Photograph by Steve Barnett

Sunday, 25 August 2013

How to Make the Fly Float

This stuff is as good as any product sold specifically for dry fly fishing.  I've been using it for three months now with good results.  The bottle it comes in is a pump action spray bottle so useless for flies.  No matter.  Off with the lid and pour out 10ml into an old Permafloat bottle or similar and put that in your pocket or bag.  When you've tied on your fly just shake your little bottle, open it and dunk your fly in the liquid.  Blow or false cast your fly until it is dry and go dry fly fishing with it.  150ml costs the same as 10ml of branded dry fly floatant...  which is music to a tight fisted Yorkshireman's ears!

Regular Rod

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

How many words to say how this little piece of river can affect the soul?

Even on the bank, it was impossible to resist this sweeping flow and the power of the rapids.  The camera just had to be set up and an attempt made to portray the mood here.  A thousand words could never communicate the full glory of this funnelling run so I hope the photograph might do instead...

Regular Rod

Sunday, 18 August 2013

How To Tie The Fly On

Here is the Grinner Knot, invented by Dick Walker as a strong knot, which relies on tension instead of shear for its strength. 

He made it easy to tie, so his Grandson "Grinner" could tie on his own hooks when they went fishing together.  It may be referred to as the Universal Knot or the Uni Knot in some parts of the world but surely we should honour its brilliant inventor and the Grandson for whom he created it, by giving it its original and correct name?

It is very easy to tie the Grinner Knot:

  1. Hold the fly (hook or swivel) between the index finger and thumb of your left hand (right hand if you are a Southpaw)
  2. Thread the line through the eye (I prefer to thread through the eye from above)
  3. Pull through enough line to make a hairpin with the end laid alongside the main line
  4. Make a loop with the end section round your fingers of the hand holding the fly
  5. Take the end of the line and pass it over and through the loop and round the main line four times
  6. Draw the knot together
  7. Lubricate the knot with spit
  8. Draw the knot down to the hook eye and tighten it very firmly
  9. Blow away the spit
  10. Trim the waste end away
Here is a tier's eye view of the 10 steps above:

Best viewed full screen 
Can you follow these silent videos alright?  Try this knot if you don't already use it and come back and say what you think to it.
Regular Rod

Sunday, 11 August 2013


...for joining two lengths of monofilament is the figure-of-eight knot.  A postscript reference was made to it in this post about leader construction.  It is time to provide a how to tie it post.

The steps are easy:

1 - Have the two ends of the lengths to be joined, laid side-by-side for just over a hand's breadth

2 - Make a loop, with the two lengths leading away from the rod over the top

3 - Put your finger up through the loop from underneath

4- Make two anti-clockwise turns in the loop

4 - Pull the two lengths leading away from the rod through the loop

5 - Check that you have the two lengths all the way through (don't leave the short end behind)

6 - Slowly draw the knot a little tighter until you have a figure-of-eight shape in the knot

7 - Moisten the knot with spit

8 - Draw it tight, holding it tight for a couple of seconds.

9 - Suck the spare spit off the knot

10 - Trim away the waste ends

Here are the 10 steps in a word-free video!

It would seem some mysterious deprecation has been imposed on this video.  Why techies have to fiddle with stuff that is working alright is beyond me but if you cannot view the video here is the link to it on YouTube

Please do give this a try and let me know how you fare with it.  You won't regret learning how to tie this excellent knot.

Regular Rod

Friday, 9 August 2013

Another Thousand Words and a Flash Back

Flash back!

Remember this?
Henry the Assistant
Well here is the result...

King Cups on Ogden Island 25th May 2013
The trout season has only a few short weeks to go.  It seems only yesterday that Henry and I were out taking advantage of the lovely fresh nature of the riverside in May.  Now he and I are on our way back home by 21:00, a sure sign that the Sport will once again be crammed into the hour before noon and the hour after when we chase the grayling instead of the trout

Get out there as much as you can is surely the best policy from now until the autumn.

Regular Rod

Thursday, 1 August 2013


There is a delightful tributary of the Derbyshire Wye.  This is the Lathkill.  A limestone spring-fed river.  When the mother river is brown the Lathkill is often still clear, even when running with an extra foot or so of water after very prolongued and heavy rain.  So on Tuesday evening, after work, the Wye still being coloured, Henry and his pal were to be found by the side of these pellucid waters...

Some of the river is typical of many intimate waters in that there is plenty of cover from which to OBSERVE, stay hidden and STEALTHY and the only extra puzzle is how to get a cast into the right spot to FISH WHERE THE FISH ARE. 

Other parts present a completely different set of questions...

Where the grass is grazed closely like this, the first query is how to OBSERVE rising fish without scaring them.  The remedy is stand well back, Henry is almost too near even for a figure as low to the ground as he is.  "Sit!" was the only way to ensure he scared no fish.

Having seen a rising fish and so discovered WHERE THE FISH ARE it was then necessary to BE STEALTHY to sneak in downstream of the fish and to use what cover there may be, if any, to conceal our intent.

Henry is sitting exactly where his pal had just been kneeling under the overhanging alder leaves.  The rise had been spotted at 30 feet back from the water.  Yes the cast was tricky under the canopy but only one cast was needed.  Thanks to applying those three principles, even though the sheep-shaved bank needed all the preliminaries to be carried out at a safe distance.

Regular Rod