The Floating Fly

Last year I was invited by Christopher Rownes to contribute to The Floating Fly, a collection of thoughts on dry fly fishing from an amazing and venerable group of dry fly anglers from across the globe. An absolute privilege to be asked to contribute, however, I have a lifetime of work ahead of me to get anywhere near the level of knowledge held by the other contributors.


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Grannom Emergers

Grannom (Brachycentrus subnubilis) are a member of the Caddis family (Trichoptera order) and are among the first of the UK’s major hatches in Spring. Hatches can be huge, and I mean massive, to the point where every Grannom seemingly tries to crawl up your waders, under your glasses, down your neck, or smack into you as they are blown up or downstream by the usually unstable Spring weather.

Trout can go crazy during these hatches; however, it never appears to be the adult Grannom they are interested in. Instead, trout will usually gravitate to the emerging Grannom (and even their empty shucks), of which (should you be lucky enough to experience these hatches on your rivers) will be drifting downstream in their millions.


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Summer. The days we dream of. The days that will not be rushed and neither will the trout, who rise when they're gaddamned ready. Late evenings are good but, better yet, are the early mornings; those times of utter silence, when the entire universe seems asleep. But not the trout.…

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Curves and Contours with Kapok and Soft-Hackles

In October 2020, Semperfli released a range of awesome new products, one of which is their fantastic Kapok Dubbing. Kapok, so I read, is a cotton-like material found in the seed pods of the Ceiba pentandra tree. This fluff-like material absorbs water very slowly and as such, lends itself perfectly…

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Fly Culture Podcast – Life, Trout and Fishing with Gareth Lewis (September 2020)

What an absolute blast! A real privilege to have been invited back onto the Fly Culture Podcast in September to talk about our respective fishing seasons, as well as to talk about another love in our lives - fishing books. With more potential/impending COVID-19 lockdowns heading our way this winter…

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Atherton No.5

Today we discussed (amongst others) Atherton's, The Fly and the Fish. A beautiful book. I spent the rest of the day thinking about Cree hackle and hare's ear dubbing. Atherton's No.5, a wonderful UK March Brown (Rhithrogena germanica) imitation. This pattern is, without a doubt (and in John's own words)…

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Trout & Salmon Magazine – October 2020

It was a real pleasure to work with Trout & Salmon Magazine recently, where myself and regular fishing buddy, Liam Walsh, chatted with Peter Gathercole and discussed our fishing lives, backgrounds, and six flies which visit quite often. The October edition is on sale from Monday 7th September.

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The Big Water

Today I fished the Big Water. In an attempt to keep Her golden treasures concealed, She hit me with brutal westerlies and cloudless skies. Bathed in warm sunshine and accompanied by the sound of rustling alder, I smiled as I watched trout dimple on chironomids in a sheltered pool. September…

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Keeping Things Simple – A Guide to Fishing Small Streams (Fishing in Wales Blog – September 2020)

I wrote the original content for this guide over a decade ago for Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Magazine. Much of the information is still very relevant for those anglers wanting to explore trout fishing on the smaller and wilder streams of the UK and beyond, however, I've updated the…

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River Llynfi Pollution Incident and Fish Kill – August 2020

I would prefer to be writing a piece about a beautiful summer evening fishing for trout - leaves rustling gently in the warm summer breeze; the river's mirror sheen surface broken here and there by the gentle, dimpling majesty of a feeding brown trout - however, these images of beauty…

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