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Grayling candy

Well the grayling are back in the crosshairs and the vice has been red hot getting ready for it!

Hopefully the weather will be kind this year, giving us many chances to fish for the stunning fish!

Been tying all sorts and in all manner of colours,Pinks,purples, Flo orange and Gold. Always great to have a wide selection of colours in the box but also don’t forget the drab flies, the more natural looking colours, brown, tan, black, and greens!

Below there are a few selections of my favourites ready to hit the water. I’ll put up the more natural patterns soon. Warning please wear dark glasses with these images ūüôā All materials are bought from Funkyfly tying, Great company and great products!

Airflo Thermolite Fishing Clothing Review

Well this Winter has been nothing but Baltic! Working outdoors as well as fishing most weekends the freezing weather can really take it’s toll.

When I heard that Fishtec were bringing out a new thermal jacket (back last year), I spoke very nicely to Kieron at Fishtec and managed to get hold of one. A large Airflo Thermolite Jacket. I’ve always been one for wearing my fishing clothing, not literally my waders but raincoats and fleeces down the shops or when I go out for a stroll. As you can imagine I often get some weird looks whilst wearing a moss green jacket. This Thermolite jacket looked to be a great garment for¬†socializing¬†as well as fishing.

What Fishtec Say:

New for 2012, this ultra lightweight filled jacket is set to become a firm favourite. A great cut combined with modern materials make it a superb alternative to a fleece and will keep you warm even in the coldest of conditions. Use as an outer layer on mild days or as a mid layer under your shell in extreme conditions.

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First of all I was blown away by just how light this jacket is, to pick up a jacket and instantly think you haven’t got anything in your hands is mind blowing. The nylon shell is filled with warm, thermocline material, I think it’s a duck down substitute. The nylon shell provides a splash proof cover which not only keeps you¬†relatively¬†dry in a downpour but if you do get soaked through the jacket still stays warm until you can get changed into dry clothing. I found this out when I went head over heals into the Taff!

After putting the jacket on the warmth it generates is instant, creating a warm and toasty pocket of air around your body. The lightweight design means it can be stored away in a backpack or back pocket of a fishing jacket and used when needed. I particularly like this feature because I walk many miles in a day to get where I want, sometimes the layers need to come off! I’ve also used this jacket for work under my high-vis kit.

This lightweight piece of fishing clothing fits extremely well, its cut has been designed for movement which means casting with or without layers is easy and makes your day on the water more comfortable.

Airflo Thermolite Jacket

Great as an under layer when it’s really cold!

 

The Airflo Story

I’ve always been interested in how fly lines are made, I think it’s something all fly fishermen want to know about as the fly line is one of the most¬†important¬†pieces of your fishing tackle. I stumbled across ‘The Airflo Story’ on YouTube a couple of weeks back so thought I’d share it with you. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as me!

On the trout’s menu right now!

Well ¬†at the moment the large dark olives are on the trout menu because¬†that’s all that’s bloody hatching at the moment with these wild winds and mad cold weather that has stuck with us. Please give us a break and move on winter weather, its spring for god sake!

The hatches have been starting around half 12 and going on for an hour to an hour and half at most, so be ready because it’s over before you now it!

These are  patterns that ive been using for the last few weeks on the river and they have been very successful.

Olive Emerger.

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Olive dun below.

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Check out a few trout that  have been enticed by these patterns in the last few weeks.

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What a day at Draycote Water

I’ve never really been one for lake fishing, but I’ve been giving it a go lately… As you all know¬†I’m¬†more of a rivers man than anything but Kieron Jenkins a good mate of mine said we would have a day out on the boat for a change. I’ve always fished the banks for trout and never the boat so it was something new to me and I was quite excited¬†to give it a bash to tell the truth…

We arrived in Coventry, just a few miles outside of Draycote, we made our way into Dunchurch to the GreenMan pub for breaky. Just after 9am we arrived at the water and made our way from the tackle shop to the water where we were making our first drift of the day. Kieron gave me an Airflo Di 3 sweep with 2 blobs on a cast around 16 ft. The point fly was a black and green blob and the top dropper was something a little more colourful. It did however take a little time to get used to the long leader with two fluffy birds on the cast ūüôā As we set the drogue, Kie explained that I had to find the depth that which the fish were feeding or settled at by counting the fly line down, 5, 10, 15 seconds and so on. The retrieve was a mixture of figure of eights to fish the flies slow or faster, pulling if they are aggressive. ¬†As the first drift was under way my first cast I counted down 10 seconds and started to pull quickly in short bursts. Seconds later the line locked up and and I struck into the first fish of the day, a lovely overwintered rainbow and god they can fight! Much stronger than anything in the river for it’s size, I loved ever seconds of it…

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For the rest of the drift there were fish coming out everywhere, kie just went to town on me taking 8 fish to my lonely 2… all within 10 minutes! It was great to watch, you see nothing like that on a river. We went back through the same drift taking a few more and then decided to go look somewhere else, boats seemed to just ‘appear’ after we netted a few fish and were drifting pretty close behind us.

Kieron decided to go right up the top end of the lake to the shallow waters to give the buzzers a blast. It wasnt long and he was working his magic by taking a load on the brightest buzzer ive ever seen :O I wasnt doing too bad with a few good size trout to the boat, all be them stockies but what else do you expect this time of year? By this time i started to get the hang of it. I watched Kie cast hell of a long line across to a huge bush over hanging the waters edge, as he pulled the slack line to tightern up, there was a massive bow wave behind his fly… The fished must have come around 15 yards then bang, fish on! I actually said it was a whale as is breached the surface! !hat a fight and what a lump of a rainbow… It must have went over 7lb.

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As the day went on we were nailing fish everywhere and it was just cracking sport, we must have had over 25+ fish each to the boat. I know it’s not always like this but what a day and what a great trip out on a boat with a good friend, I think I can see myself doing a little more of this in the future :)…. We’ve just booked a boat for opening day on Blagdon… Look out Saturday!

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Fishing Inspiration…

‚ÄúThe only way to become a better angler is to be versatile and continue to try to learn new methods¬†and to develop new skills. Fly fishing is a never ending learning game. Any type of fishing is a¬†never ending learning game.¬†Don‚Äôt ever forget that.‚ÄĚ‚Äď James Marsh

Something I’ve taken on board over the last couple of months… I love learning new methods and when you think¬†you’ve cracked it… You haven’t.

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River Taff in Flood yet again!

What the hell is going on with this weather we are having at the moment, sick to death of it!

The river Taff  is in flood yet again and has been for some time with this unbelivable weather we are having.  The river has been pushing for sometime but its not all bad. The salmon and sewin have had the water to move into their spawning spots without any problems of the poaching metal heads getting anywhere near them.

Check out the chart below for Pontypridd area.

new level 2

Slow and steady is the way!

As you know I had plans to go out today with my good friend Ceri Sweeney. I was picked up by Ceri at 8 and off we set to see if we could have a little fun tracking down a few trout and grayling.

Overnight we had rain bringing the river up a few inches and giving it a slight colour but this was a good thing because the river really needed it. After a short drive we finally got to where we wanted to try first but for the water and the time there was no point of setting up the dry so I kept that on my back and set up the french leader on my 10ft 3wt. For the flow of water we were in, I had a 3m hares ear jig on the point and on the dropper a 2,5m hotspot pheasant tail. My thinking for the hotspot was that it would stand out in the murky waters. Ceri also setup on the french leader with similar weights and we pressed on fishing a long run on the far side. I decided to go below Ceri and give him some room and fish the back-end where it was a little shallower to get some idea where the fish were. After a few short casts i was into a lively trout about half a pound and as quick as i hooked it, it was released to fight again, in that Ceri just above me took a fine grayling about a 1lb and in the flow it put up a good account of itself and after a quick photo the fish was on its way to get about its business. Not a bad result in a short time.

Ceri netting the grayling.

After Ceri slipping this one back there was no stopping him taking around 6 more grayling in the same area and one trout,¬†I didn’t have much luck on the grayling front but I was doing well on the trout. As Ceri was picking the grayling off I spotted a few fish rising on the far side of the run in the slack so I¬†pulled the dry fly rod off my back and set it up. Not sure what they were taking I put on one of my newly tied emergers . I watched for a bit before taking a cast to see if I could work out which was the best fish and after a few moments¬†I decided to go for one just off the bank. First drift nothing but on the second drift, bang fish on. It was a trout about on the 1lb mark, didn’t get a photo holding it because it had other ideas by jumping out of the net and unhooking itself, these trout are getting wise :).

As we pressed on up river I had a phone call off another mate, Mark willows, asking what I was up to and if I was fishing. After a short chat, Mark was on his way to meet us and have a dangle!¬†Ceri wasn’t staying long because of other commitments so he planned on making a move about 1pm but before that time mark met us up and we all pressed on looking for the fish with a good amount of banter:) ¬†I wasnt even fishing and I was having bites off Mark ūüôā I think it would take more than 3lb stroft to pull that fella in mind! After covering a fair bit of the river picking off a few more fish ,¬†Ceri had to leave so I stayed and Mark left with Ceri to go up river and fish somewhere else. I planned on meeting Mark further up river later on because I wanted to check out a few spots that I havent fished for some time. Just before the boys left,¬†I hooked into a fine trout and Ceri took this photo for me below.

I made my way out of the fast water looking for slower waters to see if there were any fish rising, I seen the odd splashy rise but there was no way I could cover them on the far bank so I pushed on looking for something that I could cover without drowning. I finally found a few rising in the backend of a large pool so I slowly made my way up trying not spook the buggers. I spent some time creeping around there, taking a hand full of trout on my size 16 quill dun. One of the better ones below.

I finally met up with Mark and he was with one of his mates, I was introduced and I knew his face straight away, Rob Evans, Hywel Morgans apprentice ūüôā ¬†had to get that in Rob, Mark told me to mind so get him for it hehe. ¬†We all moved onto a long pool looking for likely spots and with that I could see a rise on the far bank so I moved over and after a few casts I was into another fine trout, i netted it after a good run around. Rob said pass the cam over and took this below, another fine river taff brown trout, Cheers for taking the shot Rob!

After releasing this fish I made my way out of the river with Rob to give the water a break, we talked for some time about flies, nymphs, river quality and how well the taff is doing for what it used¬†to be like, it’s just great having this wonderful river just a stone throw away from my home in Pontypridd. As we talked on, Mark was still fishing targeting fish rising just above us in the dead slow water, not the easiest place to catch fish, fine tippets and long leaders are a must in the areas and a delicate cast. Mark is a fine angler and one of the most patient anglers I know, if there are fish there he will worry them out or if that didn’t work he would wait till the cows come home for the fish to rise again. Mark below with one that he worried out. Good angling butty.

Rob below nymphing this fine run

As me and Rob watched Mark working the river I spotted another fish rising not far from where the other fish fell on the dry. This rise looked much better and I¬†even seen the fishes’s nose at one point. I made my way over slowly to get the right angle on the fish to get the best presentation and not to spook it. First cast was on the button and a few seconds after the trout come up over the dry and a split second after the strike, the trout was on and I knew it was a quite a good un at that. After a good run around and some wild runs I managed to slip the net under the fish and have a good look at this wonderful Taff Trout. After a quick photo courtesy¬†of Rob the trout was on its way back into the depth of the Taff.

It was a great days fishing with great friends and it was very nice to meet another fine angler Rob. Rob it was a pleasure mate.

I’ll leave you with a gallery of all the photos taken on the day.

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Taff Diaries on Fishtec!

Over the last few months i’ve been using almost¬†exclusively Airflo fly fishing tackle and there are a few reasons for this…

I’ve always used ‘cheap fishing tackle’ and ended up buying more than once, something which is said time and time again between anglers and is true buying of products these days. The kit i’ve been shown by Kieron is great stuff, great build quality and preforms to the max. Most of the fly fishing tackle I’ve had is ideal for what I want and is just as good as anything I’ve seen by other, more expensive fishing tackle dealers.

I’ve now become part of their bloggers scheme where I received an email this morning describing that I’ve been lucky enough to have my blog featured under Fishtecs most favourite! Happy days ūüėÄ

Check the list out here for more exciting, informative and passionate fly fishing blogs –¬†http://www.fishtec.co.uk/blog/more-great-fishing-blogs

Over the moon ūüėÄ FishStalker.

Wales takes gold on the river Tay.

Well what a hard week that was on the river Tay in Scotland, never have I ever fished a river so fast and wide and dangerous. The flow of water going through there was just beyond belief! Well where do I start really.

Dunkeld Bridge below 

I was lucky enough to be reserve for the Welsh rivers team for the international held on the river tay in Scotland and god what an eye opener it was. We headed out on the 23rd of June in advance of the comp so we would get a whole week of practice in for the international that was going to be held on the 29th. Conditions were not great with rain most days and an up and down stream wind. At points in the day, there were waves going down river and it was just bonkers to say the least. Kieron Jenkins, Captain of the team assigned everyone a different method to fish that day and would swap everyone the next day. Great tactics to covering all the water and seeing where the fish were and what depth they would be feeding at certain times in the day, Dries would go first then wets then the bugs would come in on the French leader and stimmy behind. Many fish come to all methods through the week but it was far from easy.

¬†The fly life wasn’t the best throughout the week but the odd day the fly life would be fantastic but you wouldn’t see a fish rise. This was so confusing and I just couldn’t believe that nothing was picking off these wee beasties, frustrated wasn’t the word for it. Most nights after a hard day searching out the water we would all be called in for a meeting by Kieron and Paul to discuss the day’s fishing as a team and lay the flies on the table for all to see. Then as a team we would decide on the best method to cover the water that we tackled that day. After the meetings we would all have a few hours tying and then to the bar for a little banter with the other teams. All in good fun. I met some cracking chaps and I do hope I get the chance to be there again some time.

Competition day…..

It was a nice and early start, double checking the gear over and then a quick breakfast and off we set to meet the controllers for the day’s fishing ahead. Around this time reports started coming in that the river had risen around 3ft over night and this was quite concerning for the fishing ahead. ¬†The plan was that i would run for Kieron in the morning and then in the second session I would run for Mark Willows, this was a great opportunity for me to see other anglers on the water in focus mode and to see their styles in action. Kieron, me and his controller got to our peg and what we knew about the water just went straight out of the window. River was up,coloured and the wind was making a quite a nuisance of itself. The time come for kieron to step in for his first session and he started off in a lovely run screaming fish but it wasnt to be. Everything was working against him and he left the first session with a blank but made up in the second session. fishing was out and out hard going.

After the morning session¬†were over we all had to go back and meet up and have a bite to eat before leaving for the last sessions of the day. This was a tense time waiting on the boys to come in and say how they done in the sessions. I think the all round smiles said it all when we all finally met up that we were doing well. ¬†Food was done and handshakes all round and it was back out for the second round, eager and confident. This time I was out with Mark willows for the final sessions of the day, we got to the peg nice and early checking that water out and just hoping that we didn’t have to run out looking for something that was fishable. Mark set the one rod up on wets and the other on the heavy bugs. Before we knew it, it was time for Mark to get in and fish his heart out. As I said before nothing looked familiar and we were all back to a blank canvas. ¬†As Mark fished the wets and covered a fair bit of water, I spotted a few fish on the other side rising, this was our opportunity to give them hell, the information was passed over to Mark and he instantly changed methods and made his way straight to the spot with plenty of time to spare in the first session. I had my fingers crossed that we wouldn’t blank in the first, with only minutes to spare Mark had a measure in the net. Big smiles all round. Mark moved out of the spot where the fish were rising and left them alone till the next session started, he changed over at this time doing a little bit of heavy bugging but with no success.¬†The second session kicked in so he moved back into the spot where the fish were, after a few casts, Mark was into a fine trout and no blanks, that’s all we wanted to do. The last session ended with 2 fish and god what a relief it was. ¬†Mark done so well and I was proud to be there with him. ¬†After a big handshake we moved out to go back to the hotel to find out the final scores. We all waited in the car park after putting in the score cards. ¬†You could feel the tension in the air. As we all moved on down the car park I could see paul with his hand in the air and with the biggest smile i’ve ever seen. You could see how proud he was with the team. We went into the club and straight away the handshakes kicked off with everyone ¬†saying well done boys ūüôā ¬† We did it! Wales takes the gold, what a feeling and I was so proud of all the boys for pulling out all the stops and bringing home the gold for Wales. I don’t really remember much after that but here are the photos of the team and the captain Kieron Jenkins and Alun Hughes for taking top rod.

I’m a proud Welshman and im so proud of the boys for doing so well in the condition. Well done to all.

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