Wednesday, 7 July 2010

John Wilson's 501 Fishing Tips

I've long been a fan of Mr Wilson's, his enthusiasm for any type of fishing and the constant chuckling has got me through many a Saturday morning watching TV because the weather/child care/laziness has prevented me actually fishing for real. This meant I was especially pleased to receive the latest Magbook from Dennis publishing.
The magbook concept is a new one for me, but one that I've found highly agreeable. It's been a continuing trend over the past years to fill magazines full of advertising, but the magbooks are relatively ad free and jammed full of high quality content. This magbook in particular represents great value for money. Each tip is informative, the instructional illustrations and pictures are of the highest quality and Mr Wilson's charismatic style of teaching shines through on every page.
Every major species of fresh water fish has a couple of pages of invaluable tips devoted to them, i paid special attention to the pike sections as hopefully I'm going to targeting these boyos next season. There are also sections on techniques for boat fishing, all the different tackle available and the multitude of baits.
For further information on this product you can visit
John Wilson’s 501 Fishing Tips is available from WH Smith, and

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Macmillan Big Fish

In an effort to sneak off and spend a day fishing and rekindle the Joy of fishing, i've put myself forward for a fishing competition in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. It's on the 12th June at Murloc Angling in Aghalee and i'm really looking forward to it. It's my first competition so any pointers on how to make a decent account of myself would be greatly apprecitated, any donations would also be great. To make a donation please use the link on the left

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Quitting smoking finally pays off

I've been a smoker for most of my adult life now. I always knew one day I'd give it up but I've dreaded it. I have not been blessed with good willpower at all.
Fortunately i was able to combine two of my major life goals; quit smoking and owning a Hardy demon reel. I have lusted after this reel since it's release two years ago, the only problem being that i couldn't justify owning one, the price of the reel was pretty much the same price as my current whole outfit.
This is where the big quit came in. I had only been dimly aware of the amount i spent on tobacco, for as long as i can remember the cost of my habit was borne as would bare the cost of food, utilities and petrol. Once the connection was made between not smoking and owning this object of desire, the rest was easy.
A couple of months later and I'm now the proud owner of a Hardy Demon Outfit and after a fly fishing packed Easter weekend, the sacrifice has definitely been worth it.

I plumbed for the Hardy demon 9'6'' 7wt rod as i would mainly fish small stillwaters and was looking for a rod that would allow me to cast into a decent headwind and yet still be subtle enough to present a couple of dries. The rod excels at both, i wouldn't be a great caster but the rod is definitely alot more forgiving than my previous Greys GRX one.

The smaller Demon 5000 reel was chosen as i would rarely need to go into the backing and I just thought it looked prettier more balanced. The drag is fantastic and the cartridges are easy to change. the only don side is that a rubber ring is used the cushion between the cartridge and the locking ring and I've almost lost this once already.

I matched the outfit up with a WF floating two tone hardy fly line. This final extravagance was the sweetener on the deal I got from the tackle shop and I'm really pleased with it. There is very little memory, you can easily tell when the running line starts and it picks up off the water brilliant.

So far I've managed to bring it out to two fisheries Woodford and Murloc both times there were active fish near the surface that were responding well to buzzers. The rod and reel have preformed admirably and whilst i struggle to justify the expense I am glad I went the extra distance and bought something i know I'll use and cherish for the next decade or so

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

If you're lazy...

If you're lazy and a little bit cack-handed like myself I thought i'd recommend The Fly Factory. I've ordered from them a couple of times now and each time I'm amazed at the prices they can offer. To top it off each order i've received has come in a plastic box with the flies arranged neatly on rows of foam. This is excellent for the hackled and the more delicate flies but also looks durn pretty.

They've recently started a loyalty scheme and offer some discounts to repeat customers and have a great postage time. The only drawbacks I've found so far is that with the amount of different flies on offer it can be hard to find specific types but the search function is very useful if you know exactly what you're looking for.

So until i figure out how to tie me own, I'm going to stick with these guys.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

There are two activites that will make you go blind

The first is widely known.

The second is staring at a fishing float for two long.

As my buddy Ali has recently taken on a slightly less labour intensive job we decided we should celebrate by a wee fishing excursion. As usual the weather didn't play ball but as both of us had already received our day release passes from our significant others we were determined to make the most of the day.

The venue chosen was once again Murloc Fishery in Aghalee, I'm a big fan of this place, the lodges faculties are great, the owner Fred is always on hand to help you out if you're struggling and possibly because it's new the other fishers are even more friendlier to new faces.

To begin the day we started in the more sheltered side, left of the jetty. There was a slight breeze that was building up quite quickly. This enabled us to get our casting fine tuned and quite quickly I got into a plucky rainbow of about a pound on an apps bloodworm. After a fishless half an hour afterwards it was suggested that we try the opposite bank. Usually I'll avoid casting into wind as I'm a bit of wimp and it upsets me when my casts end up in a heap at my feet. It was a nice surprise to find that my casting must have improved as with a couple of tips from Fred and a little change in style i was almost able to get a decent cast out. Yay

Unfortunately the task of catching more fish didn't have the same progress as my casting. The remainder of the day was pretty much fishless for myself and was spent going cross eyed staring at my bobbing but not sinking pimp. Ali on the other hand was still in strong fish fighting spirits. With short casts around the weeds and the pontoon he managed to get two strong takes. The first he managed to lose after a knot gave way, bloody amatures ;), and the second he miss-timed the strike even after it had been pointed out by a passing fisher tsk tsk.

With the gusting wind we faced I'm not surprised we didn't get more fish. It was a day where everyone seemed to struggle. There was one noticeable exception one fella, John, had managed to crack the code and to get all the ingredients right, the wind seemed to be funneling the fish at him and whatever he was presenting to them (rumour was it was some strange leggy claret goldhead hopper thingy) was working extremely effectively. By the time we left he had a tally of around forty eight!!

A special mention I feel should be made to Alan Coleman, not only was he the fella who almost caught Ali his second trout, he's the first person to recognise me solely from this Blog. Cheers for your kind words and I hope the rest of the day was more productive for you.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

It's a bit like waiting for a bus...

Murloc fishery 24th January

With the temperature rising, albeit barely, I figured a spot of fishing was in order. As Wifey was heading across town this gave me a perfect excuse to have a go at Murloc Angling and Rural Pursuits Centre. I've had a brief scouting opportunity here but this would be the first time fishing in Aghalee. I'll be moving house nearby soon so it would be great to check out my new local fishery.
A quick chat to the bosses and a bite to eat and I was soon on the water. Fred had filled in me in on a couple of possible tactics and also informed that an angler had just managed to catch 20 fish during the morning, things were looking promising.
Even so, after an hour of nothing I had settled myself into accepting the fact this could be quite a slow day for me. Soon after, Fred joined me to see how i was getting on, we talked through the rig I was using, apps bloodworm and black buzzer under a small bung, and he seemed sure that I was using the right tactics. It became clear what was going on after he twice noticed the bung going under in a very short space of time, true to form I hadn't noticed either take. Oops. The fish were taking the flies so gently the bung was just dipping under the water. It wasn't long after I started striking at the slightest movement that i started getting into the fish, although even though I was getting bites I still couldn't strike fast enough to set the hook.
I moved up a size of bung to let me see it more clearly and was advised by the ever helpful Fred to move to a better position and it wasn't long before i was into a fish. After striking and having a few nervous seconds praying the fish wouldn't slip off like it's brothers, it became clear the fish was securely caught and I could start bringing him in.
Within a few yard off the jetty it started getting a bit more complicated, I couldn't get him any closer to me to land him. As usual Fred and Fly were on hand to help as Fred grabbed a landing net it soon became clear why i was struggling to move such an average sized fish. There was a Monstrous Leviathan attached to the point fly. Yay a double Hookup! After quickly detaching the first fish from the line we manged to net the Biggest rainbow I have seen live, let alone caught. Fred assures me it was well over 3lbs, although if i was to use my tried and tested fishing measuring ability I would say that it was surely over 20lbs.

This was definitely the spot. Fred had positioned me over a deep hole where the trout were sheltering from the cold. After the excitement of a double hookup I needed a quick cup of tea so i retired back the lodge. In the meantime we directed another frozen fishless angler to the same spot and sure enough he was almost straight onto the trout.

After warming up in Murloc's luxurious log cabin I was back onto the jetty fishing over the same spot as before. And sure enough the rest of the day was spent with plenty of rod bending action.

A big thank you to Fred and his wife and of course Fly the springer for such a wonderful day, I can't wait to frequent Murloc more often.

inspired by my successful days fishing, that night i spent a couple of hours sorting out the crap in my portable ashtray and used line holder fly fishing vest. As you can see i tend to carry far too much stuff around in it

No wonder i can't find anything. Annoyingly once everything was sorted out, the jacket felt heavier than it was when i started. Also judging by the rate I've been buying tackle over the winter it could be set to become even heavier.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Fly fishing substitution

Okay I know i've posted this before, but after spending a great deal of time trying to substitute real life fishing with youtube videos. I still rate this as my favorite.

I hope to get out soon, I'm going a bit cabin crazy without regular fishing expoits.