Llyn Clywedog, 29/10/2017, New Personal Best! 

Llyn Clywedog, 29/10/2017, New Personal Best! 

Having just qualified to represent England in next years Internationl which will be held at Llyn Clywedog in Wales. Having never fished the reservoir I thought it would be handy to have a trip down and get a feel for the place. Me and my dad made the three hour journey on what was a beautiful autumn Sunday. 

Clywedog is located in mid Wales, surrounded by stunning scenery, the drive over the hills is quite breathtaking really. 

We arrived, purchased our permits and got tackled up and got down to business. I set up with a 12ft leader and fished the washing line method with a fab on the point and two nymphs above. 

For our first drift I took us up to the Christmas trees, after our first drift nothing much was happening and we felt we weren’t in the right place, so we went just round the corner from the lodge, and started a drift near the cages. 

The drouge went out, first cast out and that’s when all hell broke loose. My line went tight and I hooked into what felt like a brick. Then a shake of a head, I knew this was a big fish. 

The trout went airbourn twice and it was then we saw just how big the fish was. Amazingly I managed to keep my cool and not rush playing the fish. It was like pulling in a bin liner. It had taken the fab on the point. With the help of my dad, it was in the net! 

Wow, I’ve never had the pleasure of hooking into a big fish like this, it certainly gets the heart going!! 

It’s so important to let a fish recover in the net after a scrap, so after it recoverd we got a quick snap and let it go, that is one for the memory book! 

When me and my dad go fishing we always have a little competition, i had a 2-1 lead just before we called it a day. He only went and levelled it at 2-2. So it finished all square. Although, I do have the bragging rights for this trip 😉 

Clywedog is a lovely fishery with great staff, I can’t wait to return soon for some more top sport! 

Go Small or Go Home! 

Go Small or Go Home! 

On my most recent outings the river has been literally on its bones. Although, some recent rain will have sent through some much needed fresh water for our fishy friends. 

It’s funny what a little bit of rain can do to the river. A  couple of weeks ago I had fished a section of the river and had a great little season catching some stunning Grayling, notible was the water temperature, it was warm however it didn’t seem to put the fish off feeding as I worked my way through various pools. 
The following week I met up with a friend and we planned to fish the same stretch of river. it had rained near enouh all day, despite this we decided to go on with the session. The first thing I noticed was how cold the water was from the days rain fall. It was evident that this had knocked the fish off as we struggled to get them. Finally, they came but not as many as we were hoping for. 
Since then the weather has settled down again but the lack of rain has meant the river has been running low. It has resulted  in the fish having to move to different holding spots. 

Last week I met with my good friend Lisa Isles, for a very long over due fishing session. We had a cracking couple of hours on a very warm and sunny Saturday afternoon. 

We both set up with the duo in search of some trout and grayling. It wasn’t long untill the first fish came, and a lovely grayling it was to start the session with. 

A few more grayling followed along with some lovely brown trout! The trout I caught took my sedge pattern on the outside seam of a ripple of water, it even went airborne a couple of times! 

During this time of the year, when the water is low, fishing smaller flies can make a huge difference, unless of course you get a greedy trout come along and it can’t resist a pop at  the sedge! the majority of the grayling were caught on a size 20 simple copper bead flash back hares ear. Keeping your flies small and simple can make all the difference to your catch rate! 

I can hardly believe the season is almost finished! It doesn’t seem two minutes since it was March! However I’m looking forward to a couple of fly tying shows that are taking place in a month or so, I’ll be at Fly Fest in Cumbria (1st and 2nd October) tying with Partridge and then at the Uttoxiter show on the 16th of October again with the Partridge  gang! So lots to look forward too! 
I hope to see some of you at the up and coming shows. 

Tight lines and wet nets! 
And remeber, small flies catch big fish! 

New Friends, Fishing, Tea and Cake! What More Could You Ask For! 

Last weekend I spend the day on the River Ure surrounded by picturesque views, in North Yorkshire on a ladies day organised by Brian and Sue Towers and Anne Woodcock. With ladies of all abilities in attendance it was lovely to meet more ladies interested in Fly Fishing! 

Meeting at the farm shop for tea, coffee and a spot of breakfast we all got to know one another and talked fishing!  Off to a great start already! 

Arriving at the river, which was running rather low. We all got geared up for Brian to give his introduction which was brilliant, Showing how to do  casts for both trout fishing and salmon fishing. The trout were actively rising all morning as we were preparing to get on the water and have some casts at these fish. 

It’s true, time flys when you’re having fun! Before we knew it, it was dinner time already and time to tuck into the buffet kindly  prepared and brought down to the river by Sue, accompanied by some gorgeous soup! 

Soon after dinner Brian took me up-stream past some more good looking trout to have a cast at on my way back down.  I jumped in the river further up and slowly got into position to work my spiders through a fast run of water. A few casts later I had a bonnie trout in my net. Followed shortly by another. I tried my look at the uber spooky fish on the slower water however failed to tempt them with the dry fly, next time! 

As we all gathered at the end of the day to talk about the day’s events, everyone seemed to have a great day and the sun even made an appearance! Who says we don’t get sun up north? 

A big thank you to Brian, Sue and Anne for your hard work on the day and also to The brilliant Cliffie boy! 

I hope to see you all on the bank again soon, tight lines. 

Rain… Rain and More Rain! 

For many anglers, the grayling season this year has been very hit and miss.. Or even non-existent! Due to the amount of rain that’s been dumped in our beloved  UK rivers! 

I live in the small town of Sowerby bridge, West Yorkshire, just one of the little towns that was hit with the devastating Boxing Day floods. I’ll never forget seing all the local people coming together to help everyone effected by the floods donating food, drink and cleaning products and working through the night to get their businesses up and running again. Below are some of the pictures from Boxing Day, you can see the cross bar of a football goal post, with the water inches off the top! 


I’m keen to see how the rivers have changed, I imagine that the Boulder that was in the middle of the river on my favourite stretch is no longer there, or maybe it is? Who knows!

I watched the river levels like a hawk until they reached a “normal” level in order to get out and have a fish, I managed an hour one Saturday in January. I set up with a French leader and two weighted hares ear jig nymphs with an added hot spot. Not long after getting back into the swing of things I was into my first fish of the year. I’ve never been so happy to see a grayling in my life. Shortly followed by some hungry out of season trout!

So, with the rivers been blown out when ever I’ve had the opportunity to fish them I’ve been tying lots of flies recently, in preperation for the British Fly Fair Internationl that has just passed where I tied on the Partridge Of Redditch stand along side Matthew Pate! It was a great weekend all round and I’m already looking forward to tying at more shows! Thanks again to Mark Hamnett and the Partridge team for the opportunity and looking after me! 

My attention now focuses on the coming trout season and filling my box with juicy flies to tempt them with! Along with fishing new rivers and meeting fellow anglers and meeting new ones

Tight lines! 

Step by Step – How To Tie A CDC & Elk hair Caddis 

Towards the end of the trout season this fly Has been my number one choice of fly. It’s a simple fly to tie and I like to fish it as a duo, usually with a natural looking, small beaded nymph swimming underneath it. 

The steps below will show you how I like to tie the sedge. 

Hook – Partridge standard dry #14 

Thread – 6/0 or 8/0 uni brown / black. 

Body – hares ear dubbed. 

Wing 1 – 1 CDC feather. 

Wing 2 – Elk hair. 

Step 1 – place the hook in your vice and start your thread off at the eye of the hook, winding down the the bend of the hook. 


Step 2 – make a dubbing rope with your hears ear and wind back up the hook creating a tapered body. Leaving space at the eye for the CDC and elk hair. 



Step 3 – select a CDC feather to tie in for your first wing. a note when tying the CDC in is I like to tie it in so its just a little bit longer than the body.  

Step 4 – trim away the waste end of the CDC and grab your elk hair! Select a bunch of elk hair, when you’ve cut it off the tips need to be stacked to make them line up. All you need to do is place them in a hair stacker tips first, and tap it on your tying bench a few times. Take the hair out of the stacker and place them on top of the CDC.  


Step 5 – tie in the elk hair the same length as the CDC. A couple of loose turns then tighten up with the thread. 

 Step 6 – trim off the waste pieces of elk hair, cutting them of at an angle. getting as close as you can to the hook to make it less bulky. Making sure you keep the eye of the hook clear. 

Step 7 – finishing the fly by tidying up with  a bit of  hares ear to create a head then whip finish. 

And that’s how I tie the CDC Elk Hair Caddis! When fishing this I tend to use some gink on the elk hair just to keep the buoyancy of the fly. I hope you have found this step by step helpful! 

I’ll be at Fly Only next weekend (7th November) for their fly tying day tying patterns I use whilst fishing on my local river, be sure to pop in and say hello of you’re passing! 

Out With The trout, In With The Grayling! 

Out With The trout, In With The Grayling! 

Now the trout season has come to an end, many of us will be spending the up and coming winter months with days chasing Grayling and those dull, dark evenings at our tying desks filling the box in anticipation of March to come.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been on the river I’ve caught some lovely grayling, coming to both nymphs and dries. It’s been an odd year this year, the fishing I have done has been different to last year, I’ve found ive caught more grayling than trout on my days out some days not even netting a trout! It seems grayling are taking over the Calder!


I don’t know where this year has disappeared too but it only seems two minutes since that first day of the trout season was upon us. My most memorable day of this season was catching my PB brownie out of the Calder early on in the season. being on my own i remember thinking to my self, i have to get this fish! Guiding my rod in and around the over hanging trees, keeping the fish away from any snags in the river. Having netted the fish I remember looking in my net like a child does when they’ve been trick or treating, a huge smile on my face!

My top three flies this season have been the olive jig, quilled nymphs and sedge patterns, which you will be able to see in my new “Fly tying section”

the next couple of weeks will be exciting ones I’m sure, tying flies for a weeks fishing in Poland towards the end of this month, i hope you have all had a brilliant end to your trout season!

just a short one today, ill look forward to bringing you some fintastic tails from my adventures in Poland!
tight lines !

What’s Been Going On? 

I’ve not written on here for a while! But here I am, I’m back! It’s been a busy last couple of months. At the beginning of June I was away at Grafham Water with the England ladies competing in this years international. As it was my first international, I didn’t know what to expect but as the week progressed I was learning new things and meeting new people, who share the same passion for fly fishing as me! It was a great week and lots of memories were made! We came third in the competition, Scotland 1st, Wales 2nd and Ireland 4th.
Since then I’ve had a some great evenings on the river, my most successful method has been the same as last year, the duo. It’s my favourite method for river fishing, watching for that dry to pop under the surface and striking into a fish. My Duo set up is a CDC sedge and a beaded nymph, I use  a 3.5lb tapered leader with about 2 ft of extra tippet attatched below. I’ve also been getting some good sport using other various dry fly patterns such as parachute flies and spinners. 
Along with the typical Calder trout, there is also an abundance of grayling coming through the system, with the Calder being an urban river there is always the high chance of pollution, as like any other urban river. Worrying indeed, but to see the river producing new fish each season is great to say it wasn’t that long ago that it suffered a big setback. 


Along with some river fishing I’ve had a couple of days out the reservoirs, with a day at Ladybower in Derbyshire, and my most recent trip to Eyebrook in Leicestershire, where the fishing was tough to say the least, but enjoyable, isn’t that what fishing is all about?

I’m looking forward to the next few weeks, a day at the CLA game fair and some fishing at Bewl water in Kent, at the end of August I’ll be back at Eyebrook for the ladies national qualifier! 

Tight Lines!