Where have I been?

The last 12 months or so have been so busy! Flying the nest, trying to find time to go fishing, moving back home, blah blah blah… Unfortunately my blog has taken a back seat but rest assured I’ll be looking to get back into the swing of bringing you guys some content!

So for those of you who have been wondering what’s been happening while I’ve not been updating my blog.. I have managed to get some decent fishing in the past year, you’ll be glad to hear! Mostly on my local river, the Calder, which one trip saw me catch my biggest river trout to date!

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Grayling On The Dries! 

On Wednesday evening after work I ventured out for a fish to my local river, The Calder. It’s been a funny old season for me and I’ll be honest I’ve found trout hard to come by when I’ve been fishing. I know they are there because I’ve seen them! Grayling on the other hand.. now I love grayling, I do. However when all I want is to catch some trout they just can’t help them selves to my flies.

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Back With A Bang!

It’s been some time since I’m my last post, too long infact! I haven’t been able to do as much river fishing as I would of liked too due to work/weather and what not. I had a day at Raygill with my dad not so long ago but failed to to catch anything on a tough day. 

Today marked my come back on my local river, since I’d said I would be fishing today I’ve been praying to the fishing gods to keep the weather at bay so I could get out and wet a line. 

I woke up and immediately jumped up out of bed, gathered my fishing gear and jumped in my car to the river! That’s right, my car! Now I can drive I have a new lease of life which allows me to travel about at my own will, maybe to a river near you?!

Upon my arrival, there was definitely a spring feeling in the air, rather than the chilly wind we have been getting of recent weeks. Not being too foolish I still layerd up, it’s a good job I did as that water was freezing!! 

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I stood in the chilly water, a gentlemen from the local club had said it was carrying colour the day before and he and his friend had blanked, however when I was wading my way up through a pool i didn’t think it was anymore coloured than it usually is. I find that the Calder always has a tint of a copper colour running through it at the best of times. 

Anyway, onto the fishing! Today’s set up was my 10ft 4wt greys streamflex companied with a French leader fished with two of my favourite nymphs, two jigs, on the point a silver hares ear and on the dropper an olive jig with a copper bead and orange tag. 

It took me a couple of casts to get back into the swing of things, as I was wading up the pool I was fishing, my line tightened and I was into a good fish. At first I wasn’t even sure It was a fish as there wasn’t much of a fight, until it woke up! It wasn’t one for showing it’s face and was sticking hard on the bottom of the river. At this point, having not caught a fish since September, I should imagine I had a massive grin on my face, I soon had it in my net admiring the beautiful colours you get on these stunning fish.

One more fish followed from the same pool, another beautifully marked grayling. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of catching these fish. 

One of the many joys I get out of fishing is that even if I only get an hours fishing in, I’m happy. Today was one of them days as I couldn’t feel my toes and had a dog to tend too at home and other jobs to do…  like cleaning my car.. I had to step out of the river. I left happy and content and that’s all that matters! 

Next week I’ll be at the British Fly Fair International. Held at Staffordshire county show ground, I’ll be there on the Sunday tying my river flies on the Deer Creek stand. I hope to see lots of you there to catch up and share fishing stories.  
Tight lines! 


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! 

It’s Good To Be Back! 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, but I’m back again! 

I can’t say I’ve done a huge amount of fishing  this year so far due to one thing or another or the weather putting plans on hold.  And after just getting back from a lovely two week holiday I was very eager to get out on the river and catch some fish! 

The first day back at work is always a killer so come 4pm when I left I got home and got my gear together and took a stroll down to the river. I’m incredibly lucky to live so close to the river which gives great sport. 

Upon my arrival I was unaware what the weather had been like in England for the last couple of weeks and could see the river was carrying a slight colour. I observed the stretch and with nothing happening on the surface I opted for some nymphs. Two of my favourites for the Calder, a very natural quilled silver beaded #18 and a simple yet very effective  size #18 olive jig.

One noticeable change to the particular stretch I was fishing was that in a matter of weeks the usual path I would take to the river has now been entangled in weeds and over hanging trees! 

Finally I was in the river and ready to fish. I’d almost forgotten what it felt like to play a fish but before long my rod was arched over and I had the first of the session in my net.  

Shortly after this trout I was watching my indicator tottle along waiting in anticipation for any sudden stop. When it did the fish on the end was not happy, it was hard on the bottom and made a run downstream, getting the fish under control I got it’s head up and I saw the ever so recocnisable dorsal fin of a fine looking grayling and slid it over the rim of my net.  

A quick snap and returned safely. 


Followed by some more grayling and 1 trout to takes dried up as the fish were now focused on feeding on the hatching flies coming off the river. Time to change,  now. Before I go into this I can’t be the only person who has done it? Surly. 

So I go to my bag, look for my dry fly box, it’s not in the pocket that it’s usually in. I then had the heart stopping feeling it had fallen out and was on its way to the ocean. Only to remeber, moments before setting off to the river I had quickly tied a fly, placed it in my box and left the fly box on my fly tying desk. No evening rise for me 😦  lesson learned, I’ll always check I have both my fly boxes before I leave the house! 
Above is the fly that was most succesfull, a natural quill silver beaded nymph. 

Hook – Partridge Of Redditch standard dry #14/16&18 

I also use the Partridge Of Redditch Fine Dry hook for this pattern in a size 18. 

Thread – 14/0 tan/brown 

Tail – Coq De Leon 

Body – Polish quills, natural 

Thorax – spiky rabbit fur

Bead – silver to suit the hook size. 

Finished off with a dab of  Deer Creek UV resin
I hope you enjoyed guys! 
Tight lines 🙂 

Trouting About 

It’s been a slow start to my trout season this year. My local river just about recovered  from the floods over the winter,  but over the past couple of weeks I’ve managed to get out and tempt a few trout which have been in tip top condition! 

My first couple of outings saw very little fly life coming off the water but now the weather has warmed up that little bit (for now)  there’s been some flurries of hatches however not substantial enough to get the trout feeding on the top of the water. 

The river was carrying some colour from some recent rain on a recent trip so I opted for the French leader and two nymphs with some flash in them. On the point I had my favourite river nymph,  the olive jig (3.0) with orange tag and above that I had a lighter 2.5 PTN jig with a hint of shimmer dubbed in with the thorax.

It wasn’t long before I had my first brownie of the 2016 season in the net. Nothing too big but still a beautiful wild brown trout! This one took my olive jig! 

Things really seem to be getting back to “normal” and on my most recent trip I caught a lovely resident trout. As we all know trout love bubbly water, I worked my nymphs keeping in contact with them as the swam down the outside seam of the pool watching my indicator like a hawk, it stopped, I lifted my rod and was into a good fish. It took me all over the pool I was fishing but was soon in my net. 

I’m looking forward to exploring new water this season and also getting some boat fishing in on the reservoirs, I hope to see some of you out on the water soon! 

Tight lines! 

Favourite Flies For Early Season! 

Well, it’s been a very long winter, many of you will have spent countless hours at your vices filling up your fly boxes. Waiting in anticipation for the rivers to open their doors for some trout fishing! The wait is over! Happy Trout Season! 

I have a few favourite flies I like to use to temp trout in the early weeks of the season. I often walk the banks with my springer spaniel, Holly, and look for new spots on the river. If you read my last post. My local river, the Calder, was hit badly by the Boxing Day floods so looking for new spots has been made difficult at times and I’m eager to find out what’s in store for the season ahead! 

Below you’ll find a few flies I like to tempt the trout with early season!
Hares Ear Jig – 

Hook – Partridge Of Redditch SUJ JIG #16

Thread – UNI thread, Fire Orange 8/0 

Tag – glo Brite Orange 

Tail – CDC strands 

Rib – fine silver wire 

Body – hares ear 

Thorax -hares ear 

Bead – silver 3.0
F Fly 

Hook – Partridge of Redditch fine dry #16 

Body – Super Fine dubbing/olive 

Wing – 2 CDC feathers


Olive Jig (my favourite!) 

Hook – partridge of Redditch jig #18 

Thread – olive 8/0 

Tail – Coq de Leon 

Tag – glo Brite Orange 

Body – either Transbrite or Olive Dubbing

Thorax – hares ear (the really spiky bits!) 

Bead – 3.0 silver or copper 
I hope you all have a brilliant season with lots of memories made on the way! 
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! 

Birthday fishing! 

After a weekend of birthday celebrations, on Sunday I took to the river in hunt of a birthday fish! 

Making the short walk down the hill to the river I walked a little further up then normal taking a route I can only describe as walking through a jungle. Weaving in and out of the way of hanging branches I was finally bank side of the river, fish were rising happily to hatching flies.

After reaching some faster water I set up using my normal method, the duo. I ginked up the sedge and got down the the business. 

The run of water I am fishing has a mixture of low and high hanging trees so not only do you have to be careful where you cast but also if you hook a fish you might have to guide your rod around the over hanging features. 

Having no luck with the duo i switched to fishing two of my favourite olive jigs, which have been successfull for me so far this season. I fished them on a long leader under an indicator, casting them upstream watching the indicator for any sudden stop. Fishing this method saw me catch the first of the evening. A beautifully marked spotty brownie!  

Over all i had a good little session. I hope you all have your line pulled if your out on the water this week! 

Tight lines!  

Fishing on The River Calder 

I’ve been out a few times this past couple of weeks and had some great sport on the river.

A couple of weeks ago I did my first fly tying demo at Fly Only  in Huddersfield were I was tying some olive jigs which were successfull for me last season. Alex Jardine suggested I add an orange tag on the end, they looked even more appetising (if you’re a trout that is) 



 On Monday evening after work I made the short trip down the road to my favourite “spot” Im still getting use to using a differnt rod on the river, a Greys 10ft 4wt XF2 streamflex, but after a few times out I love it! 

I set up with two of the above flies on a long french leader. Casting up stream and tracking the flies back down the river watching the indicator for any sudden stop. When the indicator stops its either the bottom or a fish! 

  This bonny little trout was a fool for the olive jig!


I had a decent couple of hours before the rain settled in, next weekend I’m fishing the River Tees with Anne Woodcock be sure to pop back and see how we got on! 



Olive Jig Fly 

Hook – Partridge  Jig size 18

Bead – 3.0 slotted tungsten 

Tail – Coq De Leon 

Tag – Glo Brite no.4 

Body – funky fly tying trans Brite in olive 

Thorax – hares ear (make sure you get the spiky bits!) 

Tight lines!