Wednesday, 23 September 2015

It's Tenkara, But Not As We Know It!

The Honryu - Not Just For "Tenkara" Trout!

The term “tenkara trout” has recently been adopted on social media to describe a small trout, however it may have been caught. It’s a term used in a slightly tongue in cheek way, often taking the p*** out of your fishing buddies catch. This is quite understandable given the origins of tenkara and that even today it is still a technique reserved for small fish (or at least should be) and it is still not the technique to use where large fish can be expected. Well all that might be about to change…

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Season's Opener

It happens every year! I sit at home patiently waiting for the start of the trout season here in Yorkshire on 25th March, doing all the last minute jobs in readiness for the new season. Then reports filter in from friends in the Lancashire and Cumbria where the season has already started on 15th March. Photos appear on Twitter and blogs get uploaded, all showing and describing the first trout of the season and hatches of Large Dark Olives (LDO’s) and March Browns. I take it for so long, hiding my jealousy and resisting the temptation to venture out before the ‘real’ season starts on 25th. Some years I make it all the way to the 25th, helped if the weather is particularly bad, but more and more nowadays I don’t! This year I didn’t. I can only take so many photos of newly hatched LDO’s and the first of the season's trout, so today I gave in, despite winds gusting to 40mph…

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Flies of 2013: Jig Nymphs

Jig Nymphs
Jig Nymphs
With the 2014 trout season here in  the Yorkshire Dales almost upon us, it's time to bring this little series of posts to a close. I hope you've enjoyed them and that some of the patterns have inspired you to tie and try them. They are all superb performers that you can fish with confidence, none more so that this last pattern...

About 2 to 3 years ago I felt there was room in the range of river nymphs I carry for something a little more dense. All my nymphs were relatively lightweight and there were times when I felt I could do with more ballast to get down in strong flows and/or deep water. I carry heavy enough Czech Nymphs and nymphs for fishing in the fixed Czech style, but I felt I needed a heavy nymph more suited to upstream nymphing and French style nymphing. My choice at the time was Baetis Nymphs, Gold Head (brass) Pheasant Tail Nymphs, small Mary Copperheads and a few miscellaneous small tungsten bead flies. The Mary Copperhead was my first choice for faster flows and deeper water with it being quite dense, but if I needed more weight I would have to use a Czech Nymph or my Copperhead Nymph and so I felt I needed to bridge the gap...

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Flies of 2013: CDC Sedge

CDC Sedges
The title "Flies of 2013" is perhaps a little inaccurate for the CDC Sedge because it has been a top performing fly for me since 2010 when I first became aware of its powers of attraction. I actually got hold of this fly in 2009, but it sat dormant in my fly box for 12 months with me not realising its potential...

Monday, 10 March 2014

Flies of 2013: Daddy Longlegs

Daddy Longlegs
It would be fair to say that most anglers have used a Daddy imitation at some time or other for rainbow trout. It is the first fly I can remember catching on when I first learnt to fly-fish on one of Simon Gawesworth's famous flyfishing courses in deepest, darkest, Devon. I'll never forget watching my Daddy disappearing in a big swirl as a large rainbow swallowed it at Exe Valley Lakes as Simon looked on. Simon has of course since moved on to much greater things: author of some superb casting books, star of casting DVD's and now lives in the US and works for Rio Products. He is regarded as possibly the greatest Spey caster in the world and he was a brilliant teacher. His courses were superb, are missed by many and I feel honoured to have met him and been taught by him. Anyway, I digress, back to the Daddy Longlegs...

Monday, 3 March 2014

Flies of 2013: Norski Lad

The Norski Lad first came to my knowledge in 2012 when reading a series of articles in FF & FT magazine about fishing in Shetland. A full article was devoted to the Norski Lad, including how it came to be, how to dress it, fish it and some information about its inventor. I found it a slightly surprising fly to look at, not really like anything I'd seen used before for brown trout in lochs; it was more of rainbow trout competition fly in my eyes. The article sang its praises so much that I had a few tied for me and put them in my fly box ready for Shetland. I don't remember using it anywhere until an overnight wild camping trip to Cow Green Reservoir at the very end of May...

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Flies of 2013: Hutch's Pennell

The Black Pennell is one of THE best known traditional wet flies. I have used it for years when stillwater fishing for brown trout and rainbows, and it is still one of my first choice flies for wild brown trout in lakes and lochs. I had heard of one or two Black Pennell variations, but to be fair there isn't much you can do improve its simple design and effectiveness. It was again whilst researching patterns for my Shetland trip that Hutch's Pennell came to my attention. I had never heard of it until then but now feel slightly embarrassed at that admission because it does seem reasonably well known. As with my previous two posts about the Kate McLaren Muddler (KMM) and Black Diawl Bach (BDB), it was while out early season fishing on Ullswater when my quickly filling up Shetland wet fly box served up the Hutch's Pennell in answer to the Buzzers that were hatching in good numbers. As I wrote in the first of these posts, it just stood out from the myriad of other patterns in my box and couldn't be ignored; that's how I choose my wet flies, or to put it better - I let them choose themselves...