Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Carp on the 'Fly'?

On nice warm summer evenings myself and good friend Paul Proctor enjoy some amusing sessions catching Carp on the fly. I use the word "fly" lightly as I don't use an imitation of an insect but that of a dog biscuit or bread. Catapulting a few real dog biscuits into likely areas can often get Carp feeding on the surface and, once a few offerings of food have been eaten, the Carp start to feed more confidently. Now is usually when I would choose to make a cast.

Hooking one of these 'submarines' is exciting to say the least! These fish are extremely strong and a hard fight usually follows. My local waters have a lot of 'snaggy' areas and I would feel under-gunned with a rod rating any lower than 8. At range they can be tamed but once under the rod a big Carp can be very difficult to get up to the surface. Talking of tackle, check your local fisheries rules and regulations as my local fisheries dictate certain size landing nets, unhooking mats and whether barbless or microbarbed hooks must be used. I've learnt the hard way that you need to use a strong hook!

All in all, catching Carp on the fly can be a pleasant change when the rivers are out of sorts.
Below is a picture of a recent catch.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Recent Events

Friday and Saturday last week was spent at The Scottish Game Fair, at Scone Palace, working for guide fly fishing with good friend, Jim Fearn. I enjoy these events because it's a good chance to talk to like-minded people.

Then an early start Sunday morning travelling down to the North East to give casting demonstrations and tuition at a local event. After a wet start, a good day was had by all.

Most evenings, recently, have been spent tuning up casting, in between fishing. After a long dry spell we finally have some water back in the rivers which has improved the fishing massively, as my son found out on Sunday during his first river fishing experience. Just like anybody's first attempt at river fishing it took him a while to get accustomed to the flowing water but his determination was rewarded and he caught over 10 fish for the day! That's an exceptionally good day for any fisherman, let alone a novice, and, when he was so enthusiastic about the fish he'd caught, I didn't have the heart to tell him that, that sort of thing doesn't happen often. Let's hope his enthusiasm doesn't fade away as the blank days start rolling in.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Upcoming Event - CLA Game Fair

For all those interested the CLA Game Fair will be held at Ragley Hall (Warkwickshire) this year, from the 23rd - 25th July 2010.

Myself and the other Rio Pro Guides will be attending the Game Fair, offering advice and tips about products from Guide fly fishing, aswell as giving people the chance to try out the different lines and rods available.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Big wild brown trout for simon.

On Friday 18th i had the pleasure of guiding two guy's both named Simon on cumbria's river Eden.
A productive day with a first Grayling and numerous trout being caught, one fantastic wild brown Trout weighing in at exactly 3lb and a length of 19 and a half inches caught by Simon Hollis. Fish of this size are fish of a lifetime for some so seriously, well done Simon.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Firstly I would like to apologise for the lack of entries to my blog of late. Fishing has taken up, both, day and night recently and there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day!

Most of my days & evenings, so far this month, have been taken up with guiding, teaching and loads of fishing. One evening was spent on The Eden with Sam & his son Matthew - a young man who impressed me with his care and consideration to all living things in, and around, the river being so gentle when returning the fish he caught to the water as well as his fascination with the large mayfly which rested on his hand for a while.

One Saturday was spent at Fox Houses Lake for Pat Stevens, from Flytec, & members where myself and good friend Jim Fearn were representing guide fly fishing and offering demonstrations and casting tuition. This is the second year we have participated in this event and, once again, it was a great success. Jim is a salmon fishing fanatic so, with Scottish rivers having decent levels & local rivers being extremely low, a lot of his time, of late, is spent in Scotland however, after a lot of persuasion at The Fox Houses day I managed to talk Jim into an evenings trout fishing on a local river (which he used to do an awful lot of). After watching Jim catch some 'cracking' trout on the dry fly I'm sure he was left just a little bit inspired.

On Sunday myself and Jim were at Knottallow tarn holding a Guide fly fishing day for Ulverston anglers, again, offering advice, tuition and casting demonstrations and despite some heavy rain showers everybody seemed to enjoy the day.

Myself offering advice on products from guide fly fishing.

Casting Tuition

Jim teaching with the Salmon Rod

Jim and I run days sponsored by Guide Fly Fishing regularly up and down the country. Any clubs interested in holding a day sponsored by Guide Fly Fishing should please contact me for further information.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

A great week.

Last week saw me on my way up to Dumfries and Galloway to spend four days assisting the guys from Borderlines in providing a very successful Angling for knowledge scheme to children from schools all across the district. It really was a pleasure to work with these kids, watching the excitement on there face as they made there first cast and caught there first fish, also getting them to catch and see the various invertebrates that live in our waters. For more info on Borderlines and the services they provide visit there web site at

After each day with the children i just could not get myself to drive past Cumbria's river Lune where i had some fantastic sport fishing the evening rise. As far as hatches go Monday was by far the best, with various upwings hatching masses of olive upright spinners in the air, some big Stoneflys crawling up the rocks to hatch and various terrestrials about the trout had a good menu to chose from and i enjoyed a very good evenings dry fly fishing.

Large Stonefly shucks on one of the boulders

On Tuesday evening i was joined by Paul Proctor hoping to see a repeat performance.
However as light faded and the temperature dropped it soon became evident it wasn't to be, but even with no where near the same amount of invertebrates we still had a good evenings fishing and as ever its always a pleasure to fish with Paul.

Light fading on a very low river.

On Wednesday there had been some rain and i stopped by the river really just to check the level.
Looking over a bridge the river was still very low but up in the neck of the pool i saw what looked like an average size trout rise, i thought before tackling up I'll just check the pool round the corner where, mid pool in the foam line a big trout ate a newly emerged dun. That was that, swiftly back to the car tackled up and headed back to where I'd seen the big fish rise, literally seconds later it tilted and sipped in a dun. Then a few rain drops turned into a heavy shower and the fish was gone. Who knows maybe this was a sign from the river god's telling me not to over indulge.

Another cool evening and showers on Thursday saw me fish for just over an hour and only a few small trout were caught.

Saturday and Sunday i spent two great days teaching on local stillwaters but by Monday i was itching to get back on the river.
Again as light faded the temperature dropped and myself, Tony Bell and Paul Proctor spent another tough but enjoyable evening's fishing. The river is very low and clear at the moment and the fish really are very spooky, but still, looking forward to next time.

A nice 2lb 12oz brown trout
doing a better job of posing for the camera than me.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Cumbria fishing festival.

This week the Cumbria fishing festival has been holding various events from saltwater, river, stillwater and salmon fly fishing.
Myself and good friend Paul proctor were hosting two stillwater events the first on Thursday at Bigland hall trout fishery where 18 anglers had possibly the best weather and fishing conditions of the week.
Anything small and black seemed to be proving most productive and i think everybody had fish.

Farleton view trout fishery was Saturday's venue where myself and Paul were asked to provide a masterclass on stillwater trout fishing.
Aimed at the more experienced angler we went in depth into equipment, leader design and knots, entomology and various casting/fishing techniques, finishing off with some fishing and one to one help and advice.
The festival once again seems to have been a big success and i thank all who were involved in it's organisation.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Diving in sharm el sheikh

Arrived home on the 14th from a fantastic holiday at Sharm el sheikh in Egypt.
Unfortunately there is no fishing allowed on the coral reefs of the red sea,
and this was the biggest reason my partner picked this destination.
Two week's with no fishing, what was i going to do? even the fishing books had been banned.

Fortunately for me the hotel she'd booked has one of the best snorkeling
and diving reefs in Sharm el sheikh,
so every day was spent in the sea, having the chance to observe
some of the fish in there own environment, such as, Barracuda, Giant trevally,
Tuna, Shark's, Grouper's and a mass of other fish that live around
the stunning reefs of the Red sea.

One of the reefs in Ras Mohamed national park.

Our hotel reef in sharks bay.

So after a great holiday all i need to do now is fish. A lot

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Stockport, Fly Fishing Shop Open Weekend 24th and 25th April.

Myself, Jim Fearn and Gary Coxon will be there, offering free casting tuition and advice on all the latest product's from Sage and Guide fly fishing.

There will also be all the latest fly line's from Rio that you can try on one of the latest rod's from Guide and Sage, or try the line''s on your own rod to get the match that suit's you.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Best Regards,

Tony Riley.

Monday, 19 April 2010

A hard day on the Eden.

Sunday,18th April.

I set out to the river this morning enthused as weather conditions seemed perfect. Only to find on dropping down into the Eden valley a big hole in the clouds beaming sunshine onto the river.

With enthusiasm dropping fast I met up with my companion for the day, Paul Maxwell, and we headed for the riverside.

First glances didn't help as the river was running low and very clear, the pools having only a trickle in, hardly any flow in the body and a trickle out (not easy as fish tend not to hold station and wander searching for food and can also be very alert).

Waiting for the rise is often good advice as, when you cant see them, a badly timed cast here can line the fish and you're left wondering why its suddenly stopped rising, or a bow wave is seen as it bolts for cover.

At about 1.30 a few olives started to show and a rise was spotted in very slow water. Paul's patience paid off and the fish rose to his fly which was either unexpected or he was daydreaming (sorry Paul) as he struck lets just say "a little late". Then, further up the pool, a big fish showed and about 10 minutes later we were in position waiting for it to show again.

It was just one of those days as looking up onto the bank was some guy with his dog stood right next to where the fish had risen and to make it worse his partner turned up with her dog and decided to watch for a while.

Needless to say we grumbled a bit and quietly waded out.
Joking aside an enjoyable day in good company.

Paul working on nymphing in a nice plunge pool.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Hi Everyone!

This is my first blog entry so thanks very much for checking in.

With the weather today being very bright and breezy I decided to go and check out some new water I'd joined this season on the river Lune.

A long walk was on the cards and I took along only the bare essentials, including a rod (just in case a rising fish was spotted along the way). I wasn't holding out much hope though with the conditions as they were today. - You know the old saying "bright and breezy never easy"!

I'd been walking for about 40 minutes, looking at some promising pools, when a large, dark 'olive' fluttered by so I decided to watch for a while. A few minutes later a fish rose. Not wanting to spook the fish, I tackled up with a long leader and an olive parradun. Just as I got into position another fish rose to the side of me, only a small fish, but still good target practice.
A moment later a nice half pounder came to hand. Still having one eye on the bigger fish, which had risen a few times by now, I made a cast up and the fly was fortunately taken first drift by a nice 'brownie' of about 1lb.

Having walked a good few miles today and seen some promising water I'm left thinking there are good days to come!

Monday, 5 April 2010

New Website & Blog ~ Lake District Fly Fishing

Welcome to my new Blog

I will soon have a website launched as well in early April.

I hope you'll check back and view my blog contributions.

Contributions which will include fishing (of course!), fly Casting & fly tying... all of which I have a passion for and most of which are done in Cumbria where I live...