A pleasure day on Chew Valley Lake

31 05 2015

Last week Welsh International Chris Jones and I made the journey over the seven bridge to Chew Valley Lake, after speaking to some friends who had fished Chew just days before reporting the fishing had been tricky and they were struggling to get a few fish to the boat Chris and I were expecting a tough days fishing. We arrived at the fishery and saw there was a barely a ripple on the lake, a mild feel in the air and overcast skies, perfect conditions in my book! Being a puller at heart I set up a Airflo Sixth Sense Fast Glass fly line with around 22ft of 8lb Fulling Mill World Class Fluorocarbon with 3 flies attached to the leader spaced 10ft, 6ft and another 6ft to the point. On the top dropper I had one of my good friend’s Kieron Jenkins new blobs called the Merlot Blob, this gives a great silhouette in the water and is not bight and flashy so it does not put many fish off, in the middle again one of Kieron’s patterns but this time one of his cormorant patterns, his mirage cormorant pattern to be precise and one of my own cutthroat cat booby on the point, Chris also had a similar set up. Once we got on to the water we pulled about 20 feet off the jetty and just let the boat drift down the middle of the lake, Chris was in nearly straight away on his 3rd cast his line went tight on the hang a lovely little chew rainbow came to the net.

chris playing a fish on chew

We both took fish through the middle of the lake and decided we would try something different so we switched to the nymphs and looked for the better fish, so I set up a 3ft Airflo Super Dri Midge tip with 18ft of 7lb Fulling Mill World Class Fluorocarbon and 4 flies spaced 6ft from the fly line then 4ft,4ft and another 4ft to the point, the flies were a Black holographic Diawl Bach in the middle and then 2 more plain diawl bachs and one of Kieron’s abortion cormorant boobies on the point to hold the Diawls up in the water column, within a few casts the line shot out of my hand and I was in to one of Chew’s resident rainbows, after a few hard and powerful runs I was able to pull the fish’s head up and skim it across the top and in to the net another bonus of the Fulling Mill Fluorocarbon is the strength of it is unbelievable as a competition angler I can bully the fish in with complete trust in my leader.

me playing a fish on chewchew rainbow on nymphs

As the day got on we swapped between nymphing and pulling and we landed around 50 fish to the boat including a stonking perch well in excess of 2lb and probably closer to 3 and a brownie on the nymphs was a nice surprise too.

chew perchchew brown

I hope chew continues to fish as well throughout the rest of the season, I would highly recommend that you go and fish Chew, even if you’re a novice the rangers are always willing to point you in the right direction and you always get a warm welcome at Chew.

If you are still unsure about going afloat for the first time I would advise that you book a day’s fishing with England international John Horsey, you will have a tremendous day with John and will be hooked on boat fishing, contact John via email john@johnhorsey.co.uk

Tight Lines


Garnffrwd in May

30 05 2015

Now we are coming in to the end of spring and in to early summer there is an abundance of fly life on the water, on the surface and below with olives hatching, caenis and the damsels climbing up the reeds ready to hatch and of course the buzzers, I have been lucky enough to catch these hatches spot on and the fishing has been tremendous. For the last couple of weekends I have been fishing my favorite small still water fishery Garnffrwd and catching as many as 15 to 20 fish has been a doddle as long as you scale down your leader and fly size, I have been fishing 18ft 5lb Airflo G3 and size 16 olive shuttlecocks as shown below.


I found that the key to success is not just to cast at any rising fish it’s to watch one fish, watch how it rise’s whether it’s taking flies on the surface or if it’s taking emergers just under the surface , watch what path the fish takes, is it swimming around in circles or is it swimming up the wind, all this is crucial when fishing dries as you need to make sure you fly is in the right zone that the fish can see it and will want to eat your fly. Another important tip when fishing dries is to always degrease your leader, I use density mud from troutwatch and it’s by far the best mud I’ve ever used it has tungsten particles mixed in the mud and it really pulls your leader under the surface’s tension and out of site of the trout.

here is just one of the fish I’ve caught from Garnffrwd this month

big browny

This fish came to a damsel pattern fished tight to the reeds on the close bank on a fast glass line and 8lb fulling mill world class fluorocarbon. Fishing damsel patterns in April and May tight to the banks can be awesome as that’s where the fish will spend a lot of their time feeding, fish unwighted damsel patterns on intermediate lines with short sharp pulls your you’ll be in for a great days fishing.

keep an eye out for my next couple of blogs, some exciting fishing from a recent trip to Chew Valley Lake and a day with the Welsh Youth Fly Fishing team at Clywedog and a blog that’s going to be a tribute to my hero and great friend who passed away earlier this week Moc Morgan

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What’s been going on !

12 07 2014

It’s been too long since I’ve had time to sit down and let you folks know what I’ve been up to and where has been fishing well. The season kicked off for me at Draycote water near Rugby , I fished with Chris Jones a good friend and team mate , after a quick chat with staff at the fishery we were told where to go and how to catch the fish but at that time of year it’s just a case of getting the depth and area , flies aren’t important as you will be fishing for the fresh stocked fish. We started fishing in the bay on the far bank around the conner from toft. My set up for the day was a Hanak 10ft 7# with a Di3 sixth sense fly line on the business end was 25ft of troutwatch optimum 9.5lb fluorocarbon with 2 blobs , a viva blob on the top dropper and a biscuit blob on the point. Chris’s set up was very similar with a di3 sweep instead of the straight Di3, the results were clear that the 3 sweep was out fishing the straight 3 as by 12pm Chris was beating me 11-4 – bad angling Rumble !! We came in for some breakfast as the cafe did not open until 10.30Am , on return to the boat I tied on a 3 sweep with one of my tutti frutti blobs on the point , by 3pm we were on 25 each , unbelievable fishing with fish up to 6lb and some cracking overwintered rainbows and some browns thrown in too.




I retuned to Draycote 2 weeks later and it was not the same , all the hot spots were take up with anglers fishing the anchor! This really frustrates me , if your going to fish from a boat please do so properly and drift , if you don’t want to move , fish the bank – simples ! After finding some fish me and good pal and team captain Mike Roberts took a few nice fish on mikes olive blob on a di5 sweep and 40+ , once again I was lucky enough to take a nice brown trout


After Draycote it was on Chew Valley lake , it’s coach and fishing buddy Mark Thomas , me and Mark had a great day on chew bashing the stockies with hot head damsels and blobs on di5 and di7 40+ lines in the middle of the lake again the brown trout were playing ball


After a few trips to chew with the team and a few bits and bobs here and there it was time to get competing , the first comp of the year was the Welsh Youth Team qualifiers , the 1st qualifier was on llyn trawsfynedd I managed 2nd place with 9 fish and 1st place was my younger brother Elliot with 11 fish , who became welsh champion this weekend at llyn Brenig , he’s had a flyer of a season beating me on numerous occasions. This season has not gone my way at all so far this season. The highlight so far is qualifying for the Lexus team final with the snatchers at chew a few weeks back. This weather was cruel , with temperatures hitting the high 20s everyday on the practice days and match day , the method was fishing 4 heavy super glue buzzers as deep as you can and fishing them static , we qualified at 4th place and Iain Barr’s team came 1st good angling ! So it’s time to start thinking about trips to Rutland to practice for the final

First is the youth international match held at England’s Grafham water near Huntington in just 3 weeks time , the team has been on the water a few times all ready this season and we are going to work extremely hard in these next few weeks hopefully to pull a result out of the bag !!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this little round up of what’s been happening , hopefully I’ll be able to keep you all updated more regularly from now on !
Tight lines

HANAK Stilwater III rod review

1 03 2014

Recently I’ve been using a Hanak Stillwater III 10ft #7 rod. This is the kind of rod I’ve been looking for, for quite some time. The HANAK is a great all round rod with a great middle to tip action, the rod is a 3 piece rod which is supplied with a lovely rod tube and cloth. What amazes me the most about this rod is the price at just £105.00 from troutwatch which is a bargain. My most recent trip was to Ellerdine lakes in the heart of the Shropshire countryside which I will report about in the next blog but I set up two HANAK’s and the main aim of this was to try and put the rods to their limits which feel I did and the rods came out on top, with challenging in the face winds and strong winds from left to right it was a little tricky to put a line out to say the least but the HANAK coped with no problems. I threaded many lines through the rods and gave them a cast from a floater down to the fast sinking Di lines and again the HANAK coped with no problems.  Through the day I fished many different methods from straight line nymphing on a floater to rolly pollying a couple of lures on a sinker and the HANAK was sensitive enough to cope with the nymphing and absorb the solid takes and had the back bone needed to casting a long line in to the wind with a sinker with a few large lures and bullying some very strong rainbows! You really do get a lot of rod for your money with the HANAK and in my opinion it’s up there with some of the best brands with large prices.

You can find the HANAK for sale at Troutwatch just click on the link to get to the rod HANAK Stillwater III 10ft #7 rod

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Product Review: G.loomis GLX Distance 10ft 7#

20 10 2013

I’ve owned a loomis GLX Distance since April and I am very impressed with rod, it is simply outstanding. The power of the rod  amazes me every time I use it. It has a very stylish look about it and its 3 sections so it fits in to any car boot, I’m comes with a very nice rod tube too, with a screw on lid. But why do I like this rod so much ? This rod enables me to fish every method in the book from fishing drys to chucking DI8 shooting heads, it has a very powerful blank but is sensitive enough to fish dry flies with. Here are a few fish I’ve caught with the loomis



Being a competition angler the G.loomis gives me an edge over other anglers especially during the first few months of the season where the fish are lying deep in the water and you have to cast fast sinking lines to get down to them, if I can outcast the person next to me in the boat then I’m fishing deeper than he is and covering more fish, simple. Another advantage with the loomis is when a fish takes your fly along distance away from you normally you have to strike fairly hard to try and lift all that fly line out of the water to set the hook, with the loomis you just lift the rod and your in direct contact with that fish. If your after a rod that’s going to last you a life time check out the G.Loomis GLX Distance

Carp on the fly

19 10 2013

Something I’ve wanted to do for a little while was to catch a carp off the top. Having a little brother who’s crazy about carp fishing telling me the carp feeding on the top are quite spooky I thought this would be the perfect time to give it a go. I use my Airflo competition special 10ft #8 with a Airflo ridge impact fly line , why an 8 weight ? If you’ve ever caught a carp you’ll understand even the little ones go like a big overwintered trout. I got to the lake around 10AM seeing a few carp cruising around the surface I set up the fly rod with 10lb co-polymer, why co-polymer ? I used co-polymer because its less dense than fluorocarbon therefore it sits higher in the water, if I used Fluorocarbon it would sink and fish would swim in to it and I would either spook them or even worse foul hook one so its best to keep everything on the top (not in trout fishing). I started to feed some dog biscuits and instantly one popped his head up and started to feed confidently so a 15ft cast put the dog biscuit imitation on the fishes nose up came the lips and being a trout fisherman I struck which resulted in the fish spooking and my fly landing in the grass behind me. Take 2 a few fish had started to feed so I once again cast out in to the middle of them and a set of lips came up and inhaled the fly I waited for 3-4 seconds struck and bingo fish one the fish was around 5-6 lb

20131019-215245.jpg I landed around a dozen more fish of around the same size but I noticed a lot of water moving from a big fish just out out my casting distance to get a nice presentation so the next day I came back with some tapered leaders and this was the result



20131019-215818.jpg I hope this shows you what is available to everyone when trout fishing is slow during the summer months.

Last few weeks

14 07 2013

Well where had the time gone ? It’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and write a blog post but I’ve been out fishing most weekends getting ready for the all important Home international on Llyn Brenig in August , I’ll start off with my annual away trip which this year was Chew Valley Lake. The 1st day I was drawn with a good friend and top angler welsh international Matthew Jones, our plan was to try and find some fresh fish and then go and fish the standard chew fish which are around 4-5lb mark. We started in the middle of the sailing club which we fished for 30 minutes for one touch then we moved behind Denny island where I took a cracking fish around 3lbs on a Aiflo ridge 3ft slow glass tip and the fly was a drab diawl Bach. Weather conditions were not to friendly with bright sun and quite a breeze. Matthew and I continued to pick fish up from behind Denny and here is one fish I picked up

20130729-202557.jpg , at 2 pm we went it to the lodge for a spot of lunch and them continued to fish in the afternoon picking up fish still on the nymphs in villis bay and woodford bank I finished with 11 and Mathew finished with 12. The next day I was paired with another Welsh international Mark Thomas good friend and fly tying fanatic and now he loves to rolly polly (there’s a long story to that). Me and Mark started at wolly bank this time where mark took 2 fish quickly on drys , the fly was a small CDC claret hopper , here’s marks fish

20130729-203259.jpg. Both Mark and I swapped to nymphs then on a floating line with a booby on the point , and we took a fish more nice fish



We then went to the dam and I showed mark what I’m best at rolly polly blobs as fast as possible and with 3 cast 3 fish hit the back of the next , it was truly a red letter day with no fish under 2lbs mark finished with 16 fish and I with 15.

Next trip was to clywedog in mid wales again I fished with Mark , this time we drew 20 fish each , what a fantastic day on the drys we had and I had the best fish of the day with this lump of around 4-5lb on a dry

Just look at that tail , if your looking for a place where you can just enjoy the day and catch fish and have a chance of a 20lb fish book yourself a day a clywedog

I will have a full report of the Home international on llyn Brenig in a fortnight
Tight lines

Dean Connor Fly Fishing

Fly fishing Fly Tying following my experiences and hopefully sharing tips to help the progressive fly fisher and fly tyer.


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