Thursday, 1 November 2012

Simon Gawesworth, at the South Cumbria Fly Dressers.

On Wednesday the 7th of November we have Simon Gawesworth from RIo products delivering a talk and answering questions on just about anything you could ever want to know about a flyline.

I have been lucky enough to have been on Guide flyfishings Rio Pro guide team for a few years now and I've seen Simon give similar talks before, I can tell you this is not one to miss.

The south Cumbria fly dressers meet every Wednesday at the British legion in Ulverston starting at 7.30pm.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Cheers, Tony.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Vision Sub Zero Jacket

I've had my Vision Sub Zero Jacket for just over three months now and I absolutely love it. Why it took so long for Primaloft Jackets to appear in the game angling world I'll never know, when they've been around in the outdoor clothing scene since the 80's.

Aside from all it's technical assets it's a smart jacket to wear out and about as well as when fishing. In fact it's the first ever piece of fishing kit I've owned that my wife has actually had something positive to say, which was, " I like that jacket it's nice, do they do them in women's sizes?".

So why did I want this jacket? Well for years I've been wearing fleeces, then more recently soft shells, but, whilst these are ok regarding there insulating property's they take up a lot of room in the back of my chest pack and after I'd added an outer shell it left me little room for anything else. Whereas the Vision Sub Zero jacket is warmer, more comfortable and it packs down into its own stuff sack to approximately the same size as a bag of sugar, so with only this and a packaway waterproof in my backpack there is now plenty of room for more essential items.

Then there is the fact that this jacket is ultra light, it uses a 100g Primaloft filling which is one of the warmest, water resistant and compressible synthetic fillings available, it gives me that warm cosy sleeping bag kind of feeling. There are possibly, warmer fillings available such as down, but once it's wet its thermal qualities are more or less rendered useless. This breathable jacket has a DWR coating so rain does bead off, however it is not, and was never designed to be completely waterproof.

Unlike similar Primaloft jackets it comes with a comfortable zip off hood, there are two hand warmer pockets and a chest pocket, which are all zip secured. Bring on the winter fishing.

All in all this is everything I need in a thermal layer. Highly recommended.

Have a look at for more information and your nearest stockist.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Fly Fishing Courses.

Dear All,

Myself and Paul Procter are planning another series of one day fly fishing courses aimed at both river (Sat 22nd Sept) and stillwaters (Sun 23rd Sept). 

If you’d like to improve your understanding in any of these areas then either course could be of interest.  Please contact myself or Paul for details.

Tony Riley.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Vision Keeper Float Tube.

Vision have recently introduced a float tube into there range, essentially a kit with everything you need to start Float tubing, i.e., a V hull float tube , Fins, inflate/deflate two way pump, a holdall to store it all, and a small puncture repair kit. Also two shoulder carrying straps that can be clipped to the base of the seat to transport and removed when fishing.


Vision Keeper Float Tube Kit

There are four separate bladders with this tube, an advantage i think over single bladder tubes because if one does fail whist out on the water the other three will help keep you afloat as you limp back to shore.

The initial set up took a little longer as the four bladders come separate and need fitting into there own individual places, one for each hull, one in the base of the seat and one in the backrest. Once this has been done though it took me under five minutes to set up ready to launch.

Shoulder straps fitted, tube on my back ready to go.


The Fins supplied work reasonably well and are easily fitted over your wading boots, but unfortunately one of the lace eyelets came out straight away, so this is one part of the kit i will probably upgrade soon.

Getting into the tube is really easy, simply remove the apron and sit back into the tube, then push the hulls apart with your knees and refit the apron support bar, then clip the seat strap onto the underside of the support bar and your ready to go.

Out on the water it soon became apparent i had put to much air into the seat base as i kept slipping forward on the seat, which was also a little uncomfortable, but once some air had been released i found this tube really comfortable. The fact that this model has an inflatable seat means you sit up just out of the water, something i preferred over other models I'd tried which position you lower into the water.

When you start fishing you soon become aware of some of the benefits of float tubing, being out there on the water gives a closer look at what the fish are feeding on and also being able to position yourself to intercept fish as they track up the wind lanes is an obvious advantage.

Another advantage is control over fly speed, because by gently finning you can either speed the fly up or in my case with the dry fly slow it down for a more natural drift,  all the while staying in touch with the fly, almost like applying the brakes to your float tubes drift speed.

Then there's the freedom of where you fish, such as those areas inaccessible to the bank angler!

Fortunately this day the fish were rising, and with dung fly's being blown past my head onto the water i could see the trout eating them. A superb few hours of fishing followed.

A few pictures from the day,





To sum it up i had a fantastic time, i can’t remember the last time i had this much fun on a Stillwater.

At just under £200 this Float tube from Vision is superb, really comfortable and very stable and providing you adhere to the safety guidelines, Float tubing is something i would highly recommend, if not just to try something different.

Friday, 22 June 2012

From South to North

Jim Williams had travelled up North from Wiltshire to fish with me for three days before we head to the BFFI this weekend.


This is the quality of fish we were looking for on a local river.


As you know the weather can change at a moments notice…


…but even in adverse conditions Jim managed to winkle out this beauty


I'm looking outside and its pouring with rain, lets hope it eases for the BFFI this weekend, come and say hello if your there. ~ Tony.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Sunday on the Eden.

I set out today with Alan Plevey to fish the Eden. With the rain lately the the river was just over a foot up and although carrying some colour it was clear enough to fish. The first few hours were spent on the main river where I had some really good fishing, but with no sign of any big fish out feeding I was keen to get up steam to one of the Eden's tributary's which at this height usually runs reasonably clear. As expected it fished well but unfortunately two big fish hooked and dropped left me feeling a little can't win em all.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Fly Fishing Workshops with Paul Procter and Tony Riley..

Paul Procter and Myself are running two fly fishing Workshops in august this year.
If this is something you would like to do please get in touch ASAP as places are limited and only a few remain.
All information is posted below including contact details.

River Wharfe Workshop


Paul Procter Tony Riley


Saturday 25th august2012

Join A.A.P.G.A.I. Master Instructors Paul Procter and Tony Riley for a day on the River Wharfe, covering all aspects of river trout fishing. The morning session will be spent discussing watercraft, basic entomology, tackleselection, leader set up, knots and casting techniques. Following lunch, participants will disperse for fishing with one-to-one tuition from Paul and Tony concentrating on tactics of your choice.

Assemble at Devonshire Arms Hotel for 9am

Practical discussions including watercraft and hands on entomology

Coffee break:

Demonstrations on nymph and dry fly presentation, including casting and tackle set-up


Fishing-putting theory into practice with Tony and Paul circulating amongst the group (includes afternoon tea break)

Regroup at 4.45pm before dispersing at5pm. Please Note: those who wish to continue fishing are free to do so.
Cost: £135.00 per person (includes: lunch, refreshments and fishing permit)
Tackle hire is available on request

Places are limited so please contact Paul or Tony ASAP to reserve a booking
Paul Procter: 0786 665 4091 email:
Tony Riley: 0750 2347995 email:

Bigland Hall Stillwater Trout Workshop
Paul Procter & Tony Riley
Sunday 26th August2012

Join A.A.P.G.A.I. Master Instructors Paul Procter and Tony Riley at Bigland Hall Trout Fishery for a day covering stillwater trout tactics with an emphasis on imitative fishing. The morning session will be spent discussing ;basic entomology, tackle selection, leader set up, knots, casting techniques and the trout’s habitat. Following lunch, participants will disperse for fishing with one-to-one tuition from Paul and Tony concentrating on tactics of your choice.


Assemble at Bigland Hall Trout Fishery for8.30-9am

Practical discussions, including trout location and hands on entomology

Coffee break:

Demonstrations on various styles of fishing,including casting and tackle set-up


Fishing-putting theory into practice with Tony and Paul circulating amongst the group (includes afternoon tea break)

Regroup at 4.45pm before dispersing at 5pm. Please Note: those who wish to continue fishing are free to do so.

Cost: £110.00 per person (includes:lunch, refreshments and fishing permit). Tackle hire available on request.

Places are limited so please contact Paul or Tony ASAP to reserve a booking
Paul Procter: 0786 665 4091 email:
Tony Riley: 0750 234 7995 email:

Bank holiday on the river.

I had three days fishing (for myself) this bank holiday, the most productive day for me being Monday.
I arrived at the river mid morning and had chosen a shaded stretch as forecasts of cloud and light winds were wrong once again. Fortunately there was a reasonable number of Olive uprights hatching and more importantly a few fish eating them, one really good fish feeding at the head of the pool, which unfortunately i hooked and lost as my size 14 Partridge TDH opened out, this has happened before with this hook i should have learned my lesson then. So gutted as i was i wandered up to the next pool, a slow glassy pool where rings from a rise travel a long way and equally so does any movement from an angler, about 30 yards up i saw a tiny disturbance under a dense canopy of tree branches, was this a small trout or had something fallen from the tree?.
Do i spend all that time inching my way up the almost still pool? as barbed wire fences stopped any other approach.
I decided to give it a go if not just for the challenge, and what seemed like an age later i was in position. On route I'd seen it rise a few more times at various places close to the high bank and i waited for it to rise again, a short time later it did and i sent up a cast which some how missed all the branches and my fly landed a few feet above the last rise, another gentle sip and my fly disappeared. I set the hook and was surprised to find what i thought was a smaller fish feel fairly heavy.
After an amusing fight in such dense surroundings the trout dropped the scales to 2lbs 6oz, proving you can't always tell the size of the fish from the rise itself. Two more fish over two pounds topped off a great day on the river.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Season so far.

My season this year started with a trip down to Hampshire to fish for grayling on the river Test with my old fishing buddy Albert Pettigrew. Albert is currently working through his bucket list and the Test was on that list. Fellow instructors Jim Williams and Ian May had organised the fishing for us, both who have become great friends over the years and under there guidance two great days fishing was had by us both. On march 14th Jim Williams travelled up from Wiltshire to give a presentation on furled leaders for our branch of the flydressers guild. This was well received from the members some of which have started making there own. The day after was opening day of the trout season and I returned the favour to Jim by taking him fishing on one of my favourite rivers the Eden, a day he must have enjoyed as he's returning soon. Since then I've fished as much as possible and even managed a small stint in the Caribbean. The last few weeks have been spent fishing local rivers, and patience was rewarded this week with a beautifull wild brown trout of 3lbs 2oz. I sit here now looking out of the window of my fly tying room watching the east wind bend the trees over,hoping that the forcast of better conditions is right

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Bolton fly flying club.

Demonstrated at Bolton fly tying club last night, thanks to all who attended, Great night with a great bunch of people.