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

Tight lines


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

Sweeping Grafham Water.

27 12 2012

First of all i apologise for not writing a post for Grafham as I’ve been very busy with exams and all that , anyway grafham was a total success in my opinion it was a great weekend away and plenty of fish to the net , day one was a bit slow as we had no idea what the fish would be doing or where they would be so it was on the phone to Gareth Dixon great angler and friend as Gareth had fished the day before and be said it was not easy but there’s plenty of fish around. My boat partner for day one was welsh international and former Welsh rivers champion Brian Morgan , me and Bri said to each other lets go and get some shrimpers which by we ment that we were going to target some of the fish that had been feeding on the killer shrimp that Grafham water had been invaded with. My set up for this method is a standard nymphing set up a 25ft leader with 4 flies spread about 4ft apart , I started with a Airflo Ridge midge tip on a Airflo Airtec 10ft 7/8wt the flies were shrimp patterns and crunchers , with the first cast the line locked up and seconds later the first fish of the trip was in the net , we spend the next couple if hours in the gove on the right hand side of the dam with 2 fish so it was time to move , after speaking to another good friend and awesome angler Aled Dixon which is Gareth’s brother , Aled was hitting fish on a Di 5 with 2 blobs and a couple of nymphs in between so it was time to set up the pulling rods , I set up with a 10ft 7wt G.loomis distance which I lent of a friend for the weekend with a Airflo Di 5 40+ with a couple of blobs and moved up to hedge end . With instant success a double header for me and Brian in to a slab , after getting to stunning fish in was fish after fish and me and brain must of put 20+ fish in the boat that day with nothing under 2lb . It was time to come of the water and go down to the pub , after a fantastic meal and a few pints it was time to go to bed . Day 2 I was partnered with fellow coach and very good friend Mark Thomas a welsh international and fly tying fanatic , we headed straight to hedge end but today the wind had picked up to around 20mph and gusts of 40mph !! But that did not put us off I set up with the same loomis set up as the day before and within a couple of hours me and mark had put 20 fish in the boat with some slabs in there too . It was time to find out how friend Russ Owen was doing , Russ is a multi welsh international , winner of the brown bowl and ex world champion and now that takes some doing and I have a lot of respect for Russell as he has been a great help to me , Russ said he was doing well so me and mark went to meet him and well we were in haven big fish and plenty of them fry bashing so we ended out trip on a high with some big fish but the most imported thing that I think why we had more success that day over other anglers is because we were using Airflo sweep fly lines , here’s some photos of the trip










Grafham Here We Come

25 09 2012

This weekend is one of the most important dates in all competition anglers’ diaries in Europe with the Airflo Anglian Water final on Rutland water in England. I have never fished an Anglian water match but hopefully one day I will be good enough to stand out for a team in the 6 man team match. Last year’s winners were the Welsh Hawks a team which I am now a member of and they are a fantastic bunch of guys and super International anglers and 4 out of the 6 have won the Brown bowl and Russell Owen being world champion. I had the pleasure this year of being coached  by one of the Welsh Hawks members Aled Dixon ready for the international in Ireland with Aled being a brown bowl winner in Ireland and had fished the venue what better advice could the team wished for. As I’m not in on the action this weekend a few weeks back I had the offer from a good friend and coach to spend a weekend away at Grafham water near Huntington in Cambridgeshire, so I took Mark up on his offer and this weekend I will be meeting a few new people which are close friends with Mark and will have two full days fishing on Grafham.  For those of you that don’t know much about Grafham it is one of the U.K’s premier trout fishery’s with 1’300 acres of water you’re not stuck in a small stock pond at all. A bit of a bonus is when I spoke to Russell Owen last weekend he also said he was going to be at Grafham this weekend, I love speaking to anglers like Russell because they’re so full of knowledge and I have learned so much in the last 5 years in the car park before a match talking to people like Russ, if you just listen to them you pick up loads of tips and tactics. It’s been a while since I fished Grafham since the Youth International in 2010 but when I was there I loved it so much and I’ve been itching to get back there.  The last few weeks I have been tormented by a few friends that have been on Grafham with large number of fish being caught and big sized fish also. As I’m sure you know Grafham water is one of few waters in the U.K that has been invaded with the ‘Killer shrimp’ and I’ve heard nothing but good about it at the moment because the Grafham Trout are going mad for them so hopefully I will pick a few shrimp feeders up on the weekend.Grafham has a big head of fry in there which I hear the big rainbows and browns like hitting so hopefully I will be also netting a fish of a life time there. Once I have come back I shall write you a full report of the trip so keep an eye out next week. I’ll finish by talking about my new toy from Airflo the Airflo Airtec Nano 10’ 7/8 which I had a quick cast of this afternoon and I think I’m in love so I’m wishing to christen it this weekend. Heres a few images of the flys and photos of the international on Grafham in 2010.

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Welsh trial

5 09 2012

Last weekend I fished the welsh youth trial to try and get another welsh cap , the day started by being picked up by a good friend and the local land lord of the local pub James and his son who was also trailing Tom. After a big breakfast we headed to Llandegfedd near pontypool , Cwmbran . Once at the lake I had a good catch up with my team mates from this years international in Ireland. Shortly after talking my boat man arrived kieron Jenkins , I set up a fast glass line with a 20ft leader with a booby on the point a diawl Bach in the middle and a blob on the top , after taking 5 fish in quite a short piece of time I thought I was doing quite well but then it took be another 2 hours to get my last fish to bag up, I finished 4th overall and enjoyed a lot , hopefully I will do a little better again at the next trial in October and get my name on the cup but we will have to wait and see , tight lines

Dean Connor Fly Fishing

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