Monthly Roundup

Monthly Roundup


            Hello once again my friends and how quickly another month has passed. Hopefully when you read this  the weather will have improved, and Spring may have sprung. As I write it is the 3rd March and the birds seem to think that Spring is around the corner as my back garden is awash with song and my friendly robins and pied wagtails are feeding ravenously and appear to be working in shifts taking a beak full of food and flying off and then returning or their mate is for another helping.


             As an aside from last month I had to discard 1460 flies that were not on manufactured barbless hooks for my river competitions.


            As you are no doubt aware February was the wettest on record and it was hard to find a day when it was dry enough to enjoy a day’s fishing. The wind chill was not too bad on some days but still pretty windy and combined with rain there were few days that could be called pleasurable. However I did manage a couple of trips out teaching in February with some very affable clients who I believe learnt as well as enjoying the experience I was able to give them in fly fishing.


            My first client came from Hackney but had his roots in the countryside and was no stranger to the rural ways although trout fishing with a fly was a new experience for him. The day was still chill and there was a brisk wind blowing across Chigboro trout lakes and so after several hours of theory and explanations of how wind action and waves create thermals in the water and how in turn this effects the insect life and feeding habits of the fish and then a couple of hours casting on the grass we went to the water to actually fish.


            Given the conditions and lack of any insects being present I opted to rig him up with a white lure to imitate a small fish fry on the point of the cast with a small gold ribbed hares ear (GRHE) on the only dropper to imitate a sub-aquatic bug. The bites were not fast and furious, but he did catch a couple and lost a few on a day when no one was doing very well. I am not a lover of lures as it is very much a case of casting out and retrieving with slight nuances of speed and length of pull with the intention of aggravating a trout to seize at the fly/lure. The main thing for me was that he enjoyed his day and caught fish.


            Later in the month I fished with a great character – Stan - who is a reader of my articles and although he had some experience wanted to learn more and get rid of some bad habits he had acquired from being taught be friends and practicing methods that did not test his skills or knowledge. We began by looking at the 3D cross section I use to explain how most lakes and lake-beds are made up. What insects may be found coming off the trees or grass – terrestrials and the flies that imitate them Then looking at how wave action can pull worms and insects from the shoreline. Then where the sub-aquatic insects are likely to be found in the detritus and mud, beneath weeds and rocks, climbing up reeds and structures. And how there are drop-off points where food collects.


            We went on to ensure he knew how to tie the knots to secure the flies which he demonstrated but he did not know about droppers or how to tie them. Droppers are methods of attaching one, two or even three additional flies to a cast. As he quickly mastered these we went through the three main materials that tippets/leaders are made from and then treatments that can be added to help float or sink them.


            After some instruction and casting practise on the grass we walked to Rook Lake. I had seen a number of insects buzzing about – little gnats mainly but the weather was dry and the temperature was better than it had been and the wind was not as strong as it had been.


            Having seen the gnats, I think I started him out using a single CDC (Cul de Cunard) buzzer to imitate a cyprinoid trying to hatch in the surface tension. It proved very successful and we were rewarded with interest from fish quite quickly and he soon had a lively fish coming to the net. As always when using a CDC and catching a fish it usually means having to replace it with a fresh fly and we had several more takes and I think another fish.


            I was keen to show him another method – this time straight line buzzers using 3 artificial buzzers with the heaviest a size 12 on the point followed by a lighter size 12 on the middle dropper and a small size 14 on the top dropper which caught on the first cast. I think we had several more takes and fish all coming to the top dropper.


            The last method of buzzer fishing was to use the washing line method which uses what should be a sacrificial “booby” on the point followed by two buzzers on droppers up the line towards the floating fly line thus ensuring that the buzzers were always withing the first 18 inches of the surface and again it proved very successful. All the more satisfying when other anglers were not catching much that afternoon.


            Stan said he had a really rewarding day that he enjoyed and I too felt it was a good day too and look forward to meeting up with him again when we can perfect the buzzer tactics and look at other methods.


            One interesting bit of birdlife was a falcon of some sort that stayed very close to the hut coming down at regular intervals to the grass before flying up to some low branches and repeating the process. I wondered if it was an escaped tame bird but saw no jessies.


            If you too would like to improve your fly fishing skills, take up the gentle art or perhaps looking for a special present for someone then why not have a look at my website at and from there drop me an e-mail or give me a ring and we can look at my availability especially now that the weather “should” be getting drier, warmer and less windy. Take care, tight lines everyone from Iain.