The elusive sea bass

When we fish for trout, we know, with some certainty, that the fish are there. Finding a feeding fish and fooling it with a fly is another matter. The story when bass fishing is a little different… Last week I had three sessions fishing for bass on the Cornish coast. Day 1 saw us offshoreContinue reading “The elusive sea bass”

Dee salmon fishing in May

May salmon fishing – not always short-sleeves and floating lines On the River Dee, we expect the best fly fishing of the year in May. The birch trees are in full leaf, the summer migrant birds have all returned and are busy with their nests. We can anticipate fishing floating lines with small flies longContinue reading “Dee salmon fishing in May”

Is this spring?

I am writing this blog post just over a week into a new trout season and, like the early swallows I saw over the Windrush on Thursday, I’m wondering what has happened to spring. We have swung from a balmy March to a first week of April dominated by northerly winds and rudely interrupted byContinue reading “Is this spring?”

Is fly fishing the new yoga?

Fly fishing offers everything you need to enhance well-being: An immersive, meditative yet physical activity for mindfulness. One of the first sports to come back after the lockdowns, the links between fly fishing and positive mental health and physical well-being are well documented. Fly fishing is increasingly being seen as an alternative to yoga orContinue reading “Is fly fishing the new yoga?”

Winter work: getting ready for a new season

While there is still the chance of an occasional grayling outing, winter is the time for getting our trout streams into shape for the season to come. As part of the Cotswold Flyfishers’ Fisheries Team I’ve been working throughout the off-season out on our Cotswold rivers on our annual programme of maintenance. Most of theContinue reading “Winter work: getting ready for a new season”

Confidence choices for sea bass

We all fish better when we feel confident. For me confidence comes first and foremost from the choice of fly. The variety of flies and styles we can choose from is immense but that huge choice can lead to uncertainty and doubt. Take sea bass for example. These supreme predators feed on a wide varietyContinue reading “Confidence choices for sea bass”

Spring salmon flies for the new season

Something to look forward to at last … I am not complaining. So many people have had a much worse time through the COVID-19 pandemic than me. But it is encouraging to hear news that a vaccine looks more likely than not to be with us in the spring, and perhaps we can start lookingContinue reading “Spring salmon flies for the new season”

Which dry fly for trout?

Choosing dry flies for trout should be a simple exercise. Surely all we need to do is work out what the fish is feeding on and then present an imitation. That logic is at the heart of the traditional approach to chalk stream fishing developed by Marryat and Halford in the 1880s. They codified theContinue reading “Which dry fly for trout?”

Wildlife on the river bank

Why do we fly fish? That’s a theme I will come back to from time to time in this blog but one of the most important reasons is that it takes me to places I would never visit and to see things I would never have seen had I not been stood quietly, fishing rodContinue reading “Wildlife on the river bank”

How to catch a fish

My previous blog looked at the steps involved in learning to cast, this time my subject is taking that skill and learning to fish. Casting the fly isn’t an end in itself. The purpose of fly fishing is to catch a fish. Before we start fishing, the very first consideration is staying safe. Whenever weContinue reading “How to catch a fish”

Learning to fly fish: The cast

One of the objectives of this website is to encourage those who have not fly fished before to give it a try.  We aim to take you from being a complete novice to becoming a confident and competent fly angler, but what does learning to fly fish actually involve? The first thing to learn isContinue reading “Learning to fly fish: The cast”