Brighton Beating Bowel Cancer Marathon

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for taking the time for reading my fishy tales.  As well as your continued readership I have but one humble-ish request.

Please take the time to have a look at my just giving page. I lost my mother to cancer at a young age and I really want to contribute towards research that will one day stop people from going through the same things I have.

Please like, share and comment (and then donate)

Let’s titty fuck cancer in the face today……….

A Day out on the water at Stock’s Fly Fishery

Every now and then a special days fishing pops up. It’s why anglers go fishing the joys of the unexpected. The quarry is usually known but the tales of legend and monster fish are always in the back of an anglers head. Inevitably, of course, these tales very fairly materialize themselves in the form of an unexpected catch. I will remember this trip for the unexpected events, unfortunately, these were not overtly fish related happenings that will stick out in my mind but because the day was plagued by unrelenting disaster.

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This weekends fishing destination was the infamous Stocks Fly Fishery about 90 mins drive from my home in Manchester. It’s a proper high calibre trout lake on which you half expect Matt Hayes and a camera crew to drift by on. It’s nestled in the Forest of Bowland it’s a real beaut of a fishery. Having heard about the fishery just after picking up a fly rod for the first time last year I have been dying to fish the place for ages.


Jamie as usual was my ghillie / fishing buddy for the day. We would be boating for the day. I did notice when we were out on the water that the bank fishing looked particularly good. Lots of fishy looking spots and with waders the bank fisherman could stroll out a far way in places. Which I have found not to be so typical for the big ressies which tend to drop off quickly from the margins.

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Boat fly fishing is a very distinct method of fishing and to be successful on the water; boats and their handling require a certain degree of mastering. I’m relatively new to the world of boat fishing, but I feel confident enough now in my abilities to be out in a rough days weather. I’ve learnt the hard way with boats, I’ve crashed them into jetties, piers, buoys other boats, islands and the shore. I’ve ran out of fuel, forgotten anchors pretty much everything that has gone wrong in a boat I have done first hand. I did manage a few new ones on this trip but I’ll go into that later. I really do recommend familiarizing yourself with boats in the presence of someone competent, this obviously isn’t the path I went down in my quest for trout but it’s worth a thought if you want save yourself some stress.

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The weather on the day was poor to say the least, there was a strong wind whipping over the reservoir creating a large swell which frequently washed over the bow to spatter us with water. It was a cold day with the promise of some sunshine, on this basis I went for an intermediate line, despite the wind i fished a team utilising a bright blob on the top dropper as an attractor followed with by a big buzzer and a small buzzer. Perhaps it was not an orthodox set up but I like to give things a go myself (hence all the boat disasters), I’ve only just started fishing teams and in terms of combos I am still very much learning which flies compliment each other. I am open to suggestions.

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As I mentioned much of the day was a disaster. The motor above was the culprit behind most of these disasters. The first incident was caused when I turned the fuel tap from the on position to the off position which of course meant we ground to a stop 60 yards from the jetty and then struggled to get the motor started again, and had to suffer the eternal shame of having the other anglers convoy out past as we drifted aimlessly. Later as we cruising to the first Island Jamie left his tippet trailing in the water which inevitably found its way into the prop. Freeing the tippet from the prop would be no major issue so I hauled the motor up 90 degree only to discover there was someone else’s fly line tangled all around the props blades. Which put us out of action and in a wild drift with the weather causing the anchor to act more like a drogue than an anchor. I managed to take the prop off by popping out its retaining clip, at this point we were drifting fast towards the islands and by the time the blade’s were clear and back on the motors output shaft we were literally meters from the bank. It was a bit like Speed 2 except instead of Sandra Bullock as my sidekick I had Jamie.

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Here’s the break down for when we actually started fishing. Jamie was also fishing a team of small natural flies with an attractor lure at the top. Jamie was on a slow sinker as opposed to my intermediate. One of the few lessons we have learned in our short career is to keep mobile when fly fishing, so we spent around 45 mins in the different morning stops, cruising from the northern shallows to the aptly named Gull Island. It was at Gull Island were we found the fish, Jamie stuck first with a proper hard little fighter, I was in two minutes later; another hard little fighter in beautiful condition. We had found the fish unfortunately the weather had other ideas and almost immediately after catching the fish the wind picked up breaking the anchors grip on the reservoir floor and catapulting us into the side of the island before we could react. Luckily in the collision, in which we became seriously entangled in some barren half sunken tries the only fatality was my point fly which snapped off as we made our escape.

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The conditions on the day were tough, casting was hard and handling the boat was nearly impossible but we both managed a fish each and explored a beautiful water. The best part of this trip though without doubt was meeting the excellent people who frequent the fishery along with the owner who was not only helpful but extremely friendly. Sometimes going to a new fishery can be a bit daunting and to be honest the people can be dicks but this was so far from the case here. The final icing on the cake after a day of disasters is Stock’s policy which means if you don’t bag up you can take your fish limit from the club houses freezer. Even better on the day is another angler swapped 5 of his fresh fish for four of my frozen ones, a trout martyr if I had every seen one. If you love in the North you need to get down to Stocks.

More information here:

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From Durham with Love

It’s rare that I receive something in the post. Let alone something that I actually want. Last week this trend was bucked.

I had received a parcel from Stephen Blood of County Durham (if memory serves).

Look out for future use of Stephen’s hand tied patterns which he kindly sent me.

Other readers take note I like free stuff

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Duke of Beaufort Point to Point

Had a great day out at the Duke of Beaufort Point to Point. Well recommended but I am now officially addicted to gambling.



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