3 03 2015

Now the lakes and big reservoirs are opening such as Chew Valley Lake, Blagdon water , Grafham and Rutland water and Llandegfedd this only means one thing to me, it’s time to get the boat seat out and the midge tip with a couple of buzzers. Buzzer fishing is one of my favorite ways to spend a day on the water, not only is it very relaxing but you can have some fantastic sport and some incredible fish. Here are a few buzzer patterns I would not be without.010 054 069 005 006 004 009

The Fly Tidy

1 02 2015

fly tidy Recently I have invested in buying a fly-tidy, the fly-tidy is a tray designed for the fly tier made out of a special material. What’s so great about this “special material” well if you’re like me I tend to be a little clumsy when tying and I often use super glue, U.V resins and varnishes and if you have had an experience like me before when you have accidently knocked over a bottle of super glue or varnish over on a brand new wooden dining table then this is where the fly-tidy comes in handy , the special material that it’s made out of does not let these liquids set on it so its jest a case of wiping the liquids off with a damp cloth and there’s nothing stuck to your fly-tidy and your desk or table has no damage to it what so ever.  As many of you also know I’m a completion angler and I have to do a great deal of traveling from one end of the country to another, when I’m fishing in these competitions I practice for 2-3 days on the water before the match and my most successful flies go in to a box and I have to make sure I have plenty of these flies in my box, which means I have to often do quite a lot of tying in the hotel room, as some of you may know that you don’t always have a great tying table in a hotel room sometimes the lip of the table can be too small so you can’t get your G clamp on the edge of the table so with your fly tidy you just place it on the on the table and you’re ready to start tying.

Don’t start to think the fly tidy is just for tying away from home though because I use my fly tidy every time I tie a fly in the house now too and I can move all my tools and vice on the fly tidy from one room to another. This is possibly the best piece of equipment I have bought for fly tying in a couple of years.

The size of the fly tidy is 45 x  27,5 x 2,5 cm (or 17 3/4 x 10,8 x 1 inches) The workspace recess, tool and accessory holes are 2 cm deep (0,8 inch).The easily accessible tools stay where they’re put and materials don’t roll out of the workspace.

The price of the Fly Tidy is £45 and can be ordered from the Designer and owner of the Fly Tidy Lee James either on Facebook or email :  or can also be purchased from AMC fly tying, contact AMC fly tying on Facebook for enquires.


Fly Fishing in Wales – The Group

18 07 2014

A sad thing in fly fishing is that you often find little groups of people who keep themselves to themselves, you find this whether you fishing a river or the still waters where a group of say 4-5 people will share information between each other of what area of the lake or river is fishing well and holding fish ,  what fly and method there catching on,  this sometimes can be very childish even when there’s no competition on this still happens. There is a limit where this is acceptable as you don’t want your favourite spot on the river being poached or on the lakes during competitions often teams put weeks of practice and countless amounts of money being spent you don’t really want everyone having that information before the match for free. Now you can easily avoid all of the above by joining the group on Facebook Fly Fishing in Wales. This Group has now have over 400 members, the Group is made up of very experienced anglers and beginners and everyone in-between. The great thing about the group is there are no ego’s and everyone is willing to help no matter what the question, there are fly tying experts to help such as Matthew Pate a Fly box Signature fly tier and Deer Creek pro team members Christopher Rawle and Dai Jones. There are also many outstanding and experienced anglers such as Kieron Jenkins , Jonathon Jones, Sean Jones , Terry Bromwell , Chris Jones , Elliot Penn , Hugh Weir and many more. The group have competitions and days out quite often at fisheries spread over Wales. These Photos are of the last two competitions held at Garnffrwd Trout fishery one day comp and the other an evening comp

fly fishing in wales day comp

fly fishing in wales night comp

I Highly recommend you join this group , its a well run and maintained group with no keyboard warriors or egos.

tight lines


Fishing at Garnffrwd

15 07 2014

I’m very lucky to live only 10 minutes away to possible the UK’s premier small still water fishery Of course I’m talking about Garnffrwd trout fishery . Garnffrwd has some amazing fishing to be had all year round in its gin clear water, amazing hatches of many different flies. The only problem with this is that attracts anglers from all over the country and sometimes it can be hard to get a spot to fish so it’s best to book first before you visit to avoid disappointment.

The fish in Garnffrwd get fished for every day so they see a different flies all the time. This means that the fishing can be very tricky on days but here are some tips that can help you make most of your day on the bank.

The biggest mistake people do this time of year is rush to the platforms rip as much line off the reel as they can (normally a sinking line) with a big lure attached to the end and try and cast to the opposite bank!! This is a big no no! This can produce a fish or two in the morning but then you will struggle for another take! If you are going to take the lure approach the way to do it is to set up a clear intermediate fly line a long leader 18ft of 7lb fluorocarbon my choice would be troutwatch optimum fluorocarbon and on the business end a small size 10 or 12 damsel. Once you approach the platform keep low and quite, first of just cast out your leader and jiggle to rod back towards the bank , you will often be surprised by the amount of fish swimming around close to the platforms. Them cast out around 10 yards of line , and figure of 8 the line back , try this for 5 minutes them gradually pull more and more line of the reel casing 15 yards then 20 and if you can 30 yards , vary the retrieve from just keeping in touch of the line to rolly polying the line back, keep changing areas and repeat the process and you will find and catch fish.

The next tactic I would use is the dreaded bung! Or strike indicator , as much as some hate the bung it’s a very successful method , Garnffrwd regular Andy Griffin consistently has large numbers of fish, fishing the bung the reason why I think is because the fish get annoyed with chasing and the often prefer to eat something more natural or something that’s static. Flies to fish under the bung are buzzers , diawl bachs , egg flies and egg laying blobs, the leader I use is 5lb Airflo Sightfree G3.

The 3rd method to fish at Garnffrwd for me is the dry fly such a shuttlecocks such as this one

20140715-033138.jpg . The way to fish this fly is on a long leader of again 18ft of fluorocarbon , yes fluorocarbon not copolymer ! The reason why I’d fish fluorocarbon in Garnffrwd is because the water is normally very calm and the lake is well sheltered there is never a big wave like you get on the big lakes , as it’s very calm there is a lot of surface tension and the leader finds it hard to cut through the surface , and if your leader is floating you may as well just go home! The fish will look at your fly and swirl at the fly but will not eat it . I will give the leader a coating of troutwatch density mud to help pull the leader under , this mud is no normal mud it has plenty of tungsten particles in it and really does pull all your leader under the surface quickly.

Well there we go folks , you now have my best advice for Garnffrwd , I hope it helps you put more fish in the net
Tight lines

Trip to Ellerdine lakes

2 03 2014

This weekend I visited Ellerdine trout fishery which is sat in the picturesque Shropshire countryside. I arrived at the fishery around 8.30AM after staying up in a near hotel at Telford. When I arrived at the fishery there was an angler already in to fish on meadow which is the largest of the 4 lakes on site. After paying for my catch and release ticket £15 for the day which includes all 4 lakes!! I set up 2 HANAK 10ft 7wts one with a floating line with a couple of nymphs set up on 7lb optimum fluorocarbon and the other rod with a fast glass with 9.5lb optimum fluorocarbon with an unwighted cat minky. I started on Marsh lake behind meadow with one follow on the cat and a few little takes on the nymphs but nothing to keep me on the lake. I moved to meadow lake in front of the lodge where I met up with a friend Stuart Smitham after having a quick chat with Stu he suggested that I moved a few pegs down the lake to a piece of water which had a channel running through it so I took Stu’s advice and moved, 2 casts later and my fast glass locked up while doing a rolly polly with the un-weighted cat minky on after a good fight and a few splashes a fully finned rainbow came to the net Rainbow 1

After a few more casts I landed another beautifully marked fully fined little rainbow again on the cat. Having about a dozen more casts I thought I would go a check how Stuart was getting on and have a little move back to marsh as I knew there were fish feeding in there as I could see a few moving just under the surface. I opted for the fast glass set up again and 1st cast the line locked up tearing around 10-15 yards out of my hand and off my reel! After getting the fish under control and trying to pull the fish away from reeds and other features such as a bridge where the fish tried to go under twice 5 minutes later the fish finally tired and was scoped up in the net , another fish around the 2lb mark
fish from marsh

After this I took about 4-5 more fish from marsh and then I called it time for a cup of tea and a chat with the owner Ed Upton who is a very nice man and full of useful tips and advice. I met up with Stuart at the lodge once again and he also had around 5 fish from Marsh on a di 3 and a hot head cat’s whisker. I took about 10 minutes of the day to watch Ed stock the lakes with some cracking fully finned rainbows just like this one
ed stocking

The day went on taking many more fish on all 4 lakes on a mixture of methods from straight line nymphing to rolly pollying a cat minky on a fast glass which did most damage. I finally came on the lakemoor which is the smallest of the 4 lakes , after seeing an angler walking off the lake with a large fish in his hand I was hoping for something similar, first cast with the minky the line once again locked up with large swirl on the surface tearing line off the reel I thought that this most of been one of the large resident fish which swim in lakemoor but it was only around the 3lb mark after a good scrap and getting it to the net

I took many more fish from lakemoor but none of great size so moved a few pegs down the lake in to some deeper water and cast out and letting the fly line sink for 5 seconds I started to slowly rolly polly and a large bow wave started to appear behind the fly so I stopped and the line shot out of my hand and the line was disappearing up the lake so I had to move a few pegs up to try and get the fish under control for what seemed an age which was actually around 5 minutes the fish stayed around 20 yards out and was trying to dig its head in some weed I could feel the heavy head shaking through the rod eventually the fish swam towards me and tried its luck to try and get in the reeds In the bank so I just had to try and put as much as pressure on the fish as possible and finally I got its head up and put the net under it and lifted , it was mineneting fish 1

I weighed the fish in the net and released it to fight another day. 7lb 3oz of pure muscle , over the moon to say the least. big bow
The day finally came to a close finishing with 17 rainbows which all fought well about their weight , what a day to say the least , I thoroughly enjoyed my day at the fishery and will be returning again very shortly for another visit
Thank you Ed for a cracking day
Ellerdine is an amazing fishery with some monster fish, it’s really worth a visit and being such as wonderful fishery you can imagine that it gets quite busy at times to don’t forget to book your place to save any disappointment phone the fishery on 07860 299342 or visit the website on this link Ellerdine lakesTight 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

Tight lines



Youth international at Llyn Brenig 2013

17 10 2013

This year I had the great privilege of captaining Wales at the Youth Home International at Brenig in North Wales. I traveled up to Brenig on the Saturday and fished Saturday afternoon just to see what the conditions were like and see if the water temperature had cooled at all as the weekend before in the Lexus heat the water was boiling. Not a lot happened on Saturday. Monday was the first official practise day for all the teams and I had the bottom half of the lake from the bottom of the forest down to the dam wall , I started in the conner of the dam in the jetty area where I pulled out of a fish on the first cast and landed another on my second cast.

I moved to avoid any other teams spotting that I had found some fish but I was not to know that there were not many fish swimming around the dam area I tired all the bottom of the lake for a few pulls and follows fishing a 6ft fast glass tip with a washing line. Day one produced another 2 fish in the afternoon to make the total 4 fish for me , but a team mate finished on 15 so we knew there were a few fish willing to take the fly

Day 2 practise

I was fishing with one of my best friends on day 2 Lewis Tappin, I alway enjoy fishing with friends such as Lewis as there’s no pressure you can just go out and find the information which is needed to fish the match the following day , due to calmer conditions and bright sunshine on the Tuesday the fish had dropped to around 6ft so out came the straight Fast glass with a cat whisker booby on the point and some dabblers up the cast and bring the flies in with a steady figure of 8. Day 2 produced 6 fish for me getting better i thought

The night before
All boat parings had been done and it was time for a team meeting by this time I had no more nails to bite off as I was so nervous , we were told the method which would win us the match and areas to go to and it was clear that if the team came in with 6 fish a piece we would have a good chance of wining the gold medal.

Tactics; the plan was to fish a strong leader of 8lb+. My choice was 8lb Airflo Sightfree Extreme set up on a Airflo sixth sense fast glass. Fish 3 flies spaced at least 8 ft apart due to the gin clear water so I had 10ft to my top dropper and 8ft to my second dropper and another 8ft to the point fly.

Match day
All the teams marched down to the jetty roaring to go. I was extremely nervous at this point and having the odd huff and puff with stress. So I met my partner for the day from Scotland at the boat we shock hands and said that I could go where I wanted to for the first hour and 3/4 , I took my 3 fish by in the first hour 11 Am and by 11.10Am I had my 4th fish in the boat bearing in mind I had been broke by one fish on a double header and lost 1 fish as I tried to get it in the net to quickly but as soon as I netted my 4th fish there was 4 boats queuing to get in the little bay where I was and a bank angler trying to get some action too and of course this killed everything I did 4 more drifts through the bay and not a sniff , I finished the day on 6 after struggling the next 6 hours for 2 fish , when it was time to weigh in we knew we had 2 good bags already Mark Evans with 11 and Joe Lloyd with 9 there were 3 or 4 6’s but It went quite rapidly down hill from there with a blank , 1’S , 2’s and 3’s but I honestly thought we could do it but when all the weigh in results came we fell short of England’s 64 fish by 13lbs around 5 fish , gutting was not the word , fantastic result for England well done !! The results were

1st England
2nd Wales
3rd Scotland
4th Ireland

Overall thought of the event

I thought the international went fantastically well on a personal note. There were a few team members that rattled my cages after the international but all must be left in the past but except from that all went extremely well. A huge thanks must go out to My mom fundraising for the Welsh team and making sure all parent and teams had a hotel to stay in. Thank you to Paul Tappin our team manager for all his expertise he passed on to us through out the year and our coach Eric Davies for making sure we were all in shape for match day .

Roll on Grafham Water 2014




Dean Connor Fly Fishing

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