Photograph by Steve Barnett

Friday 30 September 2011

Gardens of...


Today I went looking for fish that hardly ever (probably never) see an angler.

It involved clambering over garden fences and other obstructions to get to this amazing section of river that is missed out on by so many of the other members of the water I fish most days.  It was worth the effort.

The river is beautiful along here.

The trout are fantastic.

That little bit of effort to fish where the fish are, be stealthy, and observe rewarded me with a superb day of discovery and Sport. 

Are there places where you could fish that are currently overlooked by your fellow anglers?

Regular Rod

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Too Early?

She is mottled already and has claimed this clean bit of gravel.. She hasn't cut a redd on it yet.  The cleared area has been done by an upwelling spring under the river bed.

If she spawns too early it will all be in vain...

Regular Rod

Friday 16 September 2011

A Guest!

My guest today had never seen my water before but it didn't take him very long to appreciate it.  He used the vegetation to hide behind and instinctively fished on his knees or backside. He had a good time too...

It is a joy to look up river and see an angler fishing like this... 

Kneeling, hiding and watching before making his cast

Those fish never knew he was there until it was too late

Regular Rod


Pools like this can be very rewarding. The trick is to get as close as you can without showing yourself to the fish. Make an accurate cast. Then keep as much of the line OFF the water as you can for as long as you can. The rises can be quite casual in despite of the violent water. Strong trout seem to be able to move about in these places with ease.

Regular Rod

Saturday 10 September 2011

Something in common...

Have a look at these fish (apologies for the first two photographs as they were only made with the mobile telephone).  Can you imagine what they all have in common?

Here's a few more clues...

The clue is in the thick overgrowth of brambles, nettles, meadow sweet, willow herb and other assorted thorny, stingy, trippy, tangley and grab hold of you-y plants.  All the fish came from places unfished by most other rods.  At this time of the season, on a popular water, it can be a very productive strategy to deliberately seek out the unfished for fish.  Their quality is usually superb.  The tangled banks provide cover to compensate for the difficult casting.  It is a wonderful way to spend a couple of days of the late season and I commend it to you all.  Get away from the car parks.  Go a bit further than normal.  Be prepared to make long round walks to get to the place you want to begin your fishing and then...


Paradise found!

Regular Rod

Wednesday 7 September 2011


a step-by-step of the Tup's Indispensable (Variant)
For use when the fish prefer to eat one of the flies that we anglers just call the Pale Watery.  There are several flies that get clumped together under the name "Pale Watery" but you don't need lots of different flies to match the hatch.  This very old fly serves well and the modification I have made to the dubbing renders it an even more effective fake of the real thing(s).

The dubbing in this variant of the original is fluorescent Sunrise Pink seal's fur.

Here's the very easy method of making the Tup's Indispensable (Variant)...

This is a size 16 Kamasan B980 the thread is Primrose Yellow, equivalent to Pearsalls' Yellow No.4.  Run on a short bed of the thread.

Tie in a bunch of pale Honey Dun or pale Honey cock hackle fibres to make a tail about as long as the hook shank.

Carry on with tight touching turns back to the start of the thread, tying in the hackle fibres as you go and trimming off any excess hackle fibres.  This makes the body of the fly.

Dub on a very sparse amount of the Sunrise Pink fur.

Wind a short "thorax" over the front part of the body, leaving enough space for the hackle in front, wind a tight ribbing turn onto the thorax as you bring the thread back to the front.

Tie in a pale Honey Dun cock hackle as shewn with the concave side of the hackle outermost.  You can use a very pale Honey hackle if Honey Dun is not available.

Wind the hackle four or five turns to the thread.  Tie it in tightly and wind the thread through the hackle to the hook eye then make a whip finish, varnish the head and clean out the wet varnish from the hook eye with the hackle tip left in your hackle pliers.  There you have it the Tup's Indespensable Variant, which, from July to late September, I would hate to be without.

Regular Rod