Thursday, May 11, 2017


I have managed to resist the temptation of cane for a long time. Frankly it is all a bit too JR Hartley for me and I guess, in my heart of hearts, that I would never be entirely happy with a pre-fab rod. Building up a cane blank does not really appeal to me, I have had enough dramas coating only wraps, the thought of varnishing an entire blank fills me with dread.
However I do appreciate that for the bashing about on small streams that I enjoy cane is a first rate material; the blank will load under its own weight with the result that it is possible to fish with very little, if any, flyline outside of the tip ring and in use should be more relaxed and forgiving to fish than carbon.
That’s that for cane then. But then I started to hear whispers about fiberglass and checked out was intrigued. Many of the benefits of bamboo without having to assume the mantel of a tweed wearing duffer. Then one of the guys over at decided to arrange a bulk purchase of Steffen blanks from the USA. Before too long I was the owner of a 7’6” 3 / 4 weight blank. She has now been fitted out and fished…

And here was the brown trout that I was able to christen the rod with, my first fish of 2017...

Which came from here...

Was the rod slower than I was used to – yes. I fished the rod with a 3 weight line and really had to relax myself into the rhythm of casting. No bad thing really. Was it more forgiving – certainly with a fish on, it really was possible to feel the rod absorbing the lunges and runs of the fish. On the strike I am not so sure, I got the impression that I am going to have to be really positive in setting the hook. Did I enjoy it – absolutely!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

This is Epic

If you fancy the idea of building your own but find yourself a little daunted head on over to these guys...

And register to download the fly rod build book...

Epic stuff

Monday, May 9, 2016

First of the year

It is a little bit chastening coming in here. Months since my last post and five weeks into the trout season and I have not even strung up a rod. What is going on? 

Well of course the answer is apparently simple but actually really quite complex. Life happens. Fishing is a passion of mine, it is not an obsession. I draw a huge amount of pleasure and satisfaction from the time that I spend fishing but that applies to other activities that I do. And these are the nice things that have to be fitted around all of the other more important facets of my life – work, domestic and family commitments. I appreciate that all of us have these various commitments, I just wish I had more time. 

But I am hoping to be able to fish a little more this year. I have just finished wrapping this rod and tied up a couple of flies. Mayfly is just around the corner. Let’s get going…..

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Where would you want to live?

If I were a trout I am pretty sure that I would not really want to live here.....

However I think that I could make a stab at surviving here, I would of course have to evade the Egret you may be able to see.....

So the obvious question is what is the difference between the water visible in these two pictures? The sad thing is that they are both the same river and both of the pictures were taken from the same bridge. The fundamental difference is that the upstream reach is an unfenced field, allowing unfettered access by all and sundry, and the downstream stretch is fenced.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Before and After

Fairly straightforward and as referred to in the previous post...

Hook - Size 10 longshank
Tail - Pheasant tail fibres
Body - Pheasant tail fibres
Rib - Fine copper wire
Wing - Deer hair
Hackle - Natural game



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Frustration and Success

A couple of recent trips to the Wey were, on reflection, a perfect distillation of what continues to delight, frustrate, fascinate and intrigue me when it comes to hunting our spotted friends with our confections of fur and feather. 

The first trip started off with a lively fish extracted from a tricky seam and I thought the portents were promising for a lively evening of sport. How wrong I was I managed to raise interest from all the likely spots but I pricked fish after fish. I just could not connect with anything, from the smallest sips all the way through to porpoise rolls through the fly. In terms of fly selection I had hedged my bets and was fishing a CDC & Elk flush in the surface. 

Tricky seam

The second trip was the polar opposite of the first. The Mayfly emergence was in full flow and the fish were locked on to the emerging duns. The emergence resulted in a flotilla of emerging duns on the river and it was possible to track individuals. The ‘will it, won’t it’ as the dun bobs along the river is the height of suspense. I was fishing with a pattern tied with a pheasant tail body and tail with a deer hair wing and a red game hackle. Very loosely based on a conversation that I had with Philip White many years ago. Initially I had interest in the fly but no success. I was beginning to fear that I was repeating my form from the previous visit. But once one fish was caught others followed and I had a memorable session fishing only for actively feeding fish that were individually targeted. The fish were interested only in the emerging fly and my pattern fooled a more than a few. The highlight of the session being this bruiser that was caught from under a bridge. 

Troll trout

The stream really is in fine fettle at the moment. Plan for this week is to visit the Avon to see if I can catch the spinner fall.