing dads like a good read. Trouble is, they’ve often read more than enough “how to” books over the years. So how about something entertaining instead? Dom Garnett’s Crooked Lines (£9.99) is packed full of brilliant, hilarious, page turning angling tales and original artwork. Whether dad is a coarse, carp or fly angler he’ll enjoy it – and at under a tenner it’s great value. Or for a totally unique fishing gift, you could get it in limited edition fish skin leather! Find out more at www.dgfishing.co.uk

3. Top of the drops

drop shot kit

The Savage Gear Drop Shot Kit is a great value gift.

Whether your father is an existing lure fanatic or new to the world of drop shotting, here’s a neat little box set of new toys. Coupled with a simple lure outfit, the Savage Gear Drop Shot Kit (£10.99) has all he needs to tangle with various predators.

4. Protect his neck!

hat

The Nash Scope Bucket Hat will help protect dad from sunburn and heatstroke.

In terms of summer fishing gifts, a decent hat is another great offering. Dads often neglect to protect themselves from the sun. Baseball caps are all well and good but this Nash Scope Bucket Hat gives better all round protection for £19.99.

5. Caught in action

waterproof camera

The HD Waterproof Sports Camera is a great way to record the one that got away.

Even old dogs are learning new tricks with technology today. It’s great fun to make your own film clips and easier than you think, even for old-school dads. Not only that, prices have come right down. The HD Waterproof Sports Camera is just £34.99.

6. Upgrade his old baggage

ruckbag

The Korum Ruckbag is a quality gift that will stand the test of time.

Does your dad still drag around the oldest, scruffiest fishing bag? You know, the one that’s falling to bits, with gruesome bits of old bait in the pockets? Do him a favour by gifting a new model that’ll keep his tackle tidy. The Korum Ruckbag (£54.99) is so well made, it’ll last many Fathers’ Days to come!

7. On target to a tee…

t-shirt

The TF Gear Bullseye T-shirt is spot on if your dad’s a carper.

Dads love a stylish t-shirt, but not necessarily one of those ironic “Old guys are still cool, even if they smell funny” statements. Why not get him something sharper and fishing related. This stylish TF Gear Bullseye T-shirt for the serious carper is a good choice.

8. A healthier way to smoke!

Airflo Smoker Cooker

Foodie fishermen will love this Airflo Smoker Cooker.

If your old man is a keen trout or sea angler, he may well be the sort of dad who likes to get grilling in the summer. If so, how about the Airflo Smoker Cooker at £39.99 for a great gift idea? In no time at all he’ll be producing his own smoked trout or mackerel. You’ll probably never hear the end of it, but he’ll be happy and you’ll get to taste his smoked offerings too.

9. Sitting comfortably?

Korum X25 Accessory Chair

The Korum X25 Accessory Chair is a luxury gift for any angler.

You know what dads can be like as they put miles on the clock. Their joints ache, their backs creak and yet they still insist on using that crappy old fishing chair that wasn’t very comfortable in 1991. Why not spoil him with something better? At just under £100, the Korum X25 Accessory Chair is not just a great bit of kit, but will do wonders for his back.

10. Angling gift vouchers

gift voucher

Not sure what to choose? A gift voucher is always well received.

Still stuck for ideas when it comes to fishing treats for dad? Well there is a simple answer: let him choose for himself! Fishtec gift vouchers let him do exactly that – and he can order online directly from his favourite fishing chair.

Fishing in Danger Zones

mine sweep

U.S. Army photo of a land mine sweep by Spc. Derek Gaines, via Wikimedia Commons

It should come as no surprise that some of the most troubled places in the world have excellent fishing. While we worry about civil war, piracy and nuclear radiation, the fish thrive on neglect. Dominic Garnett looks at some of the most dangerous fishing spots in the world, and what swims there.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Lake Band-e-Amir by Carl Montgomery

Would you go fishing in the Bamiyan area of Afghanistan, where the local landmarks include the City of Screams (Shahr-e Gholghola), the Blood Fort (Shahr-e Zohak) and Dragon Valley (Darya-e Adjahar)? In 2015, parts of Afghanistan were relatively safe, allowing one of Forbes Fly Tying’s intrepid bloggers to dodge the landmines to try his luck there.

For a desert country, Afghanistan has a surprising amount of water. Among the mountains, you’ll find Jurassic lakes and fast rivers, many of which contain trout. There are also snow trout in the mountain springs, which local people catch using handlines, explosives, and even the occasional rocket propelled grenade.

West Hawaii

lava

Lava flowing into the sea in Hawaii. Image courtesy of USGS via Wikimedia Commons

Anyone who fancies spicing-up their angling experience by dodging molten lava while they fish, will find West Hawaii a red-hot spot. With some of the most active volcanoes on the planet, the warm coastal waters there are incredibly fertile.

Anyone mad enough to wet a line In West Hawaii will find a cornucopia of species there, from colourful oddities, to the likes of bonefish, barracuda and snapper. Just get ready to run or swim if you hear a rumble.

Namibia

shark

Fishing from the beach in Namibia
Image source: Shutterstock

The coast of Namibia offers some of the most spectacular shark fishing on earth. A nation once blighted by apartheid, poverty and war, thankfully, the political situation is less perilous now.

You’ll still have to keep your wits about you though, not least because of the searing heat of the sun, and the huge variety of hungry sharks there.

Chernobyl

chernobyl

Radioactive waters surrounding the Chernobyl power plant.
Image courtesy of Carlwillis via: Wikimedia Commons

Big fish including including wels and sturgeon dwell in the bleak industrial waters of Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union. But what happens to the fish when man-made catastrophe renders waters radioactive?

There are rumours of, and actual captures of strange mutants, like the catfish Jeremy Wade landed in River Monsters. And there are also hordes of zander, thriving due to the lack of human inhabitants. Just don’t hang around for too long: visitors must adhere to strict time limits to avoid overexposure to radioactivity.

Northern Norway and Iceland

ice fishing

Arctic conditions can be life-threatening. Image courtesy of Dom Garnett

If it’s extreme fishing weather you crave, rather than war zones, volcanoes or toxic death traps, Northern Norway and Iceland have some truly wild conditions and remote places to fish.

You wouldn’t want to be caught in an avalanche or freeze to death in a blizzard, but if you do survive the howling winds and freezing temperatures, there’s some unreal arctic char fishing in the mountains of the North. It’s treacherous territory, so a guide is essential, as is a giant corkscrew drill to get through the ice.

Britain

britain

Keep your wits about you, wherever you are. Image courtesy of Dom Garnett

We’re not joking. In terms of the annual number of fatalities, the risk of drowning makes fishing the UK’s most dangerous sport. And natural hazards aside, how many of you would consider fishing in the one of the tastier parts of London or Liverpool in the early hours of the morning?

Some of the areas of the country that get the worst press are in fact very friendly and have surprisingly good fishing; Birmingham, Glasgow and Plymouth are some of the best examples. Nevertheless, there are plenty of spots where you do have to keep your wits about you.

Fishing tips for risky places

  • Preparation is everything. A lack of drinking water or extremes of hot and cold are the biggest threats to your safety.
  • If you’re fishing abroad, a local guide always makes sense. He or she will be aware of the risks, and is your best chance of staying safe.
  • Don’t fish risky areas with fancy tackle or too much gear. Expensive kit left around will catch unwanted attention. Keep your tackle simple and be prepared to move quickly should you feel threatened.
  • One of the biggest dangers for anglers is to get too absorbed in the fishing. Always keep your wits about you, keep an eye on others, and anticipate what the weather is doing. Follow your gut instinct and listen to warnings the first time.
  • Always keep your phone and other essentials safe and close to hand. Pack a first-aid kit and keep an emergency bag of supplies. Mine always contains ID, antiseptic hand gel, a bottle of clean water, spare socks, a few calories and sunblock.

Further fishing adventures…

Casting a line from Arctic Norway to the streets of Manhattan, Dom Garnett’s most recent book “Crooked Lines” is packed with a host of great fishing stories, original illustrations, and features a foreword by Matt Hayes.  Order your copy for just £9.99 or as a £4.99 e-book at Amazon UK.
Crooked_Lines_Cover

TF Gear Carp Fishing Tackle Videos – 2017

In this blog post we take a look at some new carp fishing tackle videos produced by Total Fishing Gear in conjunction with Total Carp Magazine.

Each product is reviewed by renowned UK carp expert Dave Lane, who provides valuable insights into some essential new fishing kit for 2017. Watch on to find out more!

Flat Out Superking Bedchair – Designed to give pressure relief, comfort and support exactly where your body needs it- making your carp fishing experiences a joyous one.

3 in 1 Supersize Frying Pan – This superb non-stick frying pan allows you to cook 3 different foods at the same time so now there is no need to take numerous pans with the added bonus that you save on the washing up!

Hardcore waders – Made from the most advanced durable Heavy Duty PVC on the market with double stitching and welding on all seams plus extra layer reinforcement on the knees make these waders the toughest we’ve seen while retaining a supple flexible feel.

Response bite alarms – Loaded with premium features such as sensitivity control, high visibility night lights, silent stealth mode, vibrate and introducing a revolutionary built in torch feature on the receiver, the Response alarms have now taken bite indication to the next level.

Toastie makers – The quick and easy way to make tasty toasties and hot snacks. Super size capacity – perfect for deepfill toasties, fry ups, steaks, burgers, sausages, pies, chips, pizzas, the list is endless!

Trukka barrow – An unprecedented new standard in fishing gear transportation. A heavy duty load bearing frame complete with adjustable sides allow you to carry a mountain of equipment with ease.

Modern Stillwater Flyfishing Tactics Volume 3

It is every anglers dream to catch more fish and this feature length DVD produced by Airflo and Trout Fisherman magazine will help you achieve this!

Originally available with the May 2017 issue of Trout Fisherman, the UK’s leading competitive anglers Gareth Jones and Iain Barr turn their attention to bank fishing on Graham water for killer shrimp feeders and then enjoy a productive session on the small stillwater paradise of Ellerdine lakes.

This MUST WATCH feature is stuffed full of invaluable fly fishing tips, tackle and techniques. And it’s totally free to view on our YouTube channel!

Airflo Fly Fishing Tackle Videos 2017

Looking for new fly fishing tackle? Then these product videos from Airflo could help you decide. With waders, bass bags, fly rods, fly boxes, vests, clothing and of course fly lines Airflo have every base fully covered for the 2017 fishing season.

Airflo sales director and UK stillwater expert Gareth Jones gives each new product a short video review on this post – watch on to discover more!

Super Tuff waders Airflo have been supplying waders to the market for many years and time and again they have been asked for a super durable work horse wader. The result is the Super Tuff PVC wader.

Mesh bass bag This essential trout fishing accessory is guaranteed to keep your catch fresh throughout the day by the process of evaporation; simply dunk the bass bag occasionally into the water and your catch will not spoil during the heat of the day.

Grippa silicone fly box The ultimate pocket fly storage system. The double sided slim-line polycarbonate body is durable and shatter-resistant, and fits discreetly in a waistcoat.

Airflo Forge fly line With all the fly lines on the market today, it’s often a case of where do I start when it comes decide the correct taper, coatings, cores, etc for your floating line.

Defender Fly fishing clothing The new Airflo Defender waterproof fishing clothing offers outstanding value for money. Finished in stunning two tone olive with contemporary design and fit, this range will make you look good on the bank as well as providing superb performance.

Airflo Airlite V2 rods The original Airlite rods were nothing short of sublime. The perfect blend of modern lightweight graphite and components made for a breathtakingly smooth yet powerful action, leaving the fly fisher feeling in total control of every glorious cast! Bringing back the Airlite is like welcoming back an old member of the family.

Outlander Covert vests – Adding to Airflo’s hugely successful Outlander range, the new Covert Mesh Vest and Vest Backpack utilises a modern highly effective digitally developed camouflage pattern help break up the anglers outline giving the ultimate in concealment and stealth.

Delta fly reel The Airflo Delta Fly Reel gives the angler a lightweight die cast aluminium frame, high quality fly reel with great looks at an unbelievable entry level price all in one package. One of the best value for money fly fishing reels available.

Freedom by Rene’ Harrop

For a fly fishermen living at high elevation in Yellowstone country, the arrival of May is like the release date from a prison sentence.

Whether through biological management measures or restrictive climatic influence, many attractive trout waters are not available for fishing until the flowers bloom and migrating birds have returned for nesting.

Henry's Lake Cutthroat

Henry’s Lake Cutthroat

On the Idaho side of the Park where I live, all but the Harriman Ranch will be relieved of seasonal management restrictions by the end of May and the same applies to any water that remained iced over prior to that time.

Across the border in Montana, opening of the general fishing season occurs about two weeks earlier than Yellowstone, which for most park waters is Memorial Day Weekend.

May - Henry's Fork

May – Henry’s Fork

With the road to another summer now clear I can turn full attention to the most serious business of life, which is fishing. With fly boxes fully restocked and all other tackle items ready to go, freedom is obscured only by the move back to Island Park from our winter home on the lower Henry’s Fork. Once completed, I am virtually surrounded by more temptation than even a disciplined man should be expected to withstand, and I have never been especially strong in that regard.

Sheridan Morning

Sheridan Morning

From our cabin, the Henry’s Fork is nearly within casting range and rivers like the Madison or Fire Hole are less than an hour away. Rested still waters like Henry’s, Sheridan, and Hebgen do not make my choice easy on where to spend any given day, and I have been known to hit as many as three of these irresistible fisheries between sunrise and dark.

Nice Loop On The Fire Hole

Nice Loop On The Fire Hole

I spend six months of each year living in this mountainous dream world, and May is just the beginning.

Beneath The Surface At Bramble Mere

Fishtec marketing director Allan Crawford-Plane recently visited the tranquil Bramble Mere fishery in the Cotswolds for a quick overnighter. Thanks to a FishSpy camera Allan was able to save vital time, and importantly catch fish!

Read on to find out how FishSpy revealed what was beneath the surface in a less than clear lake….

The bucolic Bramble mere lake had long been a favorite venue of mine. Situated in the tranquil Cotswolds near Fairford, I had arranged a flying visit with just a single night on the bank, hoping for some rod bending action.

After a meet and greet with the owner Steve, a quick reconnaissance of the main lake was made. It was obvious right away that the lake was being dye treated for weed, with a blue green tint being evident.

Bramble mere

The lovely Bramble mere lake

Tactically this is where a FishSpy really comes into its own. With poor visibility from the surface, a quick cast of the FishSpy on record would hopefully give me an idea of the bottom despite the murky stained water. Several exploratory casts were made in various swims before I decided to set up and fish. I was glad I did – as you can see in the footage below the bottom was carpeted in really dense weed of several feet thick.

This presented a problem of finding a good area to lay the traps. A bit more probing with the FishSpy on record revealed a lovely marginal gravel clear spot about 10 yards out from a tree lined swim, a perfect area to add some bait. I fed in a decent amount of the new Dynamite Complex-T 15mm plus 10mm white chocolate and coconut cream – a sure fire way to attract fish. The FishSpy was then submerged on record to check the spot, as shown in the clip below.

With a nice bed of bait in place I was confident that the fish would feed near the margins – the murky water would give them security to come close in, especially with the light now dropping. The FishSpy was set on record for an hour over the spot, as the Airflo bivvy was set up and rods rigged. A quick review of the footage astonishingly revealed investigation by what appeared to be a decent common!

A cast into the area with the TF Gear 10′ Banshee carp rod resulted in a screaming run within a matter of minutes…. a nice fish now graced the net, possibly even the same spotted on camera earlier on. Would the run have come so quickly without using a FishSpy?

Carp in the net...

Carp in the net…

As the night set in several fine steaks were enjoyed on the TF gear Toastie grill. With the rods set, things turned even better that night with two runs at 2.45 am and 3.15 am resulting in two nice upper doubles.

Steak on the grill

Sizzling Steak on the grill pan.

The next morning, a quick inspection of the area revealed the bait had been picked clean. So more Dynamite Complex-T went into the spot. I had to pay the nearby Horseshoe lake a visit for a few hours, so the Fishspy was submerged and set on record over the spot, just to see. Upon returning, a quick scan through the footage revealed yet more fish activity…

A quick recast in the spot resulted in a few liners, but no runs. So without much time left of my session, I packed down the gear leaving all but my rods out. Suddenly the alarm sprung into life – a last gasp take! With Steve on hand to take a snap, a pretty little specimen ended the session on a high.

A last minute run

A last minute run

Without the FishSpy would I have caught four fish? It certainly gave me the edge for a quick visit. The moral of the story – don’t forget your FishSpy.

FishSpy - dont leave home without one!

FishSpy – don’t leave home without one!

For full details of fishing on Bramble Mere, visit www.bramblemere.com