Tuesday, 13 September 2011

You can't join them all!

Nothing to do with this post. But a nice place to fish. We are there if you look close!

Well you can't join them all! Clubs that is. We postponed our membership to one club because of health problems. Hopefully my mate is well enough for the new season and we will re-join Derbyshire County.
We like fishing together but I joined The Peacock on the Wye. Unfortunately no one else did so it left me on my own. I have therefore had not enough chances to get my moneys worth. This is no reflection on the Peacock prices as this is a bargain if you can fish often enough.
So I have decided not to re-join. We will have the opportunity to go day ticket on this fabulous piece of water next trout season, and may try the grayling earlier.
We also joined the LTD on the dove. To be honest it too is a fabulous bit of river, seeped in history and full of large fish. We have not made a decision on this yet.. We could always get a day ticket on this special place too.
We are also members of one of the best value clubs in the country..Hanley Angling Society. Apart from a wealth of coarse venues, we also have The Tean (more rain and I reckon big, big grayling in this stretch possible), The Dove, The Churnet (who really knows what you might catch...possibly a rare disease) and a new trout lake to go for.
DCAS has The Dove at Wolfscote, The Dove further down, Miles of the Manifold, The Derwent, Willington, Hoon, Blithfield, etc etc.
We have to think of the rise in the cost of living, fuel prices and  the days we can go fishing together. We also like the odd day out at Seighford, Ellerdine and other day ticket lakes.
We aint that fond of crowds either.
If we joined just DCAS and HAS it would cost us £280 each for the season. I have spent £700 this season...a no brainer methinks.
I have to say that it is my fault I have not had my moneys worth. The Wye and the welcome you get is fabulous. There is a waiting list so my ticket will be soon snapped up.

Just thought I would some snaps of my daughter who I am helping with her photography. My late Dad, who taught me photo techniques would be made up!
Comments welcomed.

Friday, 26 August 2011


The 'Tamers' and the 'Bivvy Boys' have just returned from our holls in Elounda, Crete. Instead of lounging around on sun beds we did a spot of fishing. We bought telescopic rods and armed with a few bread rolls we caught mullet and some other srange fish including one spiky thing that poisoned Bone and me. Not nice. Pain in my hand and up my arm to my jaw. Luckily it only lasted an hour.

I had a mullet of about 2lb and Polly had two about a lb and a half.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


We; The Lion Tamers, have been practising for the forthcoming two leg match versus our great friends, the 'Bivvy Boys'.
We have a good team: Fellow Tamer, Pionton has confirmed he is up for it.. (make sure you got two Sundays free, Yik, we give you the dates),  Bone, Me and Jon. If Jon can't make it, Dino reckons he can do the job!.
They have a great team too, and should stuff us proper on the coarse leg.

The first leg is on Ladyfields at Wetley Rocks. Difficult but full of large carp and tench and stuffed full of bits.
It is a fair venue and I wish I had not sold my pole. However, I am shit hot on the waggler and can even do the carp rigs... so who knows?
I have to say, the BBs' are doing much better than us on the lakes at the moment.
Daz got a 22lb from the haunted lake at Barleston last week. Credit to him! I would not fish there for anything. Too spooky for me. Check it out yourselves! There are plenty of anacdotes of strange Gregorian chants past midnight. Apparently, there was a mass slaughter in a field nearby of the Catholic Monks, who introduced the carp in the lake some centuries passed. The  saying goes is  that anyone who catches carp here is eternally cursed! The curse gets worse depending on the size you catch!  You believe what you like, I'm not sure...

Anyway: Here are our last couple of missions....

Bone and me had a go on the Churnet for a large perch. Not a touch apart from this! PS, I have nothing to do with Bone's complicated rig! I think he was targeting the Signals!

We also had a practise for the second leg. This will be on a commercial trout fishery; so that's where we went today. Here is one that  I photographed  after preparing it for my fish cakes. A good 4LB plus on me own Hawthorn (Dynamite today and only Bone and me had got them!) that I had tied for the rivers. Bone and me were top rods!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

After the FA Cup.

The best of four this very cold morning on self timer as I was on me tod.

Was disappointed, but not totally depressed that Stoke had lost in the final.
Time to go fishing! Anyway, I decided to go and get a specimen. Now, a specimen fish depends on where it is caught from. So a specimen from where I was going would be rather smaller than one caught from some other larger venues.
My venue was small. A pond in a field.
Conditions were horrible. It was like the middle of winter with the wind and rain in my face. I soon began to regret my decision to get up early,  as soon as I got there. It was bloody cold. I was very cold... I had turned up in summer gear...
I hid behind a tree  to get out of the wind and rain.
Not a bad morning though.
To sum up: 4  missed, then 4 tench...  all wild from here. Less than an acre but a lovely pond.
Made the pub for 12.00!
Large Perch from the Ch..n.t next ...


Friday, 6 May 2011

Bone's done it!

 We have caught  the carp. Well Bone has! The guy is on fire.

Bone's double figure

What a beautiful fish
We have got the technique pretty spot on but I think my hair rigs need some fine tuning...2 lost and one dropped. However I managed a tench about 4lb and had a dabble with the roach on the waggler with bits of luncheon meat. Crazy.I would never have thought you could catch quality roach on luncheon meat. No pics unfortunately. There's some huge roach in there...

Now for a picture of a Tean grayling...I know it is out of season but.we were after the trout. Sod it, I have to show off sometimes. Bone is doing me proper these days! Our club have no probs with takng photos. I just wish I had taken Glen Pointon's advice and took a picture of the one I caught a couple of weeks ago on the Dove.

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Match

The Tamers' have some friends who are carp anglers. We love taking the 'p' when they spend nights together supping beer, eating curries (delivered) in the name of fishing. So we've arranged a match! The Lion Tamers versus The Bivvy Boys.
The deal is:
A four man team  fish a day carp fishing and then a day on a trout pond.
To be honest, we are letting them off lightly as we could have taken them to a river!
We have to get into practice. We've been twice and lost a couple of carp but I am satisfied with my tench and roach.
Line up:
The Tamers: Me, Bone, and depending on availability..Dino, Jon and Glen Pointon
The Bivvy Boys: Polly, Binzy, Daz and Martin.
This will take place during the summer and by then we will have the carp sorted!


Look at this crayfish claw:

After seeing this, 'Bone' has given up wading above his knees.

We found this on the bank of the river Dove at Rocester. This thing must have been massive!
 Some sort of animal must have caught it and enjoyed a midnight feast. Probably a mink or otter.

Unfortunately these crayfish don't belong in the UK and are American Red Signal Crayfish, imported for food about 30 years ago. Some escaped!
They destroy habitats, pass on a disease to our native crayfish, eat fish eggs, eat anything, are delicious on a bbq, and burrow under river banks until they collapse. The silt from the banks covers mating areas for our wild fish (trout, grayling, chub etc).

The authorities forbid the general public to do anything about it unless we apply for a licence.
 Now that might have been a good move a few years ago to stop live specimens being accidently transfered to a different river system. BUT: These creatures are not spread by humans anymore, but by riverside fauna.

They are great parents and hundreds of tiny offspring cling to the belly of the mother until ready to fend for themselves. So, for example, a heron fancies a meal and the little critters get a free lift to somewhere else.

However, we have a problem. These creatures have adapted so well, we are now fighting a losing battle to control them. They have spread throughout the UK and I think it is about time we were allowed to catch them and eat them when we want to...without the licence. Some of our Eastern European friends have cottoned on to this (licence?) and who can blame them?
It is not a fault of the crayfish that this has happened so if you catch one, treat them with respect and kill them humanely.
The Trent catchment area is full of them. For some reason the Churnet is stuffed with them.
Make sure that you don't kill any native white clawed crayfish. Difficult to tell the difference sometimes but google 'Crayfish' and you can read up. You will also find some good recipes.

The Tamers are investing in some equipment to catch as many as we can. If I am caught, it will be my first criminal offence. Am I bothered?

We are also planning to collect some from the Trent at Bucknall (Stoke) and the Caldon canal to see what species they are. Obviously, we will put the native ones back.

Bone on fire!

More material for Bone's 'Gay Nymphs'

Monday, 25 April 2011

The Wye and things

Well, Woody and me met up yesterday, looking forward to a super day on the hallowed Derbyshire Wye.
I love fishing with Dave as he always has lots of intelligent things  to say and it makes the fishing a pleasure.
I'm not going to say much more as we really struggled. A couple of rainbows a piece.  Boy do we need some rain!
I don't think it was just the lack of water, I think the weather conditions didn't help.
We know it is a great river so roll on a wet summer!

We noticed that Glen Pointon has been caught short again and has thrown another pair of his pants in the river.
Or is this some devilish plant to lure the fish to this spot as all sorts of larvae drop off, leaving an enticing trail.


Well to be  honest, this was the headline I wanted to blog but we had no chance.
We should have learned our lesson by now. The rivers are struggling and a stream the size of the Tean is suffering more than most. I know there are some large fish in this beautiful overgrown  river but I was shocked to see the state of it today.
Dino, Jon, Bone and me ventured to Fole to have a crack. I thought the other rivers would have been crowded out. The Tean was almost impossible to fish.

Dino in his nest!

Dino catches a fly on the bonnet. "Let's match the hatch!"

We have a good stretch here and we opted to wander upstream. Unfortunately this is where the river has split and so shared water and even shallower and slower flow. A silly move really on my part, but I wanted the lads to catch and knew a haunt!
We waded (ankle deep) up to where a brook joins the main flow. It is a tunnel of trees. I had my 6" rod with a duo. The other lads were armed with 8 footers. To be honest, my rod was more if a hindrance in this swim.

Jon lands his grayling
I waded further up and anounced I was about to cast. In it went, nothing, second cast I hooked Jon, who had decided on a bad spot to watch. Third cast, I was sure I had a take. Fourth a nice oos Grayling.

But that was it. The other lads took turns, had a few takes but noyhing more. We wandered up stream, saw some large fish, Jon also had a grayling from the original swim but we called it a morning, we departed.
Does my bum look big in these?
We drove up to a trout pool we are members of and had a cracking few hours! And a cracking hour in the pub!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

a new fly to me

Attempted a Hawthorn job.
What we need

Friday, 22 April 2011

The Tamers tame Seighford

OK so it's not a river. And it's full of stocked rainbows but where else could we get away from the crowds on a bank holiday? Seighford seemed the best value so off we went.
It was very warm and the water was transparent.
We were also on smog alert and had to check the ozone levels, so our inhalers were ready, just in case!
Not good, we thought.
Bone started on the first of the two pools. Jon and me ventured up to the railway pool. This is next to the main line to London and behind is the M6. So not as tranquil as the rivers and we did have to take the risk of extra air pollution..
It was difficult and there were plenty of other anglers about.
However, we did rather well in the end and Bone is definitely on fire!

My first, a tiddler

Jon into another

We had a break with a bacon butty and discussed tactics

Check this out! Pushing 9lb! Bone is on fire!

After looking in the returns book, we felt rather smug and Lion Tamers celebrated with a pint afterwards.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A lesson in Stealth

At first glance, this looks like a tuft of Juncus effusus L. However, if you take the time to peer closer, you can just make out Mick (Trugg) observing a rising trout. He remained in this position for well over 5 hours before attempting a cast. Unfortunately by then, the trout had buggered off.
Well what a morning! Over 30 takes and 17 film crew to feed. I think it was well worth the effort as I've learnt so much. Our camo was so effective, we didn't see each other all afternoon and had to resort to whistles. Pity we didn't have 30 takes from the fish.
However, putting make up on 'The Trugg' in a secluded valley did  make me think. Please watch the video below.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Today on the Dove

I was not going to bother blogging this but if I don't I may forget some details.
Bone and me arrived at Dovedale just past 08.00. We started fishing at 09.00 and were on our way home at 11.30.
The river might be low, the conditions difficult but we had a good couple of hours.
I caught a few trout and three rather large grayling. If you don't go fishing...Unfortunately, grayling are out of season and you are not supposed to catch them at this time of the year. However, it is unavoidable as they have a similar diet to trout, which are ok to catch at the moment.
It is sods law I suppose, but two of them were bigger than any I have seen on the blogs and one was very, very special. Much bigger than the one I caught on the Wye last year. I have no photos of the special fish as one can be hanged for less.

So here's one of Bone with a little brownie...

Although only my third visit, I have had fish from nearly every swim I fancied. Even better, one pool I failed at last Friday, a pool I was convinced must hold fish yielded it's finest this morning.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Holly's 21st birthday

Yesterday was my daughter's 21st birthday.
Holly, as part of her degree course in biology at Nottingham, has to complete various photographic tasks.
She has some nice Canon  kit, bought for her by my ex and partner (very generous), and myself.
Holly wanted some advice so we popped over to Blackbrook Zoo; about 20mins from where I live.
I had never been before but I have to say we had a wonderful few hours there. It is a super place and ideal for photo buffs. I thought I would try out my new Olympus slr too.

All photos taken with an Olympus SLR

The geese are quite funny

She gets her looks from me

I think the lens is ok

I need to 'compare' this shot 

The Olympus is OK...

I have to say, I have never seen so much fly tying material in all my life!

The Lion Tamers visit Dovedale

We had an interesting day at Dovedale.

Plenty of fish to dry and nymph. We began at the bottom and finished around the car park. Nothing showing but I started with a JT Olive and lost a belter of a fish on only my second cast. It actually bent my hook.
After a few more speculative casts with no luck, I changed to the duo.

My first. After losing one that straightened my hook.

I was soon 'in' and a nice little brownie took my little nymph. I lost one in the next cast and then had a couple more.


I know I should wade deeper and closer but I found a swim I fancied, chickened on this occassion and cast a little further. I was soon into another. This time a gorgeous brown about 15"

The Taming Cast

The 'Laird' Lockett

My best of the day

More taming from 'Bone'

I then caught a couple that both smacked my sedge. I love it when this happens!
I did lose a couple of rather large fish in a nice place. I know where they live and before long I will have them!
Both Mick (Bone) and Jon had success and it is amazing the improvement in our techniques, just a year on.
In all, a super day with my fellow 'Tamers'

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Today on The Wye

My first day as a member of The Peacock Club.

I have to say I was really looking forward to this day, having booked just over a week ago when the weather was truly lovely.
I was taking Keith, a really nice guy from Leicester who, I had met last year when on a 'John Tyzack weekend' (Pi.. up) on the Tees.
Keith had never fished the Wye before and that worried me a tad as I have only been half a dozen times previously and did not want him to rely on me for info. I still have very basic knowledge in fly fishing and anyone who has been with me will certainly endorse this!
We met at the hotel at 10:00 and discussed tactics. (blind leading the blind). The Wye was low but several anglers had had good days in the previous week (Glen Pointon, Dave Woods, John Tyzack, and Mick Martin). No pressure then!
The idea was  to start at Cauldwell Mill, fish for a couple of hours, have lunch and try near the town later.
Walking up the meadow we saw another angler in a nice spot that I was going to suggest to Keith as I dearly wanted him to catch on his first visit.
So, change of plan, we wandered further up, found a couple of likely spots and began to cast.
It was far from warm and a NW wind was building up which didn’t help.

Luckily, having missing a take on my second cast, I caught a nice little rainbow a couple of minutes later..
We’d only been there about 10 minutes when Jan turned up and informed us that there were 11 anglers on today and 5 were just upstream on the same stretch.
We made an instant decision and drove up to Scot’s Garden.

The wind had got up and we both found it very difficult to cast. However, I spotted a rise and I sat for some while, watching a fish that was obviously on the feed. I couldn’t tell what it was taking but I fluked a cast to where it was and it took my little sedge almost immediately. A lovely rainbow was landed, just over a couple of pounds I reckon.
I can honestly say that was a great moment for me as it was the biggest trout I had caught outside the ‘town’ section.
I then lost one and missed a few takes before it was time to walk downstream.
We walked through the busy town and Keith was amazed how the huge trout there were competing for the bread with the ducks. I have to say, it is an eye opener even to some one who has seen it before, and I remarked, “You can have a crack at them later.” The smell of fish and chips then stimulated something in my brain and I wanted some.

I managed a couple more

But we resisted and wandered downstream. I then managed to catch a couple more, missing several, just past the Rec.
Keith then caught his first wild rainbow. We were made up! He was obviously delighted but not as much as me. The wind was causing all sorts of problems. It was so blustery and you really had to time your cast.

Tummy clock ticked and the chip shop called. We made our way back to the town and had some fodder. Although only about 16:30, it was getting much cooler and the crowds had gone. I suggested to Keith that we might try this stretch now and call it a day.

Take a big net for the town section

A change of leader and a LTD sedge landed me a few nice trout to about 4lb.

Keith lost two. The Police arrived and Keith was questioned as someone had reported us fishing the hallowed water! (The policeman was very courteous and obviously knows what a poacher looks like. All good banter!)

At about 17:00 we packed up.

An excellent day

Sunday, 27 March 2011


Just recovered from the LTDFFA do at the Izaak Walton Hotel.

Met some great guys and had a memorable fly tying demo from Paul Gaskell.
Glen showed us a couple of patterns, tied back to front as usual. A lovely buffet, a great hotel and copious amounts of beer. One of the Tamers didn’t turn in until 5 in the morning yet we all made breakfast. There are some who didn’t!!!

The photos tell their own story.

Testing the bed

Mick 'one brace' Kent

The Master at work

Proper tying

Glen struggling to focus

Jon sporting a 'King Tut'

Low light shrimp patterns from Paul