Amongst other bugs, it’s been a bumper season for stoneflies this autumn that saw fish responding on most days though interestingly, they’re not after emerging flies? Pro Guide and our resident expert on all things buggy, Stuart Crofts gives us the low down on what exactly occurs.
Willow flies appear managed to get a close up
Throughout September and October slender stoneflies, namely willow flies & needle flies take to the wing. Interestingly, fish don’t actually take emgergers as the nymphs crawl up bankside vegetation to emerge into winged adults on land. Nevertheless, although trout and grayling miss this feast, adult female stoneflies have to return to the water for egg-laying. To do this they need two things; one is warmth, which helps them fly and the other is relatively still air so they can successfully navigate to the water’s surface and deposit their precious cargo of eggs. Now, the likelihood of this combination is considered rare this late in the year, but even on windy days there will be shelter somewhere behind trees or vegetation. It is the same with “warmth”, again there’ll be little areas where the sun will warm the stoneflies in preparation for flight. So, even if the stoneflies in your area are now on the wane then remember the event for 2014 because for sure the fish will be enjoying this late season party! Email Stuart
Gilly Bates receives her well earned AAPGAI Provisional certificate from Chairman I
Orvis committed to good service
For a number of years now Orvis UK have quietly supported their staff and ghillies when it comes casting qualifications, which as far as they’re concerned benefits customers who ultimately receive a top flight service. Many staff have taken the AAPGAI (Association of Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors) route which perhaps involves the most thorough and demanding of examinations on all its levels. Orvis ghillie Gill Bates recently passed her provisional assessment with flying colours to join a growing list of AAPGAI casting instructors within Orvis like Ben Dixon (Banchory) and Keith Passant (Burford).
Trout on the chew at Chew
Chew Valley lake has continued in good form right through autumn, reports Martin Cottis. Even during October, Martin put several of his clients over rising trout when small CdC flies were the order of the day. Buzzers are what caused the commotion, which hatched in profusion. Even when more unsettled weather arrived, surface sport could still be enjoyed. Given this Bristol Water granted an extension to the season by allowing a limited number of boats to remain on the water until the end of November. This news has clearly been welcomed by locals and visiting rods alike. So, if you fancy a stint of late season dry fly sport then Martin suggests you get you’re backside down there pretty sharpish! Email Martin
A solid grayling on the Tenkara outfit, proof that decent fish can be landed using a fixed line
The ancient art of Tenkara (fishing with a fixed line and no reel) continues to grow in the UK. Holding my hands up, initially, I was sceptical about this seemingly restrictive method! However, a recent trip to Bosnia gave me ample opportunity to dabble in the ways of Tenkara. Delicate and unobtrusive presentation meant I could put down a fly without any disturbance whatsoever to fool a number of nervous grayling. As for playing fish, yes the odd problem did arise, but on the whole this method is devastating in certain situations. That little bit wiser from this experience, you might say I’ve become enlightened!
Find Tenkara Rods
The Grayling Society’s AGMs are always well supported
Despite some pretty atrocious conditions the 37th Symposium and AGM of the Grayling Society ran like clockwork at the Forest and Vale Hotel in Pickering. Members flocked from far and wideto enjoy a day of presentations from such names as Stuart Crofts talking about Bio Security, Chris McCully on the history of Grayling and other grayling related topics, with Alan Mullinger and John Shannon discussing the future of the Costa and Oxfold Becks. The Grayling Research Trust gave an informative update before members sat down to the Gala Dinner, followed by an entertaining auction. It’s pleasing that the Society continues to thrive, especially during these difficult times.
Swings and Roundabouts
Generally speaking, Scotland tends to get buckets of rain whilst the south stays dry. This season however saw a switch in weather trends when the Highlands and Aberdeenshire in particular saw near drought conditions for much of the season. In fact, things got so bad that runs of fish on celebrated salmon rivers never really got going, making it a tough season. I’ll guarantee you the flood gates will open as soon as the season closes! Ben Dixon (Banchory) is hoping for a harsh winter with plenty of snow as this keeps river levels topped up come spring and early summer.
2014 Schools and Courses
Orvis are busy preparing for 2014. As ever there will be several schools and courses to cover all aspects of fly fishing. So whether you’re a beginner or more seasoned rod, chances are there’ll be something for you. Dates and venues will be posted on the website soon here.