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  1. I was at the i-Fish fly fair at the weekend. It is an annual event organised by the Sussex branch of the Fly Dresser's Guild (FDG).  This one was held in the South of England showground that was filled with fly tyers, fly tying suppliers and other miscellaneous fishing organisations, like Fishing holidays and trout fisheries.

    I was looking for specific materials for which to tie some flies, so I had a lovely time at the fly tying suppliers, looking at the wealth of materials from luminous artificial fibres to the beauty of natural capes. I picked up a lovely Genetic Hen Furnace (from Chevron) for some Crunchers.

    It was good to observe the volunteer fly tyers, most from the FDG Branches and learn from their techniques. There are always diverse ways in which to tie a fly and one tyer's method may be different from one's own. There was a good range of International tyers, as well as our own professionals and all manner of wonderful creations were fashioned from fur and feather, with a few unnatural materials added.

    I also met up with fishing friends and we reminisced about our memories of fly tying and fishing. Ah, such memories increase with the re-telling! 

    There will be a repeat of the experience at next years' i-Fish on 27 November 2016 at the same venue.

  2. The weather has been unseasonably warm this year. I do not often go Trout fishing in November, but I was out recently with a friend at Frensham Trout Fishery, a favourite C&R venue in Surrey. The weather looked good, overcast and warm (15C), bit of rain predicted (lots about midday!), breeze to spread the flies and casts around, water temperature warm (12C) and good reports of fish being caught on natural flies.

    Another fisherman was catching fish on shrimps, with a touch of orange in the dressing, rather than the usual pink for Grayling. I tried my shrimps, but they failed to incite any response.

    Well, I went through my flybox and tried many natural flies, before finding the reliable bloodworm was successful. Had a solid take and a very fit 3lb Rainbow was firmly attached. Bent the rod a bit before safely released and the fish sank into the depths. Took a little while before I connected with another Rainbow, slightly smaller (2 1/2lb) that took a flashback PTN. This too gave a good fight, despite the small lake it lived in. It took the fly in the 'scissors' and again was safely released.

    My friend had one nice 3lb Rainbow on an Invicta (never saw any sedge hatching), which he kept and several other takes to the same, or similar fly. I do like catching fish on wet flies, just drawn under the surface. You see the take more easily and knowing that you have fooled a fish on a natural imitation is more pleasing, to my mind.

  3. Don't you just love it when you fish deep and catch weed and your trout fly is covered in the stuff! You have to stop each time, remove the weed so that you can chuck it out again! You know that 90% of trout are caught deep on the bottom, or so we were told all those years ago.

    Well, have I got news for you!

    Weed grows on the bottom, right. And it grows up towards the surface, sometimes getting there. It gets in the way of casting your fly where you want it to be. It clogs up the water's surface.

    But, it also contains all those little fishy food items that trout love to eat. And shelter and protection for small fry from those hungry predatory fish.

    So, when you are fishing this autumn with your baitfish fly (foam or deer hair patterns), just remember where the bait fish are and fish there. Sure, you will probably catch weed, but you could also catch some large hungry fish as well.

    Wait for the smash takes!

  4. I started my Fly fishing for Carp earlier this year, having recently had a visit to my 'local' carp water. Fish were a bit slow to feed on the surface and when they did so, they attempted to swipe at the dog biscuits to try and drown them. Previously, there has been little hesitation when they are feeding on dog biscuits and just open their mouths and suck the biscuit in. Not so this time. They were copying trout when they attack daddy long legs by swiping at the fly and returning to take the drowned insect. This is fine for traditional flies, perhaps, but the trouble with deer hair is that it sinks a little and then becomes waterlogged and the carp lose interest. I either had to squeeze the fly and dry it, or replace it with a new one.

    I caught 4 Carp, the largest being about 10lb, the others about 6lb or 7lb. I hooked three others but they had other ideas about capture and were obviously not taken with the taste of deer hair, so we parted company quite amicably, although maybe not so much on my part.

    I have not experienced this 'drowning the bait' aspect from Carp on previous visits so it was somewhat disappointing. I may have to revise my tying procedure for the deer hair bodies on the next batch.

    I intend to re-visit the lake later in the summer. Hopefully the fish will be better clued up to surface fishing! I can only live in hope......