Midlands Fly Fishing — The Blog

Spring Flies for Stillwater Success!

Posted on May 18th, 2012

flies for spring fishing success on lakes

Successful stillwater flies for spring, olive klinkhammer, suspender buzzer, hawthorn, hot spot hares ear nymph, midge pupa and damsel nymph.

Proof this selection of imitative flies really works, the used fly section of my waist pack (above) at the end of a fishing day! The reason they work so well? Look below!

spring fly life

Midge pupa (buzzers), olive nymphs and duns, hawthorns and a lone damsel nymph. The contents of one trout's recent dinning activity!

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Posted in Fly Fishing Tips

Get Fit for Fishing!

Posted on January 26th, 2012

If January sees you join thousands of people starting new fitness regimes, well done! Fly fishing is one of the most technically demanding pastimes going, requiring high levels of concentration for periods of time, for you to perform at your best. Given the fact that improved fitness massively improves your ability to concentrate, among many other pluses, working out is going to help you on the water.

For a long time, I have been a big believer in fitness for fishing. While many people may see the sport as rather passive, I don’t. Fly fishing and fishing as a whole is what you make of it. Whether I’m riverside or patrolling a lake, I often walk miles, it’s part of my day.

Even standing for longer periods of time requires stamina. During a full day waterside, it’s noticeable how people’s performance can start to slide late in the day due to fatigue. A balance of improved aerobic fitness, flexibility and strength is going to improve your stamina, help you reach hard access locations that often receive less fishing pressure, help your casting control, in addition to your improved mental toughness. Bottom line, you fish better and have more fun.

Oh another side effect of getting fit to fish, is you feeling and looking much better too.  If you need more convincing, checkout Matt’s great blog post here!

I’m off to the gym:-)


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Posted in Fly Fishing Tips

Essential Fly Fishing Accessories

Posted on January 22nd, 2012

Essential accessories, hat & glasses

Quality hat & shades are essential fly fishing accessories!

A good hat and quality polaroid shades are going to make your fly fishing more comfortable, enjoyable and effective. Why? Both provide protection from stray flies, shield your eyes from light and help you locate feeding fish!

Having said that, getting the right combination takes more thought than grabbing the first glasses and baseball cap that comes to hand.

First, lets consider glasses. Without a doubt glass lenses rule. Their are some very good plastic lenses on the market, however they don’t compare with top spec glass lenses, buy the very best you can afford.

For freshwater fishing, amber/brown lenses are the best colour for providing you with top visibility in a range of light/water conditions. Make sure the glasses you choose are wrap around style, fitting snug to your face. This helps prevent unfiltered light entering your eye, enhancing your vision.

Looking at hats, my personal preference is for a long billed cap. The main point here is light being prevented from entering the eye over the top of your polaroid shades.

Hat colour is important too. Say you are quietly stalking along a bank. The one part of you moving most is your head as you scout for fish. A brightly coloured hat won’t spook fish itself, however movement of your head will be noticed easier and more light will be reflected on sunny days. This certainly will spook nearby fish!

fly fishing hat

Inside the hat, a dark under brim is important!

If muted colours are important on the outside of your hat, a dark under brim is essential. Light colours reflect more light, dark colours absorb more light. So having that dark under brim minimizes light reflected back into your eyes from the hat’s brim. This makes a huge difference to your underwater vision, resulting in you spotting more fish and catching more fish.

Happy Days


Posted in Fly Fishing Tips

Pin Fry Time

Posted on July 11th, 2011

Perch fry in early July

Perch fry in early July, 2.5cm in length.

These little guys are getting busted up big time by the trout and their own kind currently. This years roach fry are even smaller, very much still pin fry and the trout are sipping these like buzzers.

What to fish? Micro lures and nymphs sized and coloured accordingly, with a little flash in some.


Posted in Fly Fishing Tips

Head Smacking Tips No 3

Posted on August 23rd, 2010

Our latest installment of the “Head Smacking Tips” series looks at sinking lines. You can catch the second installment here!

In our experience, many fly fishers misunderstand sinking lines. The facts are, correct use of sinking lines requires every bit as much skill and often more thought than pure floating lines. Their primary aim is to help present your fly at a given depth, the importance of which we covered here! However using a sunk line at times also provides you with an added edge over many other anglers!

Visit any busy fishery and you will see an abundance of anglers fishing floating lines. No problem here, though it makes resident fish wary of flies that jig excessively as flies lift and fall according to movement of a floating line (want to see just how much your fly lifts on various retrieves? Practice retrieving your fly along the margins in clear water, it will open your eyes).

Switching to an appropriate sinking line smooths out this jigging effect and by balancing your setup correctly, you fool more fish. Now that’s what we call a serious bonus effect! Want to learn how to do this? Call us to discuss your fly fishing tuition now!

Best Fishes

MFF Team

Posted in Fly Fishing Tips

Head Smacking Tips No 2

Posted on July 25th, 2010

The second installment of our “head smacking tips” series is all about flies! Not read the first of our top tips? Catch it here.

As fly anglers flies by their nature catch our eye After all, who can walk into a fly shop and not browse the ranks of fur and feather on display? We would also postulate that most of us carry way too many flies.

Certainly once you get to know a water, anything more than a small mix of general nymphs, dries and a few pieces of meat put together as your go to selection born of experience, plus a couple of your own variants as change patterns when the going gets tough, is all you will ever need. Anything more is just giving in to your own insecurities (we all have them from time to time).

A prime reason for this can be found whenever fishing is tough. The more fly boxes you have, the more time is spent scratching heads, rubbing brows, muttering and ceaselessly searching a multitude of boxes looking for that winning fly! This time is better spent reading water, searching water efficiently, staying mobile, working confidence patterns effectively, all to put your fly in front of as many fish as possible.

Try this and catch more fish more often!

Tight Lines

MFF Team

Posted in Fly Fishing Tips

Head Smacking Tips No 1

Posted on June 15th, 2010

We are a helpful bunch here at MFF, so in order to help our readers get more from fly fishing (which is what we are all about) we have a new “head smacking tips” series coming your way.

First off lets look at depth or more precisely, feeding depth. The months June through September see the fishy food chain at it’s peak (in the northern hemisphere). Result, lazy  fish! Regardless of species for much of this time, fish have so much food available, making extraordinary effort to nail one item (e.g. your fly) is out, after all something else equally tasty is just a flared gill away.

What does this mean for you, the fly fisher? You have to make life easy for the fish and work harder yourself. The single most effective way to have your fly accepted by a fish is to present it as close to a fishes mouth as possible, simple eh? This single, simple fact will vastly increase your catches at anytime, however during summer, presenting your fly right in front of a fishes business end is vital. Get your fly at the fishes feeding depth and win the battle, fishing can be fantastic during even the traditional “dog days”.

Tight Lines

MFF Team

Posted in Fly Fishing Tips

Rod Flash

Posted on April 29th, 2010

Re-watching our Derbyshire Wye video (I still love that run, shame you don’t hear the real scream like I did), I was struck by how much light reflected off the rod during the fight. For me, this highlights what can occur while casting or just walking upstream when your rod has a gloss finish.

Top cure for this is buy matt finished rods over gloss. Yes they might not look as nice, however your catch on clear water will go up though! OK so you like your rods to look really nice and flashy? Minimizing false casting is good for several reasons, in this case it will reduce rod flash. When carrying your rod, point the rod behind you rather than in front. As well as saving your rod should you fall, light reflecting off your rod will be hidden from fish upstream of you.

Net result, more fish in your net!

Best Fishes


Posted in Fly Fishing Tips