Category Archive: Top Tips

November on the Chalkstreams


So far this November (as at 14th) I have guided on the River Test on five days and the River Itchen on three days.  Mostly the fishing was excellent.  Click here to read more

Superb autumn dry fly sport


I’ve guided the last two days (12th/13th October) on a beat of the upper River Test and the dry fly sport has been superb.  Click here to read more

Pheasant Tail Nymph – the killer summer fly!

This last week of guiding has reminded me what a superb fly the PTN is for summer on the chalkstreams. Click here to read more

Summer tactics on the chalkstreams

Many chalkstream beats remain dry fly only until the end of June.  Spring and autumn are the peak times for hatches of upwinged flies and from mid-June onwards to mid-September hatches tend to be sparse.  Click here to read more

2011 Mayfly season

The Mayfly season on the chalkstreams is perhaps the single most famous fly fishing ‘event’ of the English fly fishing year.  Each year is different and this years certainly was!  Click here to read more

Fishing a Mayfly to fool the Trout

My favourite Danica Mayfly immitation is a size 10 or size 8 Grey Wulff.  Having fished seventeen Mayfly seasons down on the chalkstreams I have considerable experience of the excitements and frustrations of fishing ‘the hatch’.  Click here to read more

Top Tip


May as I tell my clients is a “black month” as there are increasing numbers of  black terrestrial flies hatching many of which find their way onto the water. Click here to read more

Watch out for ‘oncers’!

In the early season rising fish can often be in short supply.  I always tell my guiding clients that the No1 skill in chalkstream fly fishing is not fancy casting or fly selection it is observation and stealth.  Don’t thrash the water aimlessly.  Watch the water constantly.  Click here to read more

Adjust your reel drag

Always check the tension on your reel drag at the start of each fishing day.  Small fish are best landed by hand retrieving the fly line.  However I recommend playing big fish off the reel.  Click here to read more

Top Tip


Always fold your fly line in half when threading it up through the rod rings, it’s much easier and faster than poking the end through and greatly reduces the chance of missing a ring which has happened to us all at sometime.

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