Thursday, 19 August 2010

Sat 7th August: ASGA

Another of Steve James' opportunities arose in that we joined Louis Noble's Advanced School of Game Angling (ASGA) for a day on the Dee at Maelor. Steve secured four rods with Louis in what turned out to be a most informative trip.
The session covered quite a broad spectrum of methods from Czech Nymphing through Duo and dry fly to Spey casting with wets.

From L-R: John, Yours Truely, Keith, Simon and Louis

Our initial kick sampling proved  a little disappointing in its yield. A small selection of stonefly nymphs with one or two 3 tailed upwings nymphs, cassed caddis and caddis pupa were analysed. It never ceases to amaze me how bright some pupating caddis are; 'eat me' in neon green. Naturally [pun intended] the kick sampling evolved into imitations and setup for Czech Nymphing with Louis demonstrating his tactical wading approach.

L-R: Steve, YT and Louis pre kick sample

A move to setups and how to fish the duo was followed by lunch. During which Simon demonstrated his Tenkara setup for nymphing. John, as open minded as ever and always one to attract fish, willingly took the rod from Simon and into the river he went. After half a dozen or so casts, he is a magnet, an 8oz Grayling obliged (another coup for Tenkara Promotions Ltd.). It was quite funny watching him wrestle the fish with 12' of T and 16' of leader/tippet. If you are experiencing T for the first time without instruction this can be quite tricky.

CZN demo

Post lunch and Louis' spider fishing session. His own goto spider setup consists of four spider patters on an 11.5' cast. The make up of the leader has become quite critical to enable good tangle free turnover and is effectively a weight forward leader where the first third tapers up in diameter before tapering down the point. The secret recipe is in my pocket;). The cast is fished across and down which, although some of us may question, Louis assures catches a very large volume of good fish. If the rod is held high and tracked with the current a series of dead drifts across the river can be acheived. When one drift has drifted out do not be afraid to raise the rod up again, even if the team pulls from the water and then drift down again. Keep this until on the dangle below. The leader setup alone does not prevent tangles, but a double spey cast is absolutely necessary especially with the Dee's prevailing downwinder. So when on the dangle the spey cast (which just changes direction to across again) keeps the cast straight and tangle free.
The setup is best coupled with a double taper line matching the weight of a minimum 10' rod. A 3 or 4 weight. This is incredibly simple and pleasurable one handed fishing.

YT completing the cast. Error here is in not driving the tip down low enough to prevent downstream bows and extra line mending

Another subtlty that becomes apparent is to hold the rod butt low and tip high when getting towards dangling out, this does give that extra few feet of drag free drift.
A good example of holding rod butt low. You can also see the shallow streamy water that best suits this method

From the diagram above, it can be seen how with several drag free drifts then a mend upstream the amount of water that can be covered. After dangling out, take a step downstream

This method of wet fly fishing covers a lot of water and is so simple. The most complex part is leader make up, but this should be done at home and wound onto a cast carrier.
Top tip from Louis regarding tangle free droppers was to essentially paternoster the droppers. Create the dropper length by creating a 3/4" to 1" loop at the end of the dropper and then passing the dropper loop over and above leader knot and back through itself. The result is a sliding dropper that stops on a knot in the leader make up. The loop in the dropper holds the dropper away from the leader. I know a two turn water knot is favoured by many, but although these may not tangle around the leader they do twist around the leader. Give this some consideration.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Simple and Heavy; well relatively

You can get so pre occupied with what worked last time out and over analysis on your favorite river, but how often does simplicity pay off in the end.
A stretch of the Alyn I usually avoid due to the magnetic attraction of coarse anglers is adjacent to Cook's Bridge. There is, empathatically, some nice deep glides here to attract them. Assuming I had first 'dibs' this morning [there were no cars] I dropped into the river upstream of the bridge, actually in amongst many dropped grains of sweetcorn that the previous occupant must have discarded. Gosh! are there tench here?
Anyway, the T was with me today and the trusted duo rig attached to enable 2 dimensional prospecting. Careful negotiation of the next 30yrds upstream bought responses from only a couple of parr and two refused aproaches to the dry from stamp Grayling. MMmmm maybe the fish around here are conditioned to the Jolly Green Giant's produce. Upon hearing a car door slam a 15cm Grayling gorged itself on the dry. So much so that I couldn't retrieve the hook and had to cut the line. I had to support this fish for a good five minutes before it held itself upright. I left the small fella to recover and rounding a slight bend I came face to face with a big black labrador and its owner[car door owner also] settling down to a little swimfeeder session. A quick exchange of courtesies and a careful paddle past their chosen swim led me to the next convenient pool upstream where the droppered dry was removed and re-positioned on the point. The #14 olive emerger resulted in a few small Grayling, but things just didn't feel right. I quickly tried a few small midge patterns in case size, or lack of, mattered but results were still pretty scant. The real fishy looking areas looked quite deep and were generally protected by a low canopy so I initially removed the 10' level leader and reloaced with one of Simon's custom 7' tip indicator furle with the intention to flick a #12 shrimp pattern in to the holes. Whilst changing setup a few fish were rising in a far bank run upstream, so I quickly adapted the setup by doubling the 7' furle with a stepped nylon leader, 5lb, 3lb, 2lb of simliar lengths. A size #20 midge was half blooded onto the end. This cast beautifully, the leader make up flicking effortlesly and the light 7' furle and section of 5lb mono was easliy lifted off the water to leave a small 3' pile of tippet and the fly to act naturally in the flow. Rewards were initially instant with several Grayling and a couple of small trout obliging. However, sport once again slowed with sporadic interest.
I reached another deepish spot and now decided to put the shrimpish pattern on. The pattern is tied classic Czech Nymph style with all body hair brushed out over the entire length. First cast and a trout darted out from its Willow tree refuge and took on the drop. Second cast, the same. Third cast, the shrimp finally cut through the water and on tracking through, the yellow indicator section of the furle paused. A quick lift and the thump thump of a decent Grayling; 30cm. A few paces upstream and another of 15cms.
For the next hour or so I stuck to the single shrimp, losing one or two on submerged traps, and concentrated hard on water over 18" deep. I really felt in the groove here, flicking and tracking the shrimp, carefully negotiating the narrow river as the main flow changed from left bank to right, the tip indicator appearring to detect everything, a succession of Grayling obliging...
Simple and I suppose winter like in setup, but although we love to bring them up to a well presented dry you do get days when you can flog the proverbal. The upwing population is not prolific on the Alyn and much of the summer daytime surface activity appear to be from terrestrials, but there is an abundance of small shrimp. So lets give it to them on occassion.
Btw, in the short stretch of river covered I've never ducked under so many Kingfishers before. I'm assuming most are this seasons young and are usually un disturbed. Once you cover the first 50yrds upstream, access to the coarse fishers becomes a little trickier so I doubt much of the river here has been fished this year.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Grayling Grayling everywhere...

Three sessions over two weekends at Ithells proved very productive. The Grayling are spread right along this stretch presently and fish can be caught in all areas. Dries are accounting for most fish, and they appear to take absolutely anything provided presentation is good. I suspect that most fish have been very opportunistic, as I have have seen many terrestrials on the water taken freely. This even included bees falling from the balsam.
The most enjoyable sections have been where pods of 6 or more Grayling have been seen spotted over the shallow gravel runs, typically directly under the bridge and on the short run between the two big bends. Here there is a reluctance to take the dry, but small ptn's and grhe's have given good sport. It's fasinating to watch the reaction of the fish as the nymph's pass through the pods. Unless you induce some movement at the crucial point, the fish reamin on station so a dead drifted nymph has to pass within an inch or two to be taken. Whereas an unweighted nymph lifted just before it reaches a fish causes the fish to turn and chase. The dead drifted takes are very, very subtle. A funny moment was in bumping a good Grayling, then watching the fish zoom upstream flanking and rubbing its sore lips in the gravel.
Interestingly, all Grayling seem to be of either 15cm or 30cm, very little of any other size. I'd like to know the thoughts of the Grayling experts about whether this is typically of fish of certain ages. IE 3yr olds are generally this and 4 yr old are generally that. If you have an answer, then please comment.

You have to walk downstream to reach this point. Take breather for 5 whilst it settles...but worth it

Sunday 25th and I trapped my biggest brown from this part of the lower Alyn on the T. I flicked a duo setup into the head of the pool, where the dry landed in the main flow and the nymph landed into the back eddy (see below). As soon as the nymph hit the water, the brown darted out from the bank took and leaped in one movement, obviously feeling the resistance of the tight line post cast. Several leaps later and a drag through the fast water, and I reckon 11/2 lbs of Brownie were netted. I fumbled for my camera from my top pocket but lifting the fish from the net it kicked and I dropped it [the fish]. Gone...The smooth tender flesh of a Brown is a lot more slippery than a Grayling:(

Back eddy under the far bank

It is possible the brown was taking damsel nymphs from the grass, as there were a lot freshly emerged around this pool.

Working the water around the farm and you should have a target of at least 20 fish at a ratio of 10:1 Grayling...

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Saturday 10th July - Going French at Shocklach

Quick drive to the Dee at Shocklach on Saturday morning, found a shorter route via the A41 and Tilston, and a quick session trying out some Hends French Nymphing leaders. The Dee here is nice and open, so no potential overhead line traps and there are many deep runs that I thought may be accessable using these leaders.
I opted for a 4m leader onto which I tied on a 6" length of pink Floro carbon, cut from one of my Tenkara leaders, as an indicator with a couple of weighted CZN's below. Casting this setup needed a bit of aggression initially. A slight downstream wind, coupled with the fact that the two CZN's were providing the initial weight mean't several casts were required to enable the cast to reach my chosen line. Once in the rhythm however, the cast could be easily transferred upsteam from the dangle by striking bankwards, then 'switch' casting upstream. I was by no means classic 'french nymphing', but trying to utilise a setup where I could get that bit further across without compromising too much. It seemed a good idea for reaching some deeper water, but the fish had other ideas. All I could muster were a handful of salmon parr and two 15cm Grayling.
Forever one to take positives from a session, it felt quite a good variation on a technique. None of the fish were fluked, all detected via the indicator stopping etc. (Assuming all takes registered ;)) Room for further trials me thinks.
Also saw two Salmon moving in separate areas which seemed to co-incide with the tides covering the weir in Chester.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Redressing the balance...

Popped along to Llay Road Bridge for a couple of late evening hours. The 'in hand' ratio was finally redressed at Pete 6 Alyn 1.

I left the T in the car and took the 4 weight initially armed with a #20 black duster. Little was moving and I never had a show until a small brown surrendered itself to a small CDC and Elk from the pool immediately below the huge log straddling the river. Moving on to the two bridges the same pattern accounted for two more fish, one of 6" and one of 8", that moved from under the far bank brambles and one bumped fish.

The session was finished in a narrow pool slightly further upstream. As I approached this pool there were regular rises from several fish. These were the most regualr rises I'd seen and maybe appearred to co-incide with the spinner activity around an adjacent Willow and what looked to be some small emerging olives. Still using the CDC and E, two 6" browns quickly obliged at the tail of the pool, the last fish gorging the fly. I changed fly here for a #16 pale olive dun type pattern, there were definitely some small olivey thingies emerging, and also to be able to see it in the dimming light and to give some extra buoyancy as continual little roll casts here were saturating the smaller flies. Second cast at the head of the pool and a lively 6 incher gave its approval. I then snagged up on a small Willow branch, thus losing fly and tippet and whilst tying a new one on a fish could be seen sipping in the slightly slacker water across. There is a nice selection of small Rusty Spinner patterns presently adorning the box (post Derbyshire) so what the heck. With the spinner pattern on I rolled up and acroos the pool head into the slack water, no idea where the fly was landing. After maybe four or five rolls I struck at a slightly larger sip, and contact. I was expecting some sort of explosion, but I was graced with another, although beautiful, 8" trout.

This was a lovely evening session. My casting felt good, I managed to raise a couple of fish whilst searching and finally applying some basic logic on immitation selection based on observations of rise forms and insect life. It was nice to concentrate on the dry, as my last few Alyn sessions have been factored around just getting a result rather that enjoying. All six fish were 6-8", no Parr, no Grayling and all in fine condition (don't know whether this stretch has been stacked this year). Suitably satisfied...

Monday, 5 July 2010

The curse continues...

A full social diary this weekend forced me into visiting Worm's Wood for a couple of early hours on Saturday. It's about 4 weeks since my last visit here, and although low then, the river is even lower now. The canopy has thickened and in places this is a sinister dark looking place. I scratched my head, looked up river decided on an initial approach of a small (#18) beaded ptn and a droppered spider on the T.
The first few pools adjacent to the horsefield and into the wood yielded nothing. It was only upon flicking the wets upstream where the river narrows through the bedrock that I saw a brief twitch of the leader and a fish was on. A couple of small thumps initially, then as I lifted, the fish just zoomed upstream rapidly, pulling the T down low, then slack...again!!!!!!!! It was over in an instant and I've no idea what it was.
Inspection of the hook (it was still there) revealed nothing, no straightening, no covering of the point. Cursed again.
A few more drifts yielded nothing, so I thrashed my way through the balsam and emerged above the bend upstream. There is a small damming  around the bend caused by a long 6" log bridging the river. The river has backed up nicely here and  necks into the resulting pool. This area has encountered for a few good fish this season. Any way I worked the pool upstream, and upon reaching the neck, the leader stopped and a good fish was on, a good brown. I let it drop downstream, and brought the fish up. I was just contemplating whether to keep this one and call it a day and whilst reaching for my net the fish made a last lunge downstream where the leader caught around a semi submerged log. I quickly grabbed the leader, worked my hand down to where it was snagged, then hand hauled the fish from beneath. It kicked quickly then shed the hook...NOOOOOO! This was a good Alyn Brown, not sewage works standard, but a good Alyn Brown of maybe 35cms which took the small Partridge spider.

The pool and offending timber

Disconsolantly I worked upstream, no more shows till I reached the large dam and worked the riffley run coming from it with a grey Klink. Two small browns were caught in successive casts, but this couple of hours felt like a blank.
I'm trying to boost my self confidence by telling myself that at least I'm connecting with good fish in hard conditions, but I need one in the net. When you lose a few fish, sometimes you can be a bit over tentative when playing the next one and I was possible guilty of this today. Hoping to squeeze in an evening session mid week.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Peacock Hotel

England 1 Germany 4
Pete 1 Derbyshire Wye 5

The hottest day of the year took us to the Peacock Hotel waters of the Derbyshire Wye. Once again courtesy of Steve James' excellent organisation and Phil White's guiding.

'The Nesh' Daley with long sleeves and collar up on the hottest day of the year. To be fair, protection from the ravenous Horseflies...

Rendevous at the Hadden Farm carpark at around 11.00am, Phil quickly gave a reality check by informing us that fishing would be hard, and not to be disappointed if we didn't connect with anything before evening. Whilst taking a leisurely group bank walk, it quickly became apparrent how unspoilt this fishery was. The banks were un-manicured (nettles waist deep in most areas), and evidence of previous angling sorties were minimal. Many small Rainbows were rising, so perhaps there may be some midday sport.

Early Afternoon Surprises
Setting up. Several nettle stings later, the shirt sleeves were down

Anyway, Steve Daley and myself settled on a small island just above the Hadden Estate's private beat. Steve quickly set up and tempted some small Grayling from the pool opposite him. My downstream end of the island was a riffly Ranunculus run, which I just hoped may hold a brown or two. Alas, if it did I didn't tempt anything. I left the island and moved upstream, keeping low behind the chest deep nettles (which isn't exactly hard). Stopping next to a small Alder I had a nice view of a couple of small pools up to a large bend. A couple of small Rainbows were holding mid river infront of me, and a metronomic rise from something bigger beneath another small near bank Alder may just keep me occupied. I tied on a #20 CDC and Elk, and flicked mid river towards the small Bows. Second cast and one moved, but I missed it. After a couple of more casts the fish had dropped downstream. I now moved up to try and get a stealthy position with which to reach the rising fish. Shuffling through the nettles and poking the rod out over the river I watched the fish rise. It was a good rainbow, although it did appear to be taking ascending nymphs or emergers. After studying for a couple of minutes I tried rolling a couple of casts under the Alder, but initial efforts were too short thus putting the fish down. Phil appearred behind me, so I explained how I had just put a fish down and was waiting to see if it re-appearred. When it finally did, I covered, but no interest. Covered again, but on this cast the fly had lost its buoyancy and sank to just below the surface. This triggered the fish and it took the 'wet'. A pound and half of Rainbow leaped once, leaped a second time, Phil fumbled for his camera, then !*%*. It was gone. Justice I suppose after it grabbed the rule breaking 'wet'
Pete 0 Wye 1

Most of the party had connected with a few small fish each in the early afternoon heat with varying attractions from small F Flies to relatively large caddis immitations. Our host was delighted with our returns. Beyond expectation given the conditions and recent days experience.
Lunch break co-incided with the England game. Our host called home, and told Mary to expect four guests. Our thanks to Phil and Mary for their hospitality in allowing us to watch the debacle that followed.

Preparing for the Spinner fall
Waiting for the sun to set...

We were back on the river at 6.00pm. Ian and Eddie had stayed on and wisely forfeited the football. They had had a few fish.
I thought a left bank venture upstream of the bridge would be fun and immediately settled opposite a small pool where I had seen a good fish rising from the bridge. Ian may have tried this earlier, as the nettles were recently trampled. Never the less, a few flicks of the CDC and Elk accress and a small rainbow grabbed just before I anticipated drag would set in. Stripped line in quickly so I could lift it over the foliage just as Phil was walking from the car. He looked over and feeling smug at the point of lift, self release...
Pete 0 Wye 2

No worries, the good fish was still rising in the slightly slacker water on the far bank. I cast to it, but limited to directly accross by the jungle like foliage the faster mid stream current set drag in instantly. Another 3' of was added to the leader in the hope of enough collapse to enable a few feet of drag free. Presentation looked good, but no interest. I tied on a #20 Bangor Duster (like grey duster but with Mole hair body). Again no interest. OK, maybe emergers. So, on went one of Phil's barely legal patterns, his CDC loopwing Almost Dun in a #20. Phil now appearred on the bridge and watched. Pressure on, good cast needed, rolled out to initially aerialise, then one overhead flick, PERFECT. The bow took immediately, I tightened, the fish shot downstream Unbelievable! Self inflicted baffoonery in that my knot must have been c***. The tell tale curly end of tippet. Is this me or some sort of Phil voodoo? He has been present for all misfortune so far!
Pete 0 Wye 3 (self imploding)

I wandered forlornly upstream. The undergrowth getting thicker on this bank. I just cast the loopwing (a well connected one) speculatively at rises. The low facing sun was making rise distinction tricky.
I reached the outside of a small bend, where a back cast could just be achieved and flicked across, where a small Brown took the Bangor Duster (this was back on now). Once again, on attempting to lift the fish over the high bankside foliage, it dropped off...
Pete 0 Wye 4 (Can I claim this one over the line to reduce the deficit?)

I wandered back downstream, stopped at the pool above above the bridge again to see if my hook impregnated fish was there. It was, so I attempted to cover. The cast dropped short, so I fished it out anyway. On setting myself for a roll, a dumb small Brown launched itself at the fly. This was on and swung to hand
Pete 1 Wye 4 (Consolation)

As the sun was dropping I moved to the bend below the bridge. The water was running into the pool on the bend after the faster water under the bridge.Text book BWO spinner interception. I dropped to a point where I could watch this pool for activity whilst fishing a point where fish were rising under some low hanging branches. These rising fish drove me mad. I spent the next 40mins or so throwing allsorts at them with different leader combinations. Phil even gave me a couple of ties to try.
I spent too long pre-occupied here as whilst still keeping one eye on the pool above, John snook into it. Then in what appearred to be his second cast he hit into a good brownie. Come on, when a man is down...
John moved to the bottom of the faster water coming through the bridge, so after spotting a good fish rising at the bottom of the pool. I moved up.
"John. D'you mind if I sneak in and cover this one here?"
Rusty spinner tied on and after two covers it bit. "Hey John! At last".
Held the rod low as the fish moved midstream from under the Alder downstream of me then...slack line. I was punch drunk now, numb.
Pete 1 Wye 5
Made England's result look like they put up a fight.

Phil laughed, "The fish will be in prime condition if we all used those rubber hooks of yours"

You know what though? This was a cracking day. Against the tricky conditions we all connected to a few fish. This fishery is a real challenge with the true dry fly rule and no wading. The bankside vegetation and fishy lies are no different to my native Alyn, however on the Alyn careful wading gets you in position. The food rich clear waters of the Wye force presentation and general immitation to be exact. The amount of refusals where fish move up to snigger at your offerings substatiate this.
Special thanks to Steve James for another fabulously organised trip and to Phil White for his subtle guidance. A great thanks also to Mary White for her hospitality to a bunch of grubby anglers in fishing combats to accomodate their football optimism.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Grayling domination

The Grayling domination of the lower Alyn was confirmed on Sunday. An early morning jaunt to the Ithells bridge area resulted in around 30 of the ladies to 2 trout.
In the bright conditions pods of Grayling could be spotted in all the likely areas. You could alsmost walk on them. Apart from the two small trout I didn't conciously see anything other than Grayling. The outcomes of tossing a small beaded ptn and small spider pattern amongst them were mainly small fish throwing themselves at the offerings. Most of the fish were around the 15cm mark, I only captured three fish circa 30cm.
You know what though, this was really dull. If I had put silver paper on the hook I'm sure the small grayling would have snatched it.
I stopped a couple of hundred metres short of the Holt road bridge and called it a day (well, couple of hours anyway).
Looking forward to next Sunday on the Hadden Estate's waters on the Derbyshire Wye. That should be testing...

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Lactic Acid

The regular Sunday jaunt was put off till Monday this week. Sunday was saved for a game of football (my first since a charity match on boxing day) as a ringer for a known Gresford watering hole.
I left the house at 8am, the intention to keep moving before the inevitable lactic acid build up in my legs hindered all suppleness. Caught in two minds over one of the R&G Alyn stretches or the lower river, I opted for the lower river stretch immediately below Rossett. I have only fished this stretch once before, to christen the 'T' in February. Compared to the leafless experience in February, this may as well be a virgin encounter with the now very green riverside.
I wasn't sure that my choice of venue was good idea. The banks on the lower river are much steeper and vegetated than that on R&G's water's and my already paining legs may make any departure from the river pretty tricky. Nevertheless I slid down the bank at the point pictured above, unwound the cast that was used in Worm's Wood last week and sneaked up to the pool formed under the small Willow.
The first pool

First cast upstream, allow the nymph to sink whilst watching the dry. Lift all line off the water to allow contact with the hinge. As the drift reaches a point opposite, give the hinge a little tweak...
At this point I saw and felt the 'hinge' pull down a fraction so I lifted and a good fish was on. I was given a dance up and down the pool by what turned out to out of season Grayling. Albeit a very good one, which I'd guess at the 35cm mark and a good start and more 'induced take' evidence.
Moving upstream, I picked up small Grayling and Trout from various pools and runs to the nymph in the main.
In one great looking pool I saw a big (Alyn big) Grayling move up to mid water and follow the nymph downstream before refusing. Two casts later and it followed again then flashed its flank as it turned with the nymph. Another great Tenkara battle ensued and the rewards were a fish I reckon may have been slightly larger than the days first fish.
Once again, as I moved quickly upstream through the various fishy looking areas I regularly picked up small Grayling and Trout. There didn't seem to be any real challenges as the fish were small, regular and monotonous. My legs weren't feeling any better either.

I haven't really mastered fishing dries on the Tenkara yet, so I tied on a small #18 pale olive paradun (there seemed to be a few small pale upwings coming off). I caught a few small browns on this pattern, but I'm still not particularly happy with dry fishing on the T yet. Even when using the 'light' level leaders I still seem to drag the dry when either (a)Trying to land the fly without any leader on the water, or (b)lifting the leader off the water. I still get the urge/'feel the need' to manipulate some mends, wiggles etc into the line, something I can't do with the T.

Without doubt, there are plenty of fish in these lower waters however, if there are any larger trout here I'm struggling to tempt them this season.

A moment of hilarity when I was attempting to climb out of the river behind the sub station. With the ever increasing lactic pain in my quads I couldn't lift my thighs to the horizontal, so I grabbed hold of some relatively new Willow growth shooting from a previously chopped stump and levered myself upwards. These new shoots just couldn't even support my light frame, so mid lift, point of no return and crack...back first I re-entered the Alyn almost horizontally. I was soaked and stuck. After some carefull negotiation of a deep pool I found a relatively low exit point further upstream. A hot bath then called me home...

Monday, 24 May 2010

Induced take proves irresistable

After a two week Alyn layoff, I made may way to Worm's Wood this morning. I had no real plan other than to enjoy the morning sunshine Tenkara fishing. The Alyn, like most rivers I assume, is really showing its bones at present.

The horse field in full meadow bloom. The remains of a pigeon breakfast in the foreground
I dropped into the river just upstream of Griffin Bridge and walked carefully to the first pool. Upon looking up river, clouds of midges could be seen swarming in the bright spots where the sunlight breaks through the canopy so, on went a #20 black shuttlecock. The shuttlecock proved pretty hard to see, (dark cdc) so when lifting the Tenkara leader I was never really sure if I was dragging the fly out of position. Any way, after maybe my third cast a 20cm brownie rose in the vicinity of the fly, so a swift strike and it was on and in.
Worked my way upstream speculatively casting the shuttlecock into the skinny water. By the time I reached the pool adjacent to the style leading to the Wood, the midge pattern was off. I just wasn't comfortable using it with the Tenkara and I was constantly drowning it...
A small (#18) paradun had taken its place.
A fish rose adjacent to the style, covered it immediately and another brownie of 15cm succumbed.
The next pool upstream bears deep and long against the left bank. This proved rather productive to the duo on my last trip, but today I would cover it with the dry. I worked the up the pool with the paradun, but no interest. When I reached the top of the pool, a fish could be heard rising at the bottom end. I moved down and covered, but must have put the blighter down. I now decided on a duo set up again. So, #14 olive emerger was tied onto a 10cm dropper and a small hare's ear tied to the point 60cm below. The hare's ear would probably hang mid depth but this was planned. I worked from the bottom of the pool up. The Tenkara's length enables a long run with the duo. Where the dry attached via dropper really helps is with inducing a take to the nymph. With the Tenkara holding all the line off the water, you can induce the movement in the nymph with negligable disturbance of the dry, as the dropper length acts as a hinge. Unexpectedly, the next fish was a 20cm brown which smashed into the dry. I landed this with out incident, however the next put in resulted in a brown being induced to take the nymph and after a small scrap I was grabbing the line to finally pull the fish in when it kicked and appeared to have come off. Inspection revealed that the line had snapped at the leader loop??!?? My apologies to the person who may get this fish with ironmongery attached.
Onwards and upwards, I replaced the cast but put a small bead head brassie on the point (no reason for the brassie other than I just fancied it). Another 15cm brown took at the head of the pool.
I took one more small brown before emerging into the sunlight above the next big bend. This area has another riffly run that I fancied
Looking upstream to another favoured run
My method now is to cast upstream, dead drift to a point jsut below me, then induce as the drift is fished out. I hit three browns doing this here, but landed one. Two decent looking browns, the biggest looking about 25cm, just released themselves in the shallow water in front of me *!%?!!
I moved upstream to the next deep pool, covered a small rise at the tail. A small brown took the brassie and stayed on the hook!
Next run down and after a small enticing lift of the nymph, the dry dipped and a decent fish was on. Alas when lifting the rod I hit an overhead tree, lowered the rod momentarily and the fish released itself. At the next run down, I struck as the nymph lifted on the dangle and another decent fish was on. I had thought earlier that the Grayling must have finally decided to spawn, as there had been no signs of them, but this fish felt big and different. After a good scrap I eventually lifted what was a huge Grayling into the still water beneath me. The sunshine breaking through the trees illuminated those wonderful translucent colours of the dorsal fin. This fish, although out of season, will surely beat my pb for the Alyn. Not today though! Once again the brassie pulled free and my cast catapulted into the Sycamore above me. After retrieving the cast I changed the brassie for a beaded cdc hackled pheasant tail, and managed to get one more small brownie.

The last brownie of the day
I have no idea why I pulled out of so many fish today. As far as my rusty memories serve me, this nymph has not let me down like this before. Was it due to the soft Tenkara, I'm not sure. You just sometimes get those days I suppose. On a positive, I managed to get hit a fish or two from every pool I tried and the induced mid water nymph proved to be the method for the better fish.
Todays final combination. You should see there is no attachment to the hook bend or similar for the nymph.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Monsal Dale

Few pics from the eagerly awaited Monsal Dale trip (write up to follow)
 The group unload

Phil White showing us the 'Lido' in front of Cressbrook Mill. Steve 'the nesh' Daley with hood up again.

Trying to tempt the 'bread fed' trout opposite the picnic area. Downstream dry...

...and a couple of these fellows duly oblige to Steve James' parachute light show

My best fish of the day. A Wild Wye Wainbow...


Monday, 10 May 2010

New four weight

Armed with my new 4 weight[Streamflex], I thought a short trip to the Dee at Shocklach may be worthwhile. The middle Dee here is a a varied but relatively straightforward venue, but careful wading a necessity as there are many very deep drop offs and the flow very powerful in places.
I started at the bottom end of the beat just speculatively casting a small olive imitation to get the 'feel' of the Streamflex. Although defined as a middle to tip actioned rod, I think more emphasis on 'tip' compared with most of my previous rods applies here. With the favourable, but unusual here, upstream wind line delivery was a achieved with effortless flicks. I'm no casting officionado, but I think I will like this rod.
Anyway, no signs of any fish in the early morning sunshine so when I reached the next bend upstream on went a trio setup. There is an underwater build up of rock at the downstream end of the bend so I began by working the rougher water direcly below. At about mid river the sacrificial dry dipped and I was in. The fish felt like a real lump, holding itself downstream in the pacy water. A large Grayling surely, however when I finally lifted its head a 30cm fish had taken the place of the 'lump'. This was my first Dee fish of the year, and I had forgot how powerful the flow is when compared to the Alyn, thus exaggerating the fishes mass.
Next cast, a smolt pounced!. On wading slowly back to the bank, I dropped the trio rig directly below me where a 35cm Grayling took on the dangle. When wading the Dee, some Grayling always seem to drop below you picking off the morsels you may have dislodged. I've learn't never to ignore and usually fish this area whilst making my way back to the bank. With the run quickly fished out, I walked slightly upstream where the river runs over a nice gravel section. A few fish were beginning to rise to what appearred to be emerging caddis of some type interspersed with what I would guess as Olive Uprights[?]. The rises did appear to be from Parr mixed with some splashy Grayling.
Off came the trio rig an a #16 loopwing emerger tied on. This was the shucking CDC type shown in a previous entry.
I worked the runs with the emerger, and the rewards were fun but scant in that only a mixture of Parr and small Grayling obliged.
For casting practice and a change the trip was worthwhile. In hindsight though, as the Trout population is really starting to thin out in these relative low stretches this of the Dee I should save Shocklach for June 16th and beyond to concentrate on the Grayling. There's a few lunkers this low down.
On the positve, it's the first time I've tried these loopwings and their floatability is excellent. Just a quick wash after a fish and an Amadou squeeze, and your back in business...

Monday, 3 May 2010

Teeth chattering

The plan for Sunday was for a mornings float tubing with Simon. We thought we may be able to sneak a couple of hours in before the forecast northerlies made it too hostile. The planned venue was Lakehill on top of the Llandegla moors. Due to the exposed location you can take the forecast wind speed and double it, so after a brief inspection we cancelled.
So a substitution with a quick trip to the Alyn at Ithell's Bridge. Left the Tenkara in my pocket and armed the brook rod with a couple of beaded nymphs. Took about eight fish, one Grayling of about 25cm, the rest fingerling Trout and Grayling. After losing my cast on a snag, I climbed out to look for Simon. He'd covered most of the beat in double quick time in an attempt to keep warm. Cold, wet, numb hands and chattering teeth brought an end to proceedings after about an hours fishing. With the Northerlies forecast for the week ahead, no further trips planned.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Evening stint

Quick evening stint on the Alyn just above the straight cut. Two hours for the one fish pulled from amongst the tree roots.

Beaded PTN strikes again

Monday, 26 April 2010

Time for Garlic lovers

Spent a morning on the Alyn at Worms Wood. There is that much wild garlic growing in the wood, that after putting the wet wading boots in the car, I can still smell the stuff this morning.
This was one of those sessions where the Tenkara really proved its worth. Worms Wood is very, well, 'woody'. I setup with my now standard searching duo rig: #16 olive para emerger and #16 copper bead PTN.

The dynamic team

No matter what hook pattern/size you use, those lips are so delicate

My new Level lines are proving invaluable in their ability to be held off the water (cheers Chris Stewart) thus enabling long drag free drifts, especially downstream of me into those 'holes' under the trees. Most of the takes were directly across or across and down of me and I'd argue that I would never have achieved this presentation with a conventional rod.

The unfortunate thing about the sesssion was that 8 of 10 fish were out of season Grayling. All a cracking 12" - 14" in length. I'm not sure they have spawned yet, as although ravenous, they were in great condition. Otherwise one Trutta of 10" and one smolting trout. Lost numerous fish also, assumed to be Grayling. No shows to the dry, all taken on the PTN and only one rise seen. A great mornings fishing for only 2 eligible fish!

Ready for another session

Monday, 19 April 2010

Off crutches

My nephew Neil took up fly fishing around eighteen months ago. After only managing two river trips (including one where he caught the biggest Alyn Grayling I have witnessed) he ruptured some knee ligaments whilst martial arting. After a couple of operations and a miserable time on crutches, he was finally fit enough for some bank scrambling and wading on the lower Alyn.
Neil hasn't caught on or fished dry fly on the river before, so today[Sunday] was hopefully the day.
I rigged Neil up with my small brook rod (Tenkara in back pocket for later) and we practiced a few casts upstream on a bare stretch. Once Neil looked confident with his casting again, on went a #16 emerging grannom imitation. There were lots about.

Neil above potentially 'lining' his target. Once he grasped the technique of twisting his wrist, clockwise here, at the point of delivery to eliminate he was naturally in the groove
As we were on a narrow part of the river I began demonstrating how to quickly mend the line to one side when casting upstream so avoinding lining, when first cast a 30cm grayling rose unexpectedly and smashed into the emerger. Neil was amazed and was itching to try.
He took the rod and we made our way upstream. After about ten yards he moved a lovely looking brown, but alas being over anxious, struck too early. Five yards later, and he was in. Well sort of. The first of about a dozen suicidal salmon parr pounced. He fished a few more pools, rightly or wrongly covering some decent Grayling that could be seen. None of them moved upwards and it was becoming apparent that even though Grannom were still hatching, and even one or two Hawthorn's could be seen floating over, there was a distint lack of rises. Other than the persistent salmon parr.
I suggested we may have to change to a nymph setup, so dismantled the 'rod' and presented the fetched the Tenkara from my back pocket. Neil laughed, saying "How small are the rod rings for it to collapse into such a short length?"
"Just watch and learn"
The Tenkara was setup with a duo rig. I still so wanted Neil to get something worthwhile off the top.
The first glide Neil tried with the T and whallop. 30cm of Grayling pounced on the dry. It was quite comical watching Neil handle a fixed 16' cast on 12' of rod. This is another area where the dynamics of the T's action are defined. Holding the rod at full stretch and pointing slightly over the shoulder, a fish quickly surrenders and glides head up to the net.
A couple of casts later and another takes the PTN.

The day ended with eight Grayling mixed amongst the parr. Alas only one Trutta moved and missed. A beautiful day, the first Hawthorns spotted and even a Lamprey.

Level line attack

After analysing last Sunday's drag woes, an order for some level Tenkara leaders was placed on Tuesday. After picking them up from the local sorting office on Friday (missed the initial delivery), I made cut a couple of lengths to match the Tenkara's 12'. The level lines currently available from TenkaraUSA look a garish pink when coiled on their spools but once unwound and fitted they give a more non fish scaring pastelised appearence. Believe me, having a leader you can see helps when your casting in the confines of treelined streams. A few practice casts on the lawn Friday evening and things were set for trialing on Saturday morning.
Now a busy family schedule on Saturday mean't I had to sneak out to Llay road bridge early. I arrived on the river bank at 07.00 to a ground frost and zero degrees C. Mmmm! This mornings mission was to test the dry fly presentation with the level leaders, so on went a #20 olive parachute and into the water I ventured.
Simon's custom furles turn over for fun, and flatter a my poor technique, however the 10lb level flouro leaders are not as forgiving. The first couple of lazy casts never really got beyond a crumpled heap around the rod tip. The level line really needs you to utilise the Tenkara's dynamics. A very short casting arc is required where the 'flick' tip powers the leader forward after a good stop. Simply put 12 till 2 and stop. Taking an upstream approach, once the fly and leader had landed I proceeded, to lift the rod tip to raise as much line off the water as I dared. With the still conditions this morning, I could lift approx 15' of line off the water without inflicting any drag on the fly. Fantastic. So walking upstream I negotiated the various pools and runs I faced. I could present the dry amazingly drag free where the canopy allowed. One thing now became apparent was the fact that I was probably using too long a leader, so I simply snipped 18" off and refastened to the rod tip. This simplified things, and enabled casting in the close confines simpler and quicker.
An hour passed and, not that I really expected any in the cold, no rises. So I reset with a #16 parachute and a PTN 3' below. The last two pools produced a small 6" brown in each.

The #10 level line made dry fly presentation very delicate and very simple. The early morning conditions were very still and I do feel that any semblance of a breeze will test me with this setup. So, the #15 line is setup and in reserve.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Perfect turnover woes

How many of you have 'suffered', from perfect turnover? You know where line - leader - tippet present themselves so straight that any difference in flow causes your dry to drag instantly. This was the issue during the latest Tenkara trip.
Dropped in on the lower Alyn at Ithell's Bridge, expecting it to be relatively quiet. So I slid down the flood defense banks into a narrow run below the island. The Alyn in its lowest reaches is actually narrower that further upstream. The canalised sections limit the width to around 10-12' across.
A few olives and caddis were coming off, and one particular fishy fellow was rising regularly above me.
The Tenkara was set up with a #16 olive parachute on a short dropper, and a 16 olive hares ear on the point 3' below. Casting directly upstream I covered the area where the rises were seen and was instantly rewarded with this little fellow taking the dry.

Great start, and another followed in the pacy water coming around the island. I therefore clipped the nymph off the point and trasferred the parachute to the point. On moving to the next small pool another fish could be seen rising. Covered with the olive but no interest. Changed to a #16 Cul d Canon and first cover bang. A 20cm Grayling obliged. Things were looking promising as I slowly made my way upstream adjacent to the sheep pen, but from this point on I hardly saw another rise. On rounding the slight bend at the end of the sheep run I encountered another angler sitting on the bank setting up. Ah well, pity. I'll just have to climb out and move upstream to the S bend, knowing full well that these pools had already been fished. It was now that I thought I would have to go a tad smaller. The bright conditions and the fishing pressure that may have been put on the remaining pools over the last hour, passed another angler walking downstream on the opposite bank, rightly or wrongly told me to.
As strategically mentioned, the river can be quite narrow around here and with 12' of Iwana in my hand, most of my casting was directly upstream. To my disillusionment the cast make up was turning over perfectly. Perfect being a straight line. I would get maybe six inches to a foot of drift of my #20 olive before it was dragged. I just couldn't seem to get things to collapse to my satisfaction. If I was using my conventional brook rod, a little more line could have been put out and some mends/wiggles put in. Unfortunatley, with the Tenkara, you don't have this extra line to manipulate. This issue just 'got in my head'. Then to cap it off, as I was quicky working my through some smaller pools, I noticed another angler 'hogging' the next best pool upstream. Hogging was spending about 10 minutes with hardly moving his feet. Maybe there was a fish there he was trying to entice, but if he knows this part of the river like I do he should cover-catch-move on. Especially when there are other anglers on the water.
So what started out as a promising day, seemed to become quite frustrating. Fantastic day to be out nonetheless, and even got a bit of a tan.

So, what did I learn today:
Well, if I am going back on the lower Alyn again I think the Tenkara will be in reserve. Whilst the Tenkara appeared to handle the larger dries used today, when attempting to hold the leader off the water it was all too easy to drag a small dry. The larger fly seemed to grip the surface, and unnatural induced movement was minimised.
We are still learning the Tenkara art, but this lesson seems to strengthen my feeling that leader choice on the day is very important. Conditions were very still today[Sunday], so perhaps I should have used a shorter furled leader and a longer tippet. Anyway, always good to take something home to think about. It improves us don't you think?

Simon put me on to this as a suggestion for things to do with the family. Its essentially outdoor treasure hunting. Great way to get out and reccy new water.
Therefore I took Mandy and Jack out around Llangollen on Saturday to try it out. Great family fun, and what with the ability to fit the Tenkara and small box of flies in the backpack, you may never miss an opportunity to whet the appetite.
Anyway, if any of you have iPhones or portable sat nav's check out the website. You'll probably find some cache locations very close to where you live or fish.
I think there could be potential here for some Fly swap caches adjecent ot some of our waters. I'll get Simon's opinion on this

Here's Jack and myself uncovering one of the caches of the day.

and Mandy's favorite wild primroses were everywhere

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Stir crazy tying

After the advent of BST signalled the heavy rain this week, I was confined to catching up on odd jobs interspersed with a bit of tying.

The previous Sunday I had the priviledge to spend a day with Philip White. Philip has nine basic patterns to cover the emerging stages and further of our upwings. So, here are two of them

Loop Wing Emerger
Thread: 8/0 Olive Wisp used here
Shucking body: Mallard flank (bronzed is best)
Wing: 2 X natural CDC feathers
Thorax: Olive hares ear used here.
Most of the body is tied to represent emergence from the shuck. The tips of the Mallard are tied in about half way down the hook shank, then the butts wound to the bend to represent the shuck. What isn't too apparent from this picture is the use of the CDC tips, at the tie in point, are left slightly protruding over the shuck body to represent the 'split' back.

Thorax Dun
Thread: 8/0 Olive Wisp
Shucking body: Mallard as above
Hackle: Blue Dun used here, although I have tied several using Olive dyed grizzle
Wing: Bronze Mallard flank tips
Thorax: SLF River and stream

The body is wound as the loop wing above.
Tie these two patterns in sizes down to #22

Whilst at the bench also tied a few more emergers all using waxed Pearsalls (#5 I think)...

Cul De Canon with sighter

Olive Parachute well as a couple of miscellaneous items.

Sponge Bob Bod Caddis

One Feather F-Fly

The F-fly is from a suggestion by Phil White, where instead of using the CDC tips for the wing, the butts are used. The method here is to cut the thick butt off at the point where the feather barbs start. Tie in by the tip and pull through until you feel the stem butt, bump through the thread wrap. With just the one feather on a #20 - #22 you can tie in by the tip for the body, and wind along the hook shank. Cut off then use the remainder for the wing. Simplezzzz. Short tail is a couple of barbs of Mallard, Teal or any barred feather.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Wuddy Hell

In between refereeing my son's football and a family party I managed to sneak ninety minutes on the Alyn at Worm's Wood. I've never fished this stretch before and it has the reputation of being rather wild.

I took only the Iwana with me and set up a with one of Simon's custom Tenkara leaders. On the end of which went a simple duo rig. Size 14 olive parachute and a size 16 ptn. With Grayling season over, I didn't really want to nail things onto the bottom. I covered the first couple of pools and receive no interest.
When I reached the upstream end of the horse field there was a fish rising sporadically directly across from me. The fish refused to show when the duo or the solitary dry were passed through its path. Therefore decided to have one last cover with a small partridge spider tied 12 inches below the dry. This resulted in the fish (a brown) swirling in the vicinity of the spider. I struck but nothing and fish put down.

Wandering slowly into the wood I made speculative casts but couldn't move anything else initially. About 50m into the wood I tip toed my way into a nice glide. I stopped and surveyed the scene. Was that a small rise in front of me? Maybe?
Quickly tied on a size 20 olive parachute and first cover, this little monster slowly moved up and sipped the olive down.

My first brown of the season, at 12 inches. Rather battle scarred too. Check out the scarring above the anal fin, and chomped tail. Maybe a stocked fish...

This was my first dry fly outing with the Tenkara. What did I learn?
Simon's custom furle casts beautifully and coupled with the Tenkara, very few, if any false casts are needed. Important on overgrowb areas.
One thing I did get rather paranoid about was lining fish with the florescent green leader. I compensated for this by carefully positioning myself to give an across and only slightly upstream cast. The Tenkara length can be utilised to keep as much line off the water as possible.
Another area to work on is getting the tippet part of the cast to collapse to enable maximising drag free drifts. I started with level length of 2lbs mono to the fly, but found this was often collapsing too much, thus staying in close proximity to the end of the custom furle. The resolution this time was by attaching 3-4 foot of 5lbs mono, then upto 3 foot of 1.7lbs tippet. The heavy mono kept the collapsing thinner gauge section away from the furled leader tip.
A chat with Simon about this me thinks...perhaps using a lighter olive leader or could he splice in a clear mono tip section?

Monday, 8 March 2010

Guided Tour

The plan for Sunday was to have a tour of the Rossett and Gresford Flyfisher waters of the Alyn with Simon. mandy and I had spent the night in Haydock at a friends 60th birthday party, so after a hasty M6 sprint(yes occassionally the M6 allows this) got the gear together and called Simon. "Is one o'clock Ok?" were his words. It was now just past eleven and I was raring to go. I decided I would have an hour on one of the WAA Alyn beats.
I crept upto the river as the beat below the farm has high banks and what with the bright sun and all...
The river looked incredible. The clearest freestone river in clear freestone riverland. In fact clearer than that! Had someone exchanged it for a chalkstream? One thing was 'clearly' apparent, no fish could be seen and this would be tough.
I laced the short furled leader onto the Tenkara, coupled with 3lb mono to the top dropper and 1.7lb mono to the small pink tagged hares ear on the point. Anyway, only 45 mins till the redezvous on the R&G stretch, so I will have to work through this short area as quickly and carefully as possible. With the quoted clarity I didn't expect much, however half way along the sheep run where there is a relatively deep pool, the leader jagged back upstream and a finger sized Grayling left its sanctuary and swung to my hand. Ah well, at least no blank today. Then two flicks later, my nymphs had descended perhaps only 6 inches when I felt the tip of the Tenkara pull and a spritely 30cm Grayling had taken the ptn on the dropper. Fantastic, and perhaps they're looking up also? Delight over, the fish released itself. No matter, spirits lifted and just maybe...
I quickly worked through the remainder of the sheep run, but not a signal. Not one that I noticed any way.
I climbed out of the river and jumped in the Scenic and made my way to the R&G rendevous point.
Simon was there already. I told him of my brief session lower down and that perhaps it could be a better day than anticipated.
It was suggested I try a pool where Simon had had a 2lb Grayling on Thursday, so with the new tip indicator Custom Furle Simon had 'sewed' i dropped into the pool. Several drifts through and not a tweak. An Olive dun floated by, the first I have seen this year. I so wanted it to get nailed by some leviathon lurking under the bridge, but alas, it was free for the rest of its short remaining life.
We walked the river for a short distance with Simon advising on the various pools we passed. I stopped at one and fancied a few flicks. Simon left me to it and wandered upstream to the next pool.

Check the well edited clip above. Yours truely and the Tenkara coupled with a tip indicator Custom Furle.
By well edited, it gives the impression I have caught a nice Grayling. However, when Simon had moved upstream of me he hooked into this fish and took advantage of the clear conditions to get the fabulous underwater footage. The clip of me nymphing, was the next pool upstream where another fish took the nymphs on the drop and once again proceeded to release itself.

Well, Simon showed me most of the R&G waters and they are truely stunning. Full credit to this small club for the amount of work that has gone on to improve fish habitat, anglers accessability and such. IMO the prettiest stretch is part of the 'newly' cut section that was dug to allow the passing of the adjacent A483. Stunning. There is a diversity in R&G's waters to the tune that at the upstream end there is some wild fishing where the Alyn cuts through Worm's Wood and runs over bedrock. This stretch is un managed and seriously productive jungle fishing.

So a special thanks to the club for allowing me to try before I buy, because it worked. Membership request honourably submitted.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

The Tenkara Setup

For Sunday's trip, I bent the Tenkara rules slightly, by adopting shorter than usual leader lengths. The adopted setup utilised a 7' custom furle that is really designed for dry fly fishing. Reasoning that if I am using weighted nymphs, then these are providing the majority of the casting weight. Arguably a full leader of mono can be used, but furled leaders in the right colours make excellent strike indicators.

Custom furle attached to 'lilian string'

From the above it can be seen how easy it is to attach the leader to the Tenkara. Has anybody tried something similar when attaching leader to a fly line? Dissolve the PVC on the end of the flyline to expose the core, tie a knot in the end of the core...

To remove your furled leader from the Tenkara, pull on the tag end of the attachment loop
It is important not to take everything as read in the world of Tenkara. If you plan to wield your Tenkara on overgrown streams, pay particular attention to the length of cast. You may may to shorten everthing up by 4 or 5 feet. Therefore it will pay to have a few different unorthodox leader types. Simon at Custom Furles is making me a variation on the furled leader shown above that incorporates a tip indicator. Basically bright red silk at the end. The olive/yellow leaders are rather tricky to see as strike indicators in broken sky reflective water.

Incidentally here is the successful ammunition from Sunday's trip, from L to R, Peacock Quill Pink Tag, Hares Ear Pink Tag, Green Brassie, Olive Hares Ear. Four to the pink tags, and one Grayling each to the brassie and hares ear