Gift Vouchers

Gift vouchers available for all tuition, from only £25.00 See here for more details

Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Hi All
Just time to wish all my clients past, present and future a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

It's been an absolute pleasure meeting you all and working with you.
I hope to see you all again soon - drop in at Curley's and have a look around the new shop, not quite fully stocked yet but will be early in the New Year!

A mate of mine has taken the drinking and driving thing to heart this year and after a few drinks the other night decided to leave his car at the pub and took the bus home.
Really surprised me I didn't know he could drive a bus!!!!

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Christmas Gift Vouchers

Christmas is almost here!!!

Fed up of socks, after shave/Perfume or a whole host of other gifts that you don't want!
Time to drop the subtle hint about what you do want.......

Get in touch for gift vouchers that can be used for Tuition, Fishing Permits or Fishing Tackle.

Payment by cheque, cash debit or credit card welcome.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Fly fishing lessons

Had some great lesson over the past few days.
Complete beginners like Bernard from Withnall in Chorley,  John from Kearsley in Bolton and Maurice from Colne. Some of my clients who have had lessons recently have returned to Curley's to do some fishing and am delighted that they have now got the bug and into their first Rainbows on the fly!
Mixed into this activity were lessons with my training group - about 12 now who are all working their way to becoming instructors or going for higher qualifications.
Do you want to know more about becoming a Professional Fly Fishing Instructor with a GAIA qualification?? - just get in touch for details.
In between this of course I am trying to get the new tackle shop at Curley's ready for opening and with great help from both my bailiffs, Geoff and Nathan looking after the fishery.

This week is another mixed bag of activities  including a couple of sessions on the river Grayling fishing.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Float tubing

Some of you may have seen this before - can't really remember if I posted it?? Yes it is my age!!!
Not really the weather for float tubing but if you haven't had a go at it maybe next year....?

Click here

Sunday, 6 November 2011

My new enterprise

The new tackle shop at Curley's is progressing well now.
I have been trying to impersonate a joiner by making all the new shop counters for the last couple of days. The slatwall boards  that will carry most of the stock on display will be fitted on Tuesday.

Been accepting stock deliveries and ordering even more stuff .. it's a great way of spending lots of dosh!!!
Fly displays and rod display racks are all finished.
Is the end nigh I ask myself???

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Tackle for u

Things are progressing a little at a time with the tackle shop, obviously not as quickly as I had wanted or anticipated but when does anything work out exactly???
I went to the Tackle and Gun Trade show a few days ago and made some good contacts and opened up more accounts. I am now happy with the line-up of suppliers and manufacturers and am very confident of being able to offer some really great fly fishing equipment.
The first orders will be delivered end of this week and into next - Just need somewhere to put it all before the shop actually opens!!
The shop itself will be fitted out over the next week - all the fittings are on order and will start to be delivered over the next few days.  So it's all hands to paint brushes, screw drivers, saws etc to get it all ready.
I hope you'll all like it when it finally opens!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Good News

Everybody is a little down about this run of awful weather so time to give a little cheer.

Come along anytime this weekend to Curley's fishery and enjoy a HALF PRICE PERMIT

Yes, that right half price permit prices anytime from Friday (14th Oct) to Sunday (16th Oct)
and to make it even better the forecast for the weekend is looking good AND the fishery has just been stocked!
So do you know what you are doing this weekend???

Monday, 10 October 2011

What bad weather??

Lousy weather but fortunately it is not putting a lot of people off wanting to learn fly fishing.
I have a full schedule of lessons this week and still a fair few for the coming weeks.
However I can still fit you in... just give me a ring or send me an email.

I haven't had a chance to do some quality salmon fishing much this year - maybe put it down for one of my new year resolutions for next year - More Salmon Fishing !!!

Just ordered a load of stock for my new tackle shop at the fishery - a real good exercise in getting rid of £20 notes!!! I will be shop fitting it over the next couple of weeks and then think about when to officially open it. In the meantime if any of you want any tackle I will have lots to sell!!!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Back into action

Back from my holidays, had a great time but more than ready to get back into action with the tuition, fishery and tackle shop!

I have some free time for tuition over the next couple of weeks and this will always be the priority.
Missed out on end of season Salmon but plenty of time to get in some of the year's best fishing - Grayling.
If you haven't done any Autumn, early Winter Grayling fishing then you are really missing out.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Availabilty for Lessons

Hi All
I am abroad for a few days so won't be responding to my phone messages.
If you want a lesson from the beginning of October onwards please send me an email to make a booking or enquiry.


Monday, 19 September 2011


Had some great lessons recently, 1to1's and groups and a spate of double handed lessons with guys going to all parts of the world chasing Salmon.
Lessons this weeks with beginners and advanced techniques.

Tackle shop progressing well should be open end of October ish!


Saturday, 3 September 2011

Work at Curley's

Please note that the Fishery will be closed on Wed 7th and Thurs 8th for some maintenance work.
It will then be open as normal from Friday 9th Sept onwards.

This will allows us to get some work done on the fishery in one hit. Sorry if this causes some inconvenience but better this way than disturbing you all when you are fishing!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Fly Tying

Fly Tying is not an essential part of fly fishing but is a natural extension of the sport. You will always remember your first fish caught on one of your own flies! However just like fly casting - fly tying does have it's own techniques and to catch on fast you can do no better than be taught by an expert.
One such expert is a Pal of mine Pat Stevens who has just organised a fly tying course at the Aspinall Arms at Mitton Bridge, Whalley.
Details as follows:
The 10 week programme will be run from 7.30 – 9.30pm on the following Wednesday evenings this coming winter: September 27,  October 5, 26,  November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30,  December 7, 14.

For specific details about the content of the course & payment, contact Pat Stevens,
tel 01772 684003 or 07788 427560 or  email

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Need another Bailiff !!

Anyone fancy being a part time bailiff at Curley's??
Low rates of pay - miserable conditions, very stressful, long hours, no fun at all, have to do some fishing for free and eat discount bacon butties etc etc!
However if you are at a  loose end with too much time on your hands and know a thing or three about fly fishing - it might just be for you!!!

Give me a ring -07786682272

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Black Death!

Do we need to have a system that controls the numbers of Cormorants decimating our waters??

Here's a start at least --- click here

Very trying times fishing at present -we need some settled weather and quick!!!

Curley's Fishery

So I have now taken over the running of the Fishery - so far so good.
I have a few changes in mind for the venue the first of which has already been introduced - a loyalty scheme.
Every time you visit the type of permit you choose will allow you to earn points and when you have 30 point you get a FREE day's fishing!
So come along and start earning!

We are still using the "old" booking office/tackle shop and I have stocked it with a few of the essentials - lines, leader materials, flies, nets, priests etc but am already gearing up for the move into the new tackle shop which will hopefully be early September. This will be a fully fledged tackle shop with a good range of rods, reels and lines etc from most of the main brands.

Hope to see many of you over the next few days and weeks


Thursday, 28 July 2011

New Era!


Friday, 15 July 2011

Latest Film

Just got the copy of my last filming exploits with Phil Williams.
It is all about Float Tubing and can bee seen here.
Phil basically filmed a lesson on tubing that I had recently with Mark from Leeds.
Have a look and let me know what you think about it.

When you have viewed it have a look around Phil's site which is
There is some good stuff on it especially for all you Salt fishers

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Stillwater Fly Fishing in the South!

Just back from a litle break in Dorset - wanted to do some saltwater fishing but the tides were against that idea, so went back to an old stillwater I used to fish long, long ago!
Rockbourne is, typical Southern stillwater commercial fishery. The main difference between these and our superior versions in the North is that we can catch and release - in the South you can't!  So if you buy a 3 fish permit - once you have caught them that's your fishing over and done unless you buy another ticket!
These 3 fish were nothing special about 10lbs in total, however these cost me £40 for 40 mins of fishing!
I have (or had!) quite a soft spot for Rockbourne. It is where I used to fish with Bill Sibbons who basically taught me all there is to know about stalking.
Mr Sibbons was a wonderful man and a great fly fisher, who invented the "When All Else Fails" fly a really excellant stalking nymph. If I had been able to practise the techniques that I had learned then maybe I would have got some bigger fish and been fishing a little longer than 40mins. However the fishery lakes, 5 in total were all coloured and 2 were in very poor condition making it almost impossible to see anything.
Back in the year Rockbourne was immaculate - crystal clear waters and big specimen fish, so I was very disappointed and has relgated this fishery to the "do not bother again list"
A great pity!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Float tubing - great fun

I have had a great few days with lesson -Friday I was doing a bit of filming with Phil Williams for a webcast - the subject  - float tubing and by great timing(!) I had a lesson with Mark from Leeds who want to learn all about, you guessed it, float tubing! What a coincidence! So it ended up being quite a good piece although I haven't seen the finished edited version yet!
In this photo I am taking Mark out for his first tubing experience where he learned how to propel and navigate a tube. It wasn't long before caught his first fish from a tube. Another convert!

On Saturday I had a good lesson with Mike from Nelson, who wanted to brush up on his spey casting technique.
Tomorrow will see me back at Curley's for a full day with a complete beginner.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Various updates

Just thought I'd put a few bits and pieces together for your information and or amusement!!!

Firstly look here for the sale of possibly the best rods ever produced by Hardy (IMHO)
Whenever I go salmon fishing the 15ft Swift Mk11 and for reservoir then the 9ft 6in #6 are my "go to" rods -they are just brilliant. I know a lot of the guys in the Academy use these rods all the time. Discontinued - why? I guess nothing stands still and in the tackle world if you do stand still you're out of business in no time! Maybe there's going to be a "Nano" Swift Mk3?? Who knows?But get one while you can! If anyone wants to try my rods first just get in touch.

Fancy doing a bit of salmon fishing at prime time 25th Sept on the best salmon river in England at a very good price - look here the auction on for the Tyne River Festival maybe your answer!

Are you in the market for a good reel - Hardy Offer - 2 FREE Mach lines with every Demon Trout and 1 Mach line with every Uniqua reel online look here
This offer includes salmon reels and Mach Spey lines - So with a demon reel you can get up to £150 worth of lines free!!!! Offer ends 31st July

Sunday, 19 June 2011


Was at the fly fair today at the Stafford Show ground, a new venue and date for this show which is normally held in November.

It was great meeting up with old Pals and lots of clients as they milled about looking at the stands working out where to spend their hard earned!
I guess it was a little quieter than previously however it was quite hard to judge as the new venue is a lot bigger and so you didn't have to negotiate the crowds in small aisles and walkways.
I even managed to keep my spending under control for once!

Lessons all next week - good mixed bag of high level technical stuff and some complete beginners.
Might be doing a bit of filming at Curley's on float tubing, next week if the weather is ok!! Should be interesting.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Bailiff Vacancy

Hi all
There is a vacancy for a part time bailiff at Curley's.
Would suit any active person who has some knowledge of fly and coarse fishing techniques and tackle. Duties include issuing of fishing permits, work in the tackle shop, liaising with fishing clients, giving advice etc and general maintenance duties. Flexible hours but won't always be "office" hours! Training will be given, enthusiasm and a helpful nature essential!

If you want more information or wish to apply please send me an email at

River Fishing

Great day on the Wharfe yesterday with 3 clients, they had about 17 fish between them and a fair few over 16ins.
It was a strange day - the forecast turned out to be very wrong and in fact it was quite a nice day, very changeable winds - sometime upstream then completely the opposite, bright sky with some sunny spells. Not much of a hatch going at anytime so we started with duo-ing and spiders and in no time at all, the spiders won.  All of them were quickly getting takes mostly to Partridge & Orange and Partridge & Yellows and that then was the trend for the day.
The fish wanted the flies presented just a little under the surface. Both upstream and across and down worked well.
All in all a very good day.
Back on Curley's now for the next couple of days then at the BFFI on Sunday then doing some filming on float tubing early next week - weather permitting
Busy busy!!!
What a hard life!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

BFFI fair Stafford

Good day yesterday on the Ribble, I hope it's as good today on the Wharfe!

I will be at the BFFI fair on Sunday on the GAIA stand - if you are around come and have a chat
BFFI more details

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

River lessons

On a river for the next couple of days
Today on the Ribble and a second attempt at this lesson as we got blown off the river last time out and got mighty wet into the bargain - should be ok today - hopefully! With the little bit of rain we have had, the rivers should be a little fresher and I know that there have been a few seatrout caught on the ribble recently but it's brownies we are after today!

Tomorrow I am on the River Wharfe with a couple of my regular clients wanting to brush up on their techniques and try this river for the first time.

When it comes to river work I offer two services - tuition and guiding and sometimes both at the same time.

Sometimes I love this work and then other times I really love it!!!!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Distance Casting

The British Fly Casting Club, is just a group of casting junkies who meet up to swap techniques and skill on how to cast a very long way.
They only breach the North once a year, as most of them are Southern Softies  and on this occasion the meeting is at Wrexham Rugby Club, tomorrow 12th June. (Yes, I know that's not quite the North but it's still a breakthrough for these guys!)

Now I realise that distance casting is not for everyone and from my perspective as an Instructor there are some rare techniques that are sometimes employed to cast a long way that I certainly would not attempt to teach - Have you seen the bouncing bomb!

However the one thing I would say is if you practise the skills that allow you to cast a full fly line and much further then it is amazing how much your shorter casting improves as well.

Maybe we all ought to join this club, it's only £20 and then we can start a proper Northern Branch!!!

Sunday, 5 June 2011


Been going all day everyday for awhile now but I do have  a couple of gaps during this next week for lessons if anyone wants a last minute bit of tuition. Just give me a ring on 07786682272 or email.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

River cams

You can get some great information about river levels from the E.A. website
but sometimes its good to be able to have a ganders and see the level for yourself and maybe even get an basic view of the colour. This website has a growing list of web cams - click here that can be useful.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Beginner's tips

Really having some great lessons lately like the one today with Alan from Thornton Cleveleys and Jim from Pilling.

When it comes to actually fishing you can increase your opportunities to catch by following some very basic rules:
  1. Always start with a leader at least the length of your rod - never any shorter.  This will allow you to get good turnover with your fly and reach a little bit of depth if fishing sub-surface.
  2. If you don't hit fish immediately (and who does?) then keep changing things around - alter the depth,  change your fly, alter the type and speed of retrieve and if none of these work then you MUST MOVE and keep moving!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Great lessons

I have quite a full diary at the moment which is great, of course but what makes it brilliant is meeting loads of new guys to fly fishing and seeing how enthusiastic they are about wanting to learn.
Over the last few days I have meet up with Graham from Accrington,  Peter from Ramsbottom,  Paul from Preston and Tony from Atherton. All of these guys were complete beginners or in Peter's case an improver.

All of them got to grips with the basics really well and am sure will go onto become good fly fishers and make progress with their techniques.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Fawcetts of Lancaster Open Day

I will be representing
Hardy/Greys at Fawcetts Open day
 Sunday 15th May

The venue is on the River Lune at Kirkby Lonsdale.
Come off the M6 at Junction 36 and follow the signs for Kirkby Lonsdale till you reach a roundabout with Booths Supermarket.
From here follow the "casting day signs" all the way to the river 

Sunday, 8 May 2011

New Instructors

Pleased to announce two of my trainees were successful over the weekend, at the GAIA meeting in Wales.

Pat Stevens  passed his APGAI single handed assessment and Bernie Ratcliffe got his GAIC in single handed.

Big congratulations to both of them on a job well done - just rewards for the hard work they have put in over the least months.
Great weekend as always meeting up with some of the best Instructors and fly casters in Britain.

On another note the mighty Chorley FC managed to get promoted - the only down note was that because I was in Wales I couldn't get to the final play-off but was updated regularly by mobile!

A full week of teaching coming up and another of my river trips on Tuesday, this time to the River Wharfe.

Sunday, 1 May 2011



Just listened to a recent podcast I did with Phil Williams from Fishing Films and Facts.

You can listen to it here

and look at Phil's website for more fishing stuff here

I will be doing some filming with Phil very soon on one of my favorite subjects - "Float Tubing"

Friday, 22 April 2011

Radio Lancashire

My interview with Martin James on his programme "At the Water's Edge" was broadcast last night on Radio Lancashire.
I am sure many of you had better things to do than tune in then but if you are interested then you can still catch the programme on the BBCi Player - here and it will be available for a few days.

I really enjoyed this interview, maybe I am a little more relaxed in the studio now having experienced it a few times but have a listen and let me know what you thought about it.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Fishing trips

Hi All

Just an update on the fishing trips planned so far this year.

The next trip to the river for Brown trout on May 10th is full but there are vacancies on the trip planned for 19th May - this is likely to be on the river Eden at Kirkby Stephens. For those of you who haven't fished here before it is one of the prettiest rivers in the North West with some very good sized absolutely wild Browns.

My salmon trip to the River Nith(Dumfries) w/c September 12th has just 2 vacancies

Email me for more details

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Lessons in Fly Fishing

I have had some really enjoyable lessons recently - good mix - river, stillwater, beginners and advanced, double handed and single handed.

Yesterday's lesson was a typical example - Paul from Great Harwood, Lancs, had originally been bought a 2 hour lesson voucher by his wife, Julie but then upgraded it to a full day.
I could tell immediately he was keen and enthusiastic and eager to learn and the lesson went very well.

Julie later that day sent me this email
"Dear Mike, Just a quick thank you for Paul's lesson today, he had a great time and has definitely caught the fishing bug- so to speak. In fact I,ve heard nothing else for the past hour!"

I do hope that Julie is still happy when all Paul wants to do is go fly fishing!!!!


Monday, 11 April 2011

Open days

After a very busy open day with Linsley Bros at Bolton Abbey yesterday I will be doing another open day this time with Fawcetts of Lancaster on the 15th May. This will be held somewhere on the River Lune - more details to follow.

I am on Martin James' programme "At the Water's Edge" on Thurs 14th April at 7.30pm but you can also tune it from the BBCi player for a few days after.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

First river trip of the season

The first river trip of the season looked like being an uneventful day. The Eden had come up quite a bit with the previous day's rainfall but fortunately the colour was still reasonably good, so we went ahead regardless.

We started off with general nymph patterns, fishing the margins with no luck. So I showed the party how to use heavier weighted flies - czech nymphing and this started to pay dividends.
A few takes were missed but then Tom from Warrington, who was a little upstream, phoned to tell me rather excitedly that he had just latched onto a good wild Brownie.
It was indeed a very good fish!
My next river trip is on 10th May - a few places left.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Bolton Fly Tying Club

I will be at Bolton Fly Tying Club on Tuesday night having an informal chat about all things fly fishing!
Sorry but this is for members only but if you contact John Vautier from the Bolton Fly Tyers blogsite here - I am sure he'll sort out a members ticket for you!

Rest of the week teaching - real mixed bag this week - complete beginners, advanced casting techniques, some double handed spey casting - Will be at Curley's fly fishery and on the river Ribble and Eden! It's a hard life!!

I have my first trip of the season on Wednesday. A group of my clients and I will be trying our hand on the River Eden. I hope the conditions will be good!

Have you had a look at my Facebook page? - see opp - just click the "like button"

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Fly casting all day!

Had a great day today at the GAIA regional open day held at the Royal Oak Golf Club at Withnell nr Chorley. Must have been over 25 guys there with members and guests - all of them enthusiastic about casting with a desire to get better.
Plenty of demos and workshops going on as well as little informal group discussions. Good to meet up again with some old friends as well as make new ones.

Full diary of lessons next week starting with a session on the river with the trainees. Looking forward to to as always.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

E.A. Rod licence

Hi all
Just a reminder that you have 1 more day to go (Thurs 31st) before you need to have a new rod licence.
E.A. bailiffs will be active at any river or fishery - so be warned
Is it worth the risk??

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Indicators or not - that is the question???

Had a great lesson with Gary and his wife Lindsay from Burnley. They did really well with the casting both overhead and rolls. Difficult afternoon for actually fishing - bright sun but with the water temps still well down, no signs at all of rises.
When it's like this you really need to sort out a technique to handle to conditions - hit and hope just won't work.
So what are the options - floater long leader with a team of buzzers? Intermediate line, slow retrieve with lures? or??
Try a static lure -could be a blob or an egg fly but must be absolutely still no movement at all.
If you think about it everything in the water is moving in some way, fast or slow except, in this case, your fly and this can be a source of annoyance for the fish.
When fishing this method 3 things could happen
1/ absolutely nothing! Not the desired result so try something else!
2/ The fish start to nudge the fly basically trying to work out what it is and get it to move.
3/ The fish grab it with a vengeance. If this happens your lift into the fish must be fast,  in fact very fast or you will miss the chance!
The question is do you use an indicator?? If there is just one question to stir up so many differing opinions then I guess this is it! For what it's worth if you do try this method then you WILL need to use an indicator. The fly needs to be absolutely still and you will need an indicator to hold the depth. You may however fall into the band of flyfishers who just don't like the idea of using a "coarse fisherman's float" just one question for you - what is a floating line if not a float albeit 90+ft long??? An indicator just makes this method more efficient by stopping the end of the floating line from sinking
Fly fishing is all about opinions and it would not be as good if we all agreed on everything!!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

What a week!

Great week with lots of varied lessons, beginners and more advanced, just how I like it.
Even managed to get a few hours on the river for a bit of early season trouting!
On the river tomorrow doing rolls and Speys with some of my mentoring group, then it's off to Llangollen for the weekend for a meeting of the GAIA assessors and more training workshops.

I love it when it's busy!!!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Busy busy!

Had a great lesson today with Graham from Blackpool. Had him casting well in no time at all and I am sure he will be taking up fly fishing on a regular basis now.
Pretty full diary for next few weeks (that's certainly not a complaint!) mixture of beginner's and advanced stuff at Curley's and on the river. Still will be able to squeeze a few more lessons in if anyone needs them - don't hold back!!!!

Tuesday 15th March - the first day of the Brown Trout season! been a long time coming so dig out all those Large Dark Olive and Grannom patterns!!

This Grannom pattern is from the Gwent Angling Society Site and is an adaptation from Gwilym Hughes' famous Cul de Canon flies

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Fly Fishing in France anyone??

Found this great article on Fly Fishing in France read here
Doesn't it make you yearn for some great fly fishing on warmer days and some sunshine, especially when it's horrible outside.
I did have a lesson today with John from Bolton Fly Tyers but we decided to re-arrange!!!!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Open day at NWAC

Hi All
Friday 25th March
North West Angling Centre at Hindley will be holding an open day with yours truly representing Hardy/Greys. I'll be there to show the latest tackle including the new rod and reel ranges. So if you are in the "market" for some new gear and you want to try before you buy this will be a great opportunity, where you can try all the rods along side each other for direct comparisons. So let the "tackle tart" in to come to the fore and come along for a chat and a play!
Hope to see lots of you on the day.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Spring Fly Fair 2011

Hi all
Did any of you go the the Spring Fly Fair at Newark last weekend??
It's the first time I have missed the show in about 4 years but this year it was joined with the Shooting show and didn't have the same flyfishing content as previous years.

My friends at the British Fly Casting Club (BFFC) were there and managed to find some video of Mike Heritage doing his stuff with some commentry from Charles Jardine

Click here to watch

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Preparation for the season

Apart from getting your ff tackle together as explained in my last blog you may want to consider doing some casting practise! What a surprise me talking about casting practise - however a new twist to the theme

Have a look here for the Salmon & Trout Mag review of the new Hardy Sintrix Zenith rods - apparently they do all the work and anyone can cast with them!!!!

 Mmm?? I have cast with a couple of these and they are great rods but......

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Brown trout just around the bend!!!

Hi all
The start of the "new" season doesn't really mean as much nowadays since we can literally fish all year round.  For a most it is really based upon the start of Spring and the promise of better weather.

Either way we should all be looking at our fishing tackle and making sure it's up to scratch, particularly if it has all been in hibernation over the colder months!

Strip your line off the reel and give it a good clean, use a proper line cleaner on all floating lines to re-invigorate the "floatabilty" The 3m line dressing is the best I have found - look here
Inspect your reel, clean and very lightly oil if required. Then give your rod some attention - clean the blank and the rings and carefully inspect the rings for any signs of wear or damage. Damaged rod rings are a major reason for the destruction of your fly line!

Finally look at your fly boxes - no matter how anal some of us are about our fly boxes they always require an overhaul - throw away any that are damaged or rusty!!! Get the rest into some sort of order even if it's just basic grouping, Nymphs, Dries, Wets, Lures, colours,  it will help and maybe give you a feeling of satisfaction - or is that just me being very anal?

Last but not least - how about tidying up your bag, get rid of all those bits of leader and loose flies that you couldn't be bothered to put in a box last time out!!!

As the old saying goes "failure to prepare is preparation for failure!!"


Sunday, 27 February 2011

Fly Fishing Websites

It is of course true that loads of information is now readily available through the cyberspace highway but how many times do you do a bit of surfing and find absolutely nothing new or interesting.
Time and time again I always end up going back the the sites I know and enjoy to read their updates.
Here are just two of those sites you you may also enjoy:

Gwent Angling Society - this is a large site with loads of videos on all aspects of Fly fishing and fly tying.
Sexy Loops -This site has been around for ages but for all those technically minded is just about the best around for casting nerds

There is enough fly fishing info one these two sites to keep you house bound for weeks!!! Handle with care!!


Friday, 25 February 2011

Flu Jabs???

Flu jabs - are they having a laugh? Had my jab before Christmas but hasn't stopped my getting pole axed by a bout of serious man flu.!
Still did a few lessons this week, some very technical and some at beginner level - all good stuff.
It was good to meet up with Roger from London, who is taking his GAIC exam in May.

Been surfing the net a bit as well and came across this - Sir Ian Botham talking about his love of fly fishing

Have a ganders here

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Day off but early start

I am off today as I am going to watch the Mighty Magpies of Chorley take on Chester in what will  be one of the biggest games of season with the top and second teams in the Evostick Div One North playing each other. Non league football is brilliant and much better than watching all the overpaid Premier League "superstars"!

It was an early start for me though as I was in Radio Lancashire's studios at 7.30am recording a programme with Martin James "At the water's edge" which will go out early April - I'll let you know the actual date of transmission nearer to the time just in case you are so bored that you might want to tune in!

Martin James is a great guy and an absolutely avid fisher in all disciplines and for all species. Besides being a broadcaster he is also the river keeper for the private stretch of the Ribble where I am a member and he does a great job of looking after the water and us!
I would whole heartedly recommend his book that came out at the end of last year - "At the water's edge" published by First Nature (ISBN13:978-0-9560544-5-4). It is a great read for any fishing fan not just fly fishing.

Come on Chorley!!!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Is casting ability a natural talent?

I have been teaching fly fishing on a full-time basis for about 9 or 10 years now and I am still no nearer to deciding if a good caster is born or manufactured.

I have witnessed that, hand eye co-ordination, balance, timing and control are vital components of good casting and I have observed that some people possess these skills more than others. However I have been able to teach all clients to cast sufficiently well to allow them to catch fish, albeit with some having to practice a bit more than others. Having said all that I have to say that some of my clients have latched onto techniques quicker than others and as a result have ended up being better casters.

Take today's lesson with David from Rufford who has been fly fishing for about 2 years but having reached the inevitable ceiling in achieving casting objectives, came to me for help.  His initial casting was very typical of all self-taught casters - more brawn than technique. However once David understood what he was trying to do and then took all the power and effort out of the cast, allowing the rod and line to do the work, his casting really took off. More practise followed establishing this new style and technique even more, to the extent that he was double hauling before the end of the lesson.
So is David more naturally talented than some of my other clients? Maybe, but what made him stand out for me are 2 of the most important characteristics that we all need in order to learn & improve in anything
1/ listening skills - this is a two way street and not just for the client but probably more for the instructor!
2/ desire to do better and mean it!

Thanks David for a great lesson - really enjoyed it!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Micro Flies

This is going to be my "theme" for this year when river fly fishing - using small flies. As the fish generally come under more and more fishing pressure, I  am sure that great a presentation of a very inconspicuous fly will pay dividends.
Plus how many times nowadays do we go to the river and not see any real "hatch" to speak of especially early Spring? In fact the only thing we can see moving or should I say flying about are likely to be Chironomids.

A good mate of mine, Gareth Lewis, is a real ambassador for all flies small

Have a look around his blog site you 'll see what I mean.......Look Here

If you tie your own then you'll need some 20's to 28 hooks!!

Monday, 31 January 2011

First Fishing trip of the season

At last I have put some dates together for my accompanied fly fishing trips.

The first of which will be on Wed 6th April and the species we'll be targeting is Brown Trout.

Early season river fishing can be a challenge dependant upon the water and weather. If you are lucky then there will be some Grannoms and  Large Dark Olives about but on most days you might only see very small Chironomids. The good news is that I will have patterns for all of these and more available

More dates to follow, some midweek and some at weekends and we will do some Trout, Grayling, Salmon and some Saltwater for Bass and Mullet.

Watch this space....!

Just send me an email for more details or to book a place.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Today's lessons

Couple of great lessons today.

First off I was with Paul from Prestwich, concentrating on the basic casting techniques for over head and roll casting and how these effect all the other casts we do. If the basics aren't right we cannot expect to be able to cast further or with the correct level of control. We looked at how to get started fly casting on rivers, how to control the line to minimise the drag on the fly.

The second lesson was with Karl and his son Henry from Bury, both very keen to get started but wanted to know all the basics stuff first to form a good foundation of knowledge and skill. I left them both fishing for an hour or so to put all the things thay had picked into practise.

More lessons booked everyday next week - hope the weather is kind!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Fish Discards

If you have seen Hugh Fernley Whitingstall's programme on channel-4 for the last three nights, you'll know all about this ridiculous situation. Please follow the link below and add your name to the list protesting at the insanity of 'Discarding' imposed on fishermen by the EU. Send it to all your contacts as well and maybe we can make a difference.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Magazine article

Hope this works

Click here to read the article

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Total Fly Fisher

Well, I guess I am now a magazine contributor!
I did one article some time ago but now I have done two I think the above title is correct??

It's about the "Hang Method" and it's in January's Total Fly Fisher

I'll try to work out a way of uploading it??

Anyway if you get a copy I hope you enjoy reading it

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Hardy's get it right (again!)

Lots has already been written about the new range of Hardy Sintrix rods and to add my own opinion it will take some beating. I have already "test" driven a couple of the Zenith's and they are very special.
Just to add to your appetites even more - have a read of this report from some rod testing in the States, where they have always have a big bias for rods made in the god damn US of A
To read the full report look here

What suprises me in this report, in particular, is the very low score of the Sage TCX, a rod that I like a lot. However this is where one man's meat is another man's poison -- I only ever used the TCX and the Hardy Angel TE for that matter for pure distance so the results should be differant.

Zenith's should be available end of this month, hopefully. As soon as they are rest assured, I'll have one and if you ask me nicely you can have a play with it!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

refresher group casting lesson

Hi all
Just got a couple of late vacancies for Saturday's course if anyone is interested??
10.00am till 12.00pm

Just send me an email

Monday, 3 January 2011

Back in the swing of things

Well, back to "normal" now. Even the weather is manageble, or have I just spoken too soon!!

Been out a few times to blow the cobwebs away.

I have given myself 2 main objectives this year. Certainly more double handed stuff and of course the single handed distance.

Been surfing around the "t'interweb" as you do and found this stuff.
Maybe something to have a go at in the future?

Tenkara fly fishing
Explanation of Tenkara fishing

I like the idea of this style of fishing, I guess it can be related to dabbling or even duo-ing for that matter.

So what do you think? Serious alternative or gimmick??