Tag Archives: fishing tackle

C&R

Catch and release is something I’ve always done on the river’s and it does work for sure!

Many of times Ive caught the same fish over the years and even in the same day.

I know quite a few that knock trout on the head for the pot and it’s up to them, but myself I like to have my fun and then release them to fight another day! C&R is the way forward to save are wonderful trout for the future and securing are great sport!

Few short C&R videos below ūüôā

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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Finally a bit of fun on the dry

While I was in work on friday counting down the hours I had a phone call of my mate telling me about the great day that he was having on the river with the dry. He went on to say about what the hatch was like and what was on, then with a bit of a giggle he told me his biggest at that time was a 3lb 3oz brown, jammy bugger ūüė¶ Not something you want to hear while stuck in work is it! With this news I was already planning the trip for saturday morning and crossing my fingers that the weather would stay fine.

The fly box has been a little bare with dries lately because of the nymphing i’ve been doing throughout the winter months, so friday evening was spent tying a few dark olives patterns to cover the hatch that is mainly on at the moment. I did tie a few small gray dusters up and a few griffin gnats just in case they started to pick of smaller flies in the evening.

I was out the door just gone 7am in the morning and busting for it, little early for the hatches around here at the moment but I had a few places that I wanted to check out with the nymphs. I had a good idea of the time that the hatch would start because of my mate’s success on the day before so I had plenty of time to have a little fun with the nymphs. As normal I had two rods with me, one set up on the dry and the other with the french leader, this is so there is no messing around changing over and re-tying leaders and so on. In the past i’ve missed out on a few chances to catch the bigger trout feeding because of chopping and changing and as you know they don’t rise very often. This gives you that little bit more of an edge of catching a fish of a lifetime in my eyes and it has worked for me.

I finally started the morning in a nice long run that had lots of pocket water so the french leader was the best option. I set up and cut off around 3ft of stroft ABR and attached that to the indicator but this time I decided not to tie in a dropper because of the water condition, the rivers in south Wales running low and very clear so I wanted it to look as natural as possible. I tied a 2.5m copper head hares ear jig to the point and made my way up the run casting the nymph far away from me and keeping out of the trouts vision. In no time, the leader slipped away up river and then shortly after the trout slipped into the net and was quickly released after a quick poses.

The first run of the day and also the first fish of the day below

Another fine trout below that fell to the nymph while searching out the water in the photo above.

I spent a lot of time fishing the water quite hard, increasing the numbers slowly with the nymph and hoping to bump into something a little bigger but they didn’t seem to be there. It doesn’t really bother me catching a big fish but it’s always nice to land one now and again. At this time I started to see the odd olive flying past so I made my way to a little slower water to see if there was anything rising but I seen nothing for a good while, so I sat back and just watched this one pool knowing there was fish there. It was only a matter of time before they started to look up and see the olives,.

This was the pool below

Finally a trout broke the surface taking an olive, that was my cue to take the dry setup off my back and give it a whirl. Here is the pattern I used to imitate the large dark olive below and the first trout that was fooled by it of the day ūüôā Result!

Over the moon with the trout above, I went searching for trout rising and with that the bugging rod was taken down and it didn’t have a look in for the rest of the day and rightly so. Every pool that I came upon had a trout picking the olives off but only the one and it seemed they were the better size ones, I really wasn’t sure why but I didn’t think too much about it. As I moved up river scanning the water I could see that the olive hatch was reducing so my time was limited to find fish on the fin. Knowing that this was happening I jumped pool to pool looking but the rises were getting scarce. Time was getting on and I was thinking about calling it a day to go home and watch the wales match, where I was going to get out of the river just below a bridge, I walked out onto the bank and I seen a rise right tight to a large rock on the opposite back. The fish didn’t rise again so I just thought bugger it i’ll see if it’s still looking up, I cast the fly around 3ft above where the rise was and in seconds the trout took the fly and made a mad dash for cover, straight away I knew this was no tiddler. Seconds later the trout was tail walking and trying to chuck the hook but I had a good hook set and after a few mad dashed around the river the trout was to hand and a quick photo and then released to fight anOther day. Cracking result and what a trout to finish the day off.

The last and the biggest of the day below.

Well here it is! Airflo Hydrotec Softshell Jacket Review

So, I’ve been wearing the Airflo Hydrotec Softshell Fleece for over a month now both to work and whilst out fishing. Trying everything¬†humanly¬†possible to get the best out of it I can. Quite frankly, I can’t fault it.

From the second I opened the jacket I could tell it oses quality. The first thing you notice is the dual colour¬†Soft-shell¬†MemBrain. with the gray shoulders and black body and underarms It certainly looks the part! I like the ‘shower-proof’ capabilities of the jacket as throughout the Spring and Autumn a coat can be an unnecessary¬†addition to you fishing gear. But with this, it keeps you dry and warm. Being able to wear a jacket both fishing and ‘out and about’ is a big plus for me as I get used to wearing some things.

The comfortability it offers me when out walking and/or fishing is second to none with the Mambrain seeming to mould to my casting style and shape.

After putting the jacket on for the first time you¬†definitely¬†see the advantages over others. It’s spacious enough to have a few layers underneath just for that little extra protection from the cold. The cord around the base of the jacket allows you to tighten around your waist to stop any draught and the¬†Velcro¬†straps at he cuffs makes it easy to stop water and wind creeping its way down your arm when casting or handling fish. Something I’d like to do more often.

It seems as if the guys at airflo have thought of every possible way wind could break the barrier. The pockets are sealed with a watertight zip which only under the submersion of water will lapse.

The built in hood with draw strings is a great addition to the jacket, allowing you total protection from the elements. Or from any nagging fishermen you happen to come across. The front of the hood has enough coverage to completely cover the peak of my hat.

The Fast wicking properties of the jacket allows it to dry 3/4 times quicker than other fabrics such as cotton, making it a gem to be out in a shower with. We all know how quick the conditions can change!

To purchase the jacket it will only set you back ¬£50 – Which for a quality piece of kit, isn’t a lot! You could pay 4/5 times more for a name such as Simms.

Overall, I think the jacket is a great addition to my fishing gear and will allow me to get out in the harshest of conditions when others can’t. I am very please with this jacket and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for a top layer.

Good Wader Guide

Waders are like the holy grail of fishing tackle. Find a good pair and you’re onto a winner!

Getting a decent pair of¬†waders¬†nowadays¬†is pretty easy,¬†irrespective¬†of the price. Most waders are made to a considerable standard, but with the higher end offering a few more ‘luxuries’ as waterproof zips, hand warmer pockets and padded straps. The usual rule fishermen go by is ‘Pay more and they’ll last longer!’… But waders don’t always read the rule book.¬†You can pay upwards of ¬£6OO for a pair Simms that last half or several seasons.

Waders leak for 3 main reasons

Usage – User problems/accidents
Storage problems
Manufacturing problems

Usage
Well, this is an obvious one. Jumping of fences, forcing and¬†shoving¬†your way through brambles, woods and thistles will all puncture the lest and most¬†vulnerable¬†parts of any garment. Standing on the feet or main body of the¬†waders¬†when dressing or tackling up doesn’t do them any favours, sometimes it‚Äôs¬†inevitable ¬†although try and avoid it!

Purchase waders that fit. It’s not always easy to try on a pair of waders before you buy, depending on the proximity of your local fishing tackle shop or dealer. Waders that don’t fit your body can cause all sorts of problems. If their too tight, the material will strain and stretch on the seams when you walk, kneel, climb or sit. The fabric isn’t that tough, it only needs to be stretched a matter of minutes and will already start to part.

Storage

This is a good’un. I speak to a lot of people who’s waders always seem to ‘go’ in the same places, around the ankles where the boot or stocking foot meets the waders, knees or along one of the many seams. Leaving your waders crumpled in the back of your car after a day on the water, tightly rolled up ¬†in a dry storage bag or tidily laying on the floor of your garage can create long thin leaks, usually around your knees, calfs and shins – with waders normally tight around this area anyway, the added pressure inside the waders of water seeping its way through your clothing isn’t very comfortable.

Hanging a pair of boot-foot waders by their braces puts pressure on the seals and joints around the boot, and will also stretch the braces. Putting this amount of pressure on the seams between the boot and wader fabric can cause leaks which are hard to repair.

Manufacture 

Manufacturing problems are normally the first kind of problems seen within a pair of waders. Is the tape on the seams secure? Are the neoprene feet waterproof? Are there any holes? The list goes on, once purchased there’s only one way to test them.

The more the waders are used, wear on the seams and tape become more common. Most of the tapes on seams use a heat reactive adhesive which is heated and the glue then melts and sticks to the surface covering the seams. This should make it water tight. The more the tape flexes and stretches the more prone it becomes to leaks as the flexing over time causes cracks within the tape.

Get the most out of your waders

Keeping your waders stored correctly will help their life. Keeping them hung up correctly, on a clothes hanger or strapped to an over head beam letting them hanging¬†(unless boot-foot)¬†above the ground will give them a chance to dry out and reduce the risk of the material being folded or creased. Using a mat to stand on, on uneven or¬†stony¬†ground will help reduce the risk of puncturing the feet. Be attentive – look where you‚Äôre going; waders don’t like¬†spiky¬†things!

How do I find a leak?

Repairing your waders can sound quite daunting if you have many pin holes from thorns and such. If you have GoreTex waders, a thin layer of alcohol spray on the inside of the waders can reveal with small black dots, where the pinholes are.

Filling a bath with a few inches of water and squeezing from the opening of the waders pushing the air down the legs and submerging the suspected problem area under water can sometimes give away the puncture.

Can they be repaired?

Some repairs can Рrips, tars and pin holes are all pretty straight forward to repair. A tube of Aqua-sure or Storm-sure a waterproof adhesive can be applied to the problem area in thin layers, inside or out. Most waders come with a small puncture repair kit which consists of a small tub of adhesive and a few strips of tape which can be applied over the seams or as a patch on holes.

Cleaning your waders

It’s not¬†necessary to clean waders after each days fishing, but from a personal view keeping your waders neat and tidy can shows you look after your kit. Warm water and a sponge can wash off dried on dirt, mud and fish slime! Washing your waders in Nikwax Techwash at the correct temperature can help re-proof and clean your waders.

To get the best out of your waders, treat your waders with nothing but respect!


The Wye

I managed to get back up the Wye again this weekend with a good mate Sion Lewis. It was his first outing up there and I was hoping that is was going to be a good days fishing for him on the ladies.

We turned up to the river pretty early so just to kill some time, hoping the air temp would warm up and get a few flies in the air I described to Sion my fishing tackle, why what rods and line I use. Sion was most interested in my fly line choice. ¬†I was given a fly line by Kieron Jenkins which had a heavier taper towards the front few feet of the line. He described that the heavier tip would allow me to propel my flies, roll or overhead casting. I¬†really¬†like the fly line for klink and dink fishing, I can use a bigger dry fly and heavier nymphs as the taper of the line carries the extra weight easier at short and long range. Normal fishing line tapers are good for casting light dries and small nymphs but the Airflo Ridge Supple Tactical fly line excels in accuracy. Only recently I’ve got back into using the klink and dink, and im sure the line has helped me alot. Im impressed.

Here's the line - Click the pic to take a look

Anyway – back to the fishing. I wanted to fish the waters just below where me and Paul Jenkins fished first last week high up the Wye valley. I was hoping that it would be a little better than the day we had up there. It was Sion’s first trip on the upper Wye and he was well excited to fish new waters. The weather was looking great but there was a down river wind that was picking up by the hour and making it a little difficult but it didn’t bother us too much really, the thing was the wind was blowing all the leaves in the river and this was worse than anything. At some point you had to wait for a small clearing on the water surface to cast the fly. For the tight condition in amongst the cover and trees, the fishing was more at your feet in most places so I was using the klink and dink on my 8ft 4wt fishing rod. Sion was using a similar outfit also on the klink and dink.

It was quite early when we started fishing and it was very slow without any takes or even seeing fish moving or feeding, I knew from the weekend before it would probably pick up by the afternoon. As we worked our way up river keeping a sharp eye on the water we started to see a little fly life, Stone flies mostly and a few odd olives of some sort. This was just enough to kick off a few fish to rise, finally something to target. I covered one rise and with a quick splash I was into a fine wild brown trout. The colours were just beautiful¬†and I would say it was on the 2 lb mark. Soon as I got him to the net and a quick look he was released without me even¬†laying a hand on him. Sion stepped in where I was and after a few short casts beside a deep pocket on the far bank he was into a fine grayling on the nymph. The cheeky smile said it all, it was a new PB him. result! Nice one butty ūüôā

A few photos of are great day we had below.