Saturday, 29 September 2012

When you can't fish...

So when you can't get out to fish, what else can you do?

and so started my attempts at fly tying.....

I bought a starter pack of material for about 15 quid, and picked up some extra bits and bobs off ebay. The prime reason for me wanting to tie flys is that getting decent flies on barbless hooks without costing more than I'm willing to cast is difficult! The hooks used are hanak and knapek barbless.

So i started, following a few patterns of the internet and making a few up as I went along.

Treacle parkin? (sort of)

Beadhead pheasant tail nymph


Not sure, but is a dry fly!

Beetle with fluo pink sight post
 So, a few of my attempts so far. I'm hoping when work and family life settle down a bit I'll get out and try to see if I can tempt some grayling with some of my creations...

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Home waters

A brief after-work visit to one of Sheffield's many small streams provided a good hour of tight quarters entertaining fly fishing.

It's been a while since I fished and I enjoyed being back on the water. I was within 50 yes of two busy roads, but I could have been miles away- the thick vegetation almost completely screened the river from the surroundings.

The fishing was spooky, with the low river making for scared trout!

However, taking time and being careful about presentation rewarded me with a few small trout. I took one on a klinkhammer, and the others on a nymph swung though the deeper pools.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

It's been a while....

So, since I last posted life has changed - the birth of my daughter in september has changed domestic priorities significantly!
However, I have managed to get out fishing a few times, though not as often as previous years.

A family holiday in the Yorkshire dales provided a decent week of snatched hours here and there with the fly rod. We were staying just outside Hawes, within walking distance of the river Ure. For about 35 quid, you can purchase a weeks permit to fish the Hawes and High Abbotside fishing associations waters.

Despite heavy rains in the preceding days, the rivers were fishable. I spent an hour or so on a couple of mornings, and a couple of afternoons fishing. The fishing was great, with plenty to go at. Below is a selection of photos from the week.

Great fishing in a great location. Definitely worth another trip back. The area is beautiful, with plenty to do and to keep the family amused.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Probably my favourite stretch of the Don..

A video taken during a couple of hours fishing with my brother. Hot weather, but lots of fish!

I have yet to explore the upper don, but understand that some/all of it above oughtibridge is private fishing. Wouldn't mind trying the very headwaters - not sure if they are private or not but will ask around.
If anyone does know the upper limits of the UDFF waters please email me!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

T'other side..

A trip across the Peak yesterday to fish some of the "Peak Passport" scheme waters - specifically, the River Hamps at Redmorlee. This was unfamiliar territory, requiring tomtom to get me there, but we found the correct layby, tackled up and set off.

Walking down the beat to start at the bottom end we saw a couple of rises and a couple of likely looking pools, but the river was low and slow with a thick coating of a green slimy weed  on the bottom. I know there river here also contains the american signal crayfish, so I was keeping my eyes peeled to spot a foreign invader.

The weather was scorching, and I soon regretted leaving the sunscreen in the car. However, onto the fishing....

Tough doesn't start to cover it! There were plenty of 1-2 inch fry keen to have a go at my dry fly, but nothing of any size spotted for the first hour. Nothing rising, nothing moving, nothing. I was starting to doubt there were any fish in the river when a reasonable trout shot past me - disturbed by my wading. This lifted the spirits, a little anyway!

It was only when I found a deep dark corner where the river flowed under a boulder and observed a trout darting out and snatching bugs from the foam line that passed near it that I began to regain some enthusiasm.
A tricky "bow and arrow" cast under a hawthorn with a black foam beetle landed me my first river Hamps trout - an 8 inch specimen.

The river here desperately needed some more water, so after fishing up to the upper limit, we called it a day and headed back across the Peak, stopping at Bakewell on the way for a chat with Peter.

The video is worth watching right until the end..... after all, I'm trying to capture the true essence of small stream trouting ;-)

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Ok, ok - I'll get back to plain pictures and descriptions soon, but here is yet another video attemp after yesterday mornings session on the Middlewood road section of the Don. This is one of my favourite runs, from the bridge to the pool, having had some of my best Don trout from here.

It's an interesting and varied section, with deep stretches, shallow bits, pools and plenty of spots to cast to.

Why Angles? Well, after using the camera solely as a "point of view" camera previously, I thought I'd try some static shots with a mini tripod - I think it probably works better, but will keep on experimenting.

Speilberg I'm not, but it keeps me occupied and gives you a flavour of what the Don has to offer.

Monday, 15 August 2011

More playing with technology..

Another session out fishing with Matt on the Don, him wth his new Greys set up, and me playing with the video camera again.

This was the first section from clubmill road, up to the weir. We has a pleasant couple of hours, each catching a few fish (not all on camera).

Will try and get out in the week to do some more filming....

Sunday, 14 August 2011


A couple of days ago, after consulting a map, I decided to explore the upper urban reaches of the Sheaf. This is the little stream that runs from the moors to the west of Sheffield down through Totley, Millhouses, Heeley and finally into the Don. Taking a handful of flies and my 7ft brook rod, we started exploring. We came across a small weir pool stuffed with trout, but after a couple of casts they were all spooked.

We followed the trickle upstream, finding a couple more likely looking pools. Despite seeing fish, these are super wary so a stealthy approach is needed.

The trickle appeared to be running out- it had been a dry couple of weeks with little rain.

We carried on, soon crossing an aqueduct over the railway.

Up from here appeared to be tiny headwaters, but with occasional worthwhile pools to fish. Tight on time, we headed back home, leaving more to discover for next time.....

- Posted from my iPhone

Location:Sheffield, UK

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Experimenting with new toys....

Posted below are a couple of videos - a new toy I've been experimenting with, the GoPro HD video recorder. It has a completely waterproof case, and is really sturdy - used by a lot of extreme sports types, mountain bikers, surfers etc etc.... and now fishermen!

These are just my first efforts, so apologies for the roughness, but I think it gives a reasonable impression of the fishing.

The first, from today...(Only remembered to turn camera on once I'd hooked the fish)

And here's the second one, shot a couple of days ago

( first fish caught at about 3:10 if you get bored....)

I'm still finding the best way of mounting the camera and using it, but I do like the underwater abilities already.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Cornwall again...

After a week in Wales, it was straight down to Cornwall for week 2 of our 2 week UK holiday. Staying with my dad only a few minutes walk from a lovely little trout filled stream, I made sure my fly kit was packed, along with some micro dry flies.

My usual routine is to get up early-ish (I am on holiday after all) and wander down to the stream. The first day I fished it I scared plenty of trout, and missed two takes on a Klinkhammer.
The second day I fished a little further downstream, where there are a few more slower glides and pools, still pretty tight and the fish:flora catch rate is still very much in favour of the trees!
Below are a selection of photos of the river and the fish...

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Welsh Hills...

Off on my holidays again, not a fishing holiday but a holiday with the family (and the fishing gear may have been in the boot...)!

We were staying near Conwy in North Wales, and after a bit of researching, I found some affordable fishing nearby. £7.50 bought me a day ticket on Dolgarrog fishing clubs waters - specifically, some high up lakes in the back of the carneddau range of hills. My first target was Llyn Eigiau, 30 mins walk from the roadhead. I headed up there at 8am, after picking up my permit. The wind was battering me as I got out of the car, making me consider if it was even worth bothering to walk to the lake. However, I put my gear on and headed on up.

On arriving at the lake, the wind was gusting and I tackled up with a fast glass 40+airflo line on my 9ft 5wt rod. Its the biggest/heaviest rod I have, so would have to do! Even before casting, the wond was putting a decent bend in my rod - this did not bode well!

I started fishing near a weed bed, using a cats whisker as a single fly on a 12ft leader. The chap that sold me the ticket said that the trout here feed mainly on small fry, and this was as close to a "fry" like fly I had. After 20 mins of "casting" in some pretty strong winds, I had a take, but failed to land it. After a further 20 mins, I again connected to a fish and after a scrappy fight, I landed a nice brownie, about a pound or so.

I moved further up the lake, and after another hour or so, had another take, and landed another brownie, a little smaller than the first. This one was keen to get back into the water, and was a little camera shy!

After a couple of hours fishing, I was thoroughly cold (May the 31st in wales, and wearing a wooly hat!) and decided to head back to civilisation, and the family.
With activities planned for the afternoon, I would have to wait till the evening to get out again....

So in the evening I went out to Llyn Coedty, another of Dolgarrog's Club waters. This is an isolated reservoir, slightly lower than Llyn Eigiau, and in a beautiful setting.
I initially started fishing with the same set up as earlier, but got nothing. I fished up close to the dam wall, near the outlet and into the shallows. Nothing was moving, no sign of life. I then moved further up the shores of the reservoir, and found a handy rock to perch on and sort my gear out.

Suddenly, the ferocious wind dropped, and a hatch started, with fly life coming off the lake all over. The surface of the lake then came to life, with lots of splashy rises all over.
Click on the picture to see the rise forms on the lake

I changed set up from a sinking line to a floating line, and tried a variety of flys - F-flys, sedges, klinks, and a few others, all to no avail! Beaten, and with nightfall approaching, I headed back to the car and home to the cottage...

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Salmon Pastures

A quick trip out to suss out the fishing further down the Don. Parking near one of the entrances to the five weirs walk, I wandered down to check out the river and have a quick cast.

Just through the entrance is this wood carving of a salmon, once prolific here. Whilst there were fish rising, and I had a number of takes, I failed to land anything! I think I was rushed, knowing I only had limited time here today so I wasn't fishing well.
However, there is certainly potential here for some more trips- I'll keep you posted!

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, 18 April 2011

Home Waters...

A pre-night shift fishing session beckoned, and I fancied fishing a little closer to home, rather than driving across town to the Don. Within half a mile of my house is the Sheaf, which is home to many small brown trout. Millhouses park was busy, with school holidays and kids everywhere enjoying the park, so I wandered to my hidden gem of a stretch - the ultimate in small stream technical trouting!
Prepare to do battle with the undergrowth - my flies spent more time in the trees that the water.
I started near the bottom of the "tescos" beat, and worked my way upstream.

I started on a duo setup, fishing a small goldhead PTN underneath a Para-Adams. This accounted for my first trout, a tiny specimen taken in about 6 inches of water!

Not even a handful!
I then fished up to the first pool, which there were fish rising in.
If you enlarge the above photo by clicking on it, then clicking on it again, you'll see a rise just right of centre.
Still using a duo rig, I had a few casts. I had a take on the para-Adams, but didn't connect to the fish. A bit more inexpert casting and the fish were not playing any more. These small stream trout are super wary - every cast has to count. I changed to a F-fly, but by now the fish were hidden away.

I moved on, and fished up to the next big pool (with the "interesting" mud feature).
The big pool, covered with falling blossom

There was nothing at all rising here, so a few tentative cast covering likely lies with a klinkhammer with a hares ear nymph underneath produced very little, until I fished the inflow of the pool. Here I had a trout dart up from the bottom, and have a go at the klinkhammer - however, it was gone before I even had chance to strike.

Next section is the walled river which is tight and shallow - I had not previously fished this, having been drawn to the pools before. I used a Klink and hares ear nymph, casting to rises that were happening in every little glide and run.
Looking back down the walled section

I was soon into another fish, again taking the nymph.

I fished on a little further, enjoying the challenge of tight technical casting to super wary fish. Waders are pretty much essential here, but mainly to protect your knees when kneeling to keep a low profile, and get low to the water to side-cast effectively.

A couple of hours spent on a sunny morning, fishing for wild brown trout for free half a mile from my doorstep - can't complain about that!

Casting round trees - an essential skill!

Before leaving I had a look at the next section of stream, which I haven't yet fished. There looks to be a couple of likely looking runs.......

On another note, I must try and organise a day on the Wye - I have not yet fished the Wye, and keep meaning to book a day on the Peacock stretch. It's only 20 minutes drive away so I really should make the effort!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Bailey bridge up to Norfolk bridge Weir

A warm and overcast day today, so reasonable conditions for a spot of fishing. I went down to Attercliffe again, parking on Effingham street and crossing the bailey bridge to access the river.

The river here is slow and wide, with lots of weed on the bottom. I quickly moved further upstream, and fished the faster waters down from the weir.

I was soon into some lively brown trout, all taking a gold head hares ear nymph below a klinkhammer - my standard duo type setup.

I worked on up to the weir, having 3 takes on dry flies right under the wall beneath the weir - 2 on a klinkhammer, and I then changed to a sedge, which also produced a rise. I failed to land any of these fish - probably still in winter nymphing mode rather than summer dry fly mode!

After a pleasant couple of hours, I headed back home - another urban fly fishing destination to add to the list!

The glide along the wall that produced some rises to dry flies

Looking upstream from the weir.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Trout season is now well upon us - a quick visit to the Don after work with some tricky fishing put me into 2 trout today.

I fished an area I had not fished before, nearer the middle of town than previously. I had scoped it out a couple of days ago, when the pictures below were taken - lovely and warm, and not too breezy. That was not the case today however! A strong gusty wind was blowing downriver, making upstream casting very difficult.

I had on my usual set up of a copper john beneath a klinkhammer, and after a few missed takes I was surprised when a reasonable sized trout (for the Don!) shot up and took the Klinkhammer. That certainly woke me up, as did the next minute or two of good fight in a strong current.

After that, I had a smaller trout on the copper john, before heading home before the rush hour traffic got too bad.

Don't know the fisherman in the pictures below - he seemed to be having a nice afternoon!