Fly fishing blogs to be reckoned with

As we all know, it’s freezing outside.  But while most mortals do the sensible thing, wrap up warm and stay indoors, it is perhaps reassuring to know that there are a few intrepid fly fishermen out there ready to brave the elements.  For the rest of us, here is a selection of some of the best fly fishing blogs we’ve found – so turn up the heating, sit back, and read on…

Fly fishing in South Wales |

“If the going gets tough, the Grayling go deep” says blog author Gareth Lewis.  Normally a small fly tying addict, Gareth favours Czech Nymphing during a cold snap.  He points out that people are often surprised by the size of some of these flies.  In point of fact those photographed on the blog post are tied on a size 8 Skalka Grub hook but then as Gareth says some of the Caddis larva in the water are over an inch long.

Dave Wiltshire |

For winter Grayling fishing, fly tying expert and fly fishing instructor Dave is in the pink this season.  He recommends tungsten shrimp back as ballast to add a dash of colour to patterns.  Fished upside down in coloured or very cold clear water, Dave has found these to be a winner on winter days.  With details of how to tie some of his favorite patterns and razor sharp close up photography to show the fine detail, this is a top quality blog.

North Country Angler |

“I’ve been at this for quite a while now and I don’t seem to be getting any better…..” Don’t let this Lancashire based fly fisherman fool you with his modesty.  Matthew Eastman is quite obviously an accomplished waterman.  And his prose is pretty good too;  lyrical descriptions of Autumn mists combine well with photographs and discussion of his latest flies.

Mick’s Fly Fishing Diary |

“For me ‘tyers row’ is what makes the show special.”  Which show?  The British Fly fair international of course.  With expert fly tyers like Dave Wiltshire, Oliver Edwards and Andy Baird in attendance, it was a great chance to pick up a few tips from the masters.  If you’ve ever thought about going but never got around to it then check out Mick’s post for a comprehensive account of what you’ve missed.  After all – there’s always next year…

The Urban Fly Fisher |

“It was bound to happen – was it confidence? perseverance? sheer dogged determination? Nope – the fact that I had left my camera in the house meant I was bound to catch a fish”.  The adventure of fishing in the urban heartland of Glasgow is related in a witty and engaging style by blogger, Alistair Stewart.  Centering on the Kelvin, Glasgow’s second river, the blog began before Alistair could drive but now he’s got his wheels, his horizons have widened to include many marks within about an hour’s drive of the city.

Yorkshire Fly Fishing Blog |

A fly that caught, no less than five fish in seven casts, “Bob’s Olive” was invented by blog author     Bob Walker over ten years ago.  It won awards at the time and is still going strong – so well worth checking out. For fly tiers out there, you’ll find a very interesting post with photos of live buzzers wriggling about in a makeshift aquarium.  A great reference for creating the perfect fly! With loads of content detailing fishing adventures large and small, this blog is lively and entertaining – a good read.

Chris McCully |

“When selecting a fly, I think of water clarity and colour and the quality of light in the sky. Accordingly I’ll select patterns which I think will show up particularly well underwater (or on top of it) in the conditions pertaining at the time: hot oranges and yellows in clear water; blacks and clarets in peat-stain; white and tinsel-based patterns in the estuary…”  writes Chris McCully, a poet, writer and academic, originally from Yorkshire, now based in the Netherlands.  His style is reflective and rich with detail, the photography is stunning and there’s a poem or two to light the imagination.

Grayling Hunter |

She’s the Scarlet O’Hara or Laura Croft of the river.  So say these three friends who’ve come together to create a one stop shop for all those whose passion is winter Grayling fishing.  Truly a wealth of information can be found on these pages – and there’s even a forum you can join so that you can share tips and experiences with other like minded fly fishermen.

Tamanawis |

It’s only December and already it’s been snowing heavily – those mellow summer evenings on the riverbank seem a long time ago now.  Well not to worry because if you want to warm yourself up a bit, Mike’s blog has a wonderful description of evening fly fishing in the Scottish summer: “There’s a wonderful calm in fishing the dusk session at this time of year. The night descends, the air cools sharply, the water tugs ever so slightly heavier at your ankles”.  Lovely stuff.

Glen Pointon fly fishing blog |

“My heart skipped a beat when I saw the typical Grayling rise that I know only too well.”  Glen has been honing his dry fly technique for the Grayling season and you can find out how he got on as he and his friend Wesser battle for Grayling glory in the rivers Dovedale, Wye and Severn.  A lively account, full of incident – well worth a read.

Tony Mair |

My mission…’to catch a trout from a river in every county’ – I learned to fly fish as a teen on the Usk, when as a pupil at Christ College in Brecon, I shared one of six tickets the school enjoyed on the town water. I remember that Jonathan Gout, already a fly fisher, was my encouragement, and my Father kitted me out with tackle purchased from a store adjacent to the town bridge. It is now a licensed café!

David Wood |

Great Sinlge Malt Whiskey and angling in the Staffordshire Moorelands, Derbyshire, Islay and the highlands and Islands. I’ve been fishing since I was 7 years old when my Grandad used to take me fishing with a quill float for sticklebacks and small perch on the river Churnet in the heart of the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Stephen Blood |

Stephen’s blog represents what we all want out of fly fishing. Fun and enjoyment out of catching pristine wild river trout and grayling.  ‘I Started fishing from the butterfly bridge with a size 14 red tag on the point and a coch-y-bonddu on the dropper, no luck through the first run, second streamier deeper looking run and had a thumping hit and a decent fight from what turned out to be a decent Brownie of about 8-9″ a very nice wild fish.’

Nick Hart Fly Fishing |

With all the tweeting, facebooking, blogging and skyping about fly fishing that goes on – it’s a wonder that there’s time left to actually go fishing!  Nick Hart is a fly fishing guide making the most of modern technology – like many, he checks the river web cams to make sure he’s fishing at the most opportune moment.  “There is a whole [online] discussing fish, tactics and tackle..”, muses Nick.  Well he’s right but somehow the fish do still manage to get away…

Phil’s Fishing Diary |

“Ice cold in Powys”, the title of Phil’s latest blog post. He was out fly fishing in Mid wales at the weekend and reports that the temperature was 15 degrees below on arrival and never rose above minus nine all day.  Phil says he’s a fly fishing nut and frankly, we’re inclined to agree!  All the same he had a successful day and the photos of wintry Wales are stunning.  Hats off to you Phil.

Derbyshire on the Fly |

If you’re new to tying flies for the Grayling season then look no further.  Step four is to take your finished fly and throw it in the bin – step five, to start again using more lead. It is well worth looking up the blog post for the rest of the steps to your first effective Graying fly.  And with a wide variety of fly fishing subject matter you’ll enjoy a good read too.

Nadder-Diary |

“I should stop anthropomorphising plant life, it’s a slippery slope. I’ll be drawing hedgehogs with pinnies and toads driving motor cars soon unless I snap out of it.” writes the lyrical Malcolm in his blog.  But we thought his description of autumn on the river bank was about spot on – and the photography is absolutely stunning.  Well worth a look.

Dry Fly Expert |

“Whence come you?” “The Lakes and Reservoirs!” “Whither directing your course?” “The rivers and streams!” “What do you hope to find?” “The true secrets of dry fly fishing!” A light hearted start to the latest post on dry Fly Expert.  And it’s a timely one too for anyone considering making the move from still water to river fly fishing.  A series of posts is planned to help make the transition easier and questions are invited.  what are you waiting for?

The Lion Tamers |

“I suppose we should have invested in lessons but our self taught ‘lion tamer’ casting style has caught us a few stockies over the past 12 months.” The ‘Lion tamer’, took up fishing after a chance conversation with a bloke in the pub.  The author’s enthusiasm is infectious and judging by the images of some of his paintings, he’s quite the artist too.

Trout in the Town

A little London chalk stream near Sidcup has received some help recently courtesy of Thames21, a charity dedicated to restoring London’s 400 miles of waterways.  Paul’s blog post provides a fascinating account of the work being done to make the stream viable for a self sustaining trout population.  Thames21 is just one of many great organisations that Trout in the Town and the Wild Trout Trust are supporting (there are currently eight projects spread from Glasgow, through northern England, the midlands and Greater London).

A Derby Angler’s Journal |

“The winter is well and truly with us now and to avoid freezing my nads off wading the stream I decided to get out the trotting rod and run a few maggots down on the centrepin.”  We can’t say that we blame blog author  Dave Cross – anyone who can motivate themselves to get out fishing in the cold weather deserves applause.  And for the rest of us – Dave has been kind enough to recount his adventures.

Justin |

‘I grew up in the mountainous western region of Swaziland, home to 12 little known and little fished stillwaters in the extensive pine plantations that blanket the region. The ‘dams’ are small and wild, pretty much left to nature in between infrequent stockings of rainbow trout. Looking back, I couldn’t have wished for a better place to have cut my fly fishing teeth’. Now, Justin calls West Midlands of England home – but within driving distance of some great trout a and grayling fishing. This blog always whets my fly fishing appetite each time I look at some of the surrounding beauty which we fish in.

Kenny Halley |

‘A guy from Dads work came over one evening with a fly fishing rod and reel and showed me how to tie a blood knot, how to loop a leader over an over hand knot on the end of the line (we had finesse in those days you know- delicate presentation? pah!) and how to tie a fly on a 8 foot length of 6lb nylon mono. 20 minutes on the car parking area behind the house and I was casting like- well probably Indiana Jones with a bull whip judging by the cracking noises, but hey this was fun! And we haven’t even seen water or a fish yet!’ Now, this is how most people should get into fly fishing, you know fishing is going to be a big part of your life after spending just 20 minutes with a fishing rod!.

Graham Rawson |

I’m basically a fishing addict, and have been since an early age. Although I enjoy all fishing disciplines from time to time, i’m happiest with a fly rod in my hand. Whether it’s creeping through dense undergrowth to get to a tiny stream full of wild brown trout, throwing a 5/0 popper out for Pike, twitching a shrimp imitation infront of Mullet or stood on a rocky headland in the middle of knowhere belting out a fast sinker for Pollack.

The Limp Cobra

Marc Fauvet –

 ‘The Limp Cobra’ is a presentation cast i assembled some years ago as one of several means to present the fly with a good amount of slack in the line and leader to hopefully counter the effects of the seemingly endless micro-currents and counter-currents so prevalent in small stream fishing. It is a pile cast that is performed with both a low back-cast and low front-cast, has two distinct loops, one horizontal and one vertical and it kinda looks like a cobra that rears its head, strikes, then collapses in a lazy heap… thus the name !

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