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  1. It is well known that many fly patterns for Carp are composed of deer hair. This material is very bouyant, due to the hollow fibres that help trap air. Also some well-known trout patterns are similarly tied with deer hair - the G&H sedge for one.

    I tie a lot of deer hair carp flies that I supply to my local fishing shop. I also use the same when I go carp fly fishing.

    But, I also use the pattern when trout fishing and recently, I have been doing that at my 'club' fishery in Oxfordshire. I was fishing the other evening and there was a steady ripple blowing across the lake. Some fish were moving at the edge of the ripple, presumably taking flies that were hatching in the ruffled water. I tied on a large-ish deer hair pattern and chucked it out (technical fishing term) into the ripple.

    It wasn't too long before fish started to take an interest. I had a query as I retrieved the line, then another (it may have been the same fish). On another cast, I had a solid take (I felt it) but the line snapped at the fly. I was using 5X (5lb bs) nylon, which I suspect was too fine for the hook. One thing I did before using, was to clip away some of the deer hair under the shank, so that the gape was better for hooking. I have started to trim the hair under the shank for my carp flies also, as I noticed last time that a wider gape increases the hook-up rate.

    I need to tie up some more deer hair patterns, both for trout and carp. With these hot sultry days, I should start my carp fishing soon. I bought the dog pellets last week from a bargain shop, so I am well set up!

  2. Since I had a mini-stroke earlier this year, I have had to take life easier. Apart from dietary changes and taking more exercise, my fishing adventures have been slightly reduced. So, when I have been fishing I have been accompanied either by friends, or more usually by my wife. There is an increased risk of having another stroke, having had one already. I hope this is a long time coming if at all! 

    Most of my fishing recently, has been in quite remote places, so naturally, it is worrying for my wife especially, if I have another stroke when I am out by myself. In order to reduce her worries, I have bought myself a Wavehopper Life Jacket, which I now wear when out by the water. It is very lightweight and fits easily over my fishing vest. It is also an olive colour that blends in well with any fishing apparel. So, even if I do not fish from a boat, I will be wearing my life jacket. I am comforted by the fact, that if I fall into the water, the jacket will inflate and ensure that my head is kept out of the water. A small price to pay to ensure Safety near the waterside.

  3. I was out fishing on a warm Saturday afternoon recently with my son. He is not a Fisherman and we spent part of the morning with a casting session. Now, I am not a qualified coach, so it was not a casting lesson as such. But I think I know enough to show him the rudiments of casting. He seemed to pick up enough tips so that he could cast a fairly long line on grass and when we progressed to the river, he managed quite well. The line landed quite softly and not with a splash.

    We moved to a large lake in the afternoon. As we approached our preferred position, we could see some fish moving in the ripple. Unfortunately, we were casting into the wind and I was concerned that might affect our casting. I prefer to fish into the wind, because that pushes the food into the bank, hence the fish follow the food source.

    On an early cast I connected to a very fit Rainbow, with a fly I had only tied that morning (long green nymph). It jumped a couple of times, took an unhealthy interest in the fly and decided to keep it, as it swam off towards the middle of the lake. That was the only solid contact either of us had. We had some more tentative takes on a variety of patterns, that favourite green nymph, a black lure (tadpole like), black PTN and orange blob, well on the bottom.

    It had been an enjoyable afternoon and we both enjoyed it. He enjoyed it, especially, as his casting improved as the session went on , he'd made some contact with fish and he's looking forward to a repeat visit, later in the summer.

  4. Have you noticed the warm summer we are having at the moment?

    Well, I'm still waiting for the warm days to re-appear. I have seen a few Mayflies on the wing, but not sufficient to get the fish energised. In fact, the Trout appear to be ignoring the large flies on the surface. Instead, they are still preoccupied with sub-surface nymphs, which is good news as I enjoy taking them just under the surface. I saw a fish follow a black PTN the other day, take it momentarily, then eject it!

    Roll on summer and surface fishing. Maybe I will have to wait until Autumn and the Crane flies to arrive.