Latest News and Top Tips

Hints & Tips - April

Date Added: 23/03/2017

Fly fishing in the Peak District & South Yorkshire during April can be good sport if the weather will behave itself. A lot of insects should be about but most of these will be subsurface for at least the early part of the month. We have had a wet but reasonably mild winter and I know for a fact that the Nymphs and Larvae are quite active in the rivers. Dig out your PTN (Pheasant Tail Nymph), GRHE (Gold Ribbed Hares Ear) and Caddis Larva, cased & case-less patterns and try them in all sizes.

On one of the fisheries I use the E.A. River Sampling found plenty of subsurface invertebrates but a lack of Cased Caddis - could this be due to predation by Signal Crayfish last season as the Cased Caddis would be easy pickings due to its lack of agility? I hope that isn’t the case as we rely heavily on Sedges and the Cased Caddis Larvae belongs in our fisheries, unlike the Signal Crayfish. I remember racing them when I was a kid - they weren’t very fast!

As well as a few Upwing Flies, in brief hatches, look out for the Black Gnat Hatches and give the fish a plausible imitation. Most fish are hungry after the winter and tend not to be too choosey if you present it well.

Still Water Anglers should try Buzzer fishing in sheltered bays with a gentle ripple. It can provide excellent sport if the fish are moving. It’s also a top coat warmer for the angler than the exposed sections of water. If you are lucky enough to get a sunny warm day then all the better.

April the 25th is St Marks Day and the St Mark’s Fly should start to put in an appearance around that date. We know it better as the Hawthorne Fly and an imitation of it fished around Alder & Hawthorne Tree lined areas of water can provide amazing trout fishing. Out of season Grayling will also have a go, so get them returned to the water quickly & gently. Last year it appeared late, by a couple of weeks, but this is nature and we should be prepared to adapt. Keep your eyes open and offer them the Fly Pattern when the natural is out and about.

My diary is looking even busier this year, mainly for river days, and a lot of people are taking advantage of the chance to Fly fish Chatsworth, and why not, it is spectacular in every way.

Whatever you have planned I hope you have a great start to the season and, as always I wish you Tight Lines!

Peter Lax (GAIC/L2CCA)
Professional Fly fishing Instructor, Licensed Coach & Experienced Guide

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Hints & Tips - March

Date Added: 25/02/2017

Fly fishing in the Peak District & South Yorkshire is only a few weeks away now. It’s an exciting time as we all wonder what the new season will have in store. Hopefully the weather will be kind and it will be a good season for us all. Last year was certainly a good season for my clients & I with plenty of fish brought to the net. There were very few blank days and a great deal of laughter and enjoyment as some really lovely people came to terms with the eccentricities of our wonderful sport.
It’s now a good time to go through your check list in readiness for the first day out in 2017:
Renew your E.A. License at the Post Office, on line or over the phone.
Check your Waders have no obvious holes in them.
Check your lines for cracks & general wear & tear. They should have been cleaned after your last trip but will still benefit from a polish.
Are the Rod & Reel still in good working order? A little TLC will extend their useful life a great deal and you don’t want them to let you down when you get into that big trout!
Check your Net to ensure there are no additional holes.
Flies, Leaders & General Accessories are all vitally important so check you have them all & you have sufficient quantities of the right ones.
How’s your Casting? Have you kept up your practice or do you need a bit of a refresher session? – Now is the time to get one booked because things get very busy come April and most Instructors & Coaches will be out with clients who have made their booking in good time!
Do you fancy treating yourself to something a little different this season? Perhaps a day on a Beautiful Trout Stream stalking wild fish or a Grayling Day (16th June onwards) might appeal? Don’t leave it too long to decide as days get booked quickly. My diary is already looking quite busy for the early season.

Whatever you do this season I hope it turns out to be a good one for you and, as always, I wish you “Tight Lines!”


Peter Lax GAIC/L2CCA

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Hints & Tips - February

Date Added: 26/01/2017

Fly fishing tuition & guiding on Chatsworth Fly fishery, Haddon Hall Fly fishery, & Cressbrook & Litton Fly fishery. I offer Instruction, Coaching & Guiding on all of these stunning Peak District trout stream fisheries as well as some beautiful local still water fisheries.
The 2017 Season starts on the 1st April and I have already taken a lot of bookings for early to mid season.
If you are thinking about having a Fly fishing Lesson or booking a guided day with me then here are a few things to consider:

Book early to ensure you aren’t disappointed. Remember the river fisheries only allow so many rods on the water each day and Instructors usually have a very busy diary too. Trying to fix a date that suits you, the instructor, & the fishery isn’t always simple at short notice.
If you are new to Fly fishing then don’t be tempted to buy tackle before your lesson. The instructor will be able to advise you on a suitable outfit based on where you intend to do your future fishing and you will have a much better idea of what you are looking for after the session. The Instructor will also be able to arrange the loan/rental of tackle in the meantime.
If you already have tackle then take it along and if it is suitable for the place where you are to fish it will enable you to learn with the tackle you are familiar with.
Be prepared to be flexible as spate rivers are at the mercy of the weather and your instructor may have to rearrange your fishing day if the river conditions are too dangerous. All river days have an element of risk but a good instructor should try to minimise the risks where possible.
Make a list of things you would like to ask and be clear about what you want from the day. If you are paying an instructor it is better to learn about such things as casting, river craft, fishing techniques, entomology (bugs) etc. rather than just to “catch a fish”. There is a saying “give a man a fish and his family will eat for a day - teach him to fish and he will feed his family forever. Well do you want to catch a fish on the day or learn how to catch them for the rest of your life. Only you can make that choice.
Finally Fly fishing is the most difficult way of catching a fish with rod & line. It’s about having fun & enjoying yourself trying to outsmart a supreme predator in its own environment. So don’t be apprehensive about doing things wrong or showing yourself up. Go and enjoy yourself - I always do!

As always I wish you “Tight Lines!”
Peter Lax
(GAIC/L2CCA) Professional Fly fishing Instructor, Licensed Coach & Experienced Guide.

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Hints & Tips - January

Date Added: 26/12/2016

Learn to Fly fish in the Peak District, South Yorkshire or anywhere for that matter and you will soon realise just how fascinating the sport is.

Fly fishing gets you out into the fresh air. It takes you to some beautiful places. It gives you time off from the everyday cares & concerns of life - there is too much to think about with the fishing. It provides exercise to suit everyone, whether they are just looking for a gentle day by the waterside or wanting to get close up and personal with the fish, whilst kitted out in full chest waders.

Many people see fishing as sitting on a box with a sandwich & flask staring at a float waiting for something to happen - well, forget that!
Between tackling up, reading the water, figuring out what the flies are doing and, as a result, what the fish are doing, and selecting which fly pattern to use and how best to present it, and putting in a good cast, and detecting the take, and playing and landing the fish and, for the river angler, taking care not to loose your footing while wading waist deep. Trust me Fly fishing is a very different kettle of fish to what most people think about fishing.

Fly fishing offers something for everyone. From those who like to take things slowly and deliberately and make fly fishing a true Art Form. To those who like to experience life full-on and prefer to fish on an obstacle course to catch the wildest fish in the wildest places - one of my friends refers to it as Ninja Fishing, and it seems an apt description. I enjoy both styles and it all depends how the mood takes me!

The biggest downside to Fly fishing is getting started with it in the first place. It is not just a case of buying some tackle and away you go. There is a lot more to it than that and the main options open to anyone wanting to learn are:

Get a good book and read up about it first - this is a big help and is always there for reference but it does not necessarily answer all the questions you have and you cannot learn to cast from a book.

A DVD on the subject can be useful - some people learn better with visual stimulus rather than the written word but it does suffer from similar problems to a book in that you cannot ask questions or try a different way.

Enlist the help of a friend who Fly fishes - this is a great way to start but it assumes the friend knows what they are doing. You are also likely to pick up any bad habits they have - a bit like your friend teaching you how to drive. It also assumes you know someone who does fly fish.

Go to an Instructor - this should logically be the best way forward as they are qualified and so should know what they are doing and different ways to get it across. They also usually offer the loan or rental of tackle, which allows you to try it before you go ahead and buy it. The downside is, of course, the cost but I have had people come to me who have wasted good money on inappropriate tackle and in one case spent three seasons trying to catch a fish with no success, just because he was approaching it in the wrong way.

At the end of the day it is up to the individual to choose how they want to go about it and there is a place for all of the options to play a part. Whichever way you decide, get the knowledge before you invest in any tackle. Also remember that you will never know everything about fly fishing. I learn something every time I go to the water. That is what makes it so fascinating.

Whatever you decide I wish you every success and hope that you will enjoy your fly fishing as much as I do. Remember also that the Hints & Tips on my website - - are available free of charge and updated each month with a few items usually relevant to the time of year.

As always I wish you - Tight Lines - and a very Happy New Year!

Kind Regards

Peter Lax GAIC/L2CCA Professional Fly fishing Instructor, Licensed Coach & Experienced Guide

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Fly fishing Tuition - Safety

Date Added: 31/12/2012

Fly fishing Tuition in the Peak District, Derbyshire Dales & South Yorkshire takes you to some beautiful locations on both river & still water. I teach Casting, Fly fishing Techniques, Basic Entomology, Fly Choice, River Craft, Tackle & Set Up, but regardless of where I teach or what is to be included SAFETY is always one of the first things I cover.
Be it Still Water or River it can be a potentially dangerous environment and we should always treat it with the greatest respect. It always surprises me how many people who have Fly fished for years pay scant regard to the safety of themselves or others.
At the start of a new year let's just have a look at some of the basics that can make our fishing a little safer next season without turning it into a health & safety nightmare.
A pair of Polaroid Glasses gives us a fishing advantage & protects us from a hook in the eye!
A Brimmed Hat or Peak Cap shades our eyes from the sun & deflects a hook that would otherwise hit us in the face!
A Wading Staff allows us to test the water as it were & provides a reassuring third leg when moving position whilst wading.
A Life Jacket should always be worn when fishing from a boat.
When we are wading or fishing from a dam wall, fishing platform, or near a steep drop off always consider the situation. Should we have a Wading Staff, Life Jacket, Throw Line or is there a Life Belt nearby? I realise these things can be a bit cumbersome but surely that isn't nearly as inconvenient as ending up drowned! You can even get Fly Vests that incorporate a buoyancy aid these days. Some models also self inflate on immersion into the water and will self right an unconscious wearer.
A bottle of Antimicrobial Gel to clean hands before eating is a good idea; you only have to look at what you clean off your Fly Line to appreciate what goes floating by. On a similar note covering any open wounds is a wise precaution. Weil`s Disease may not be common but it can be fatal!
I could go on about Sun Cream, Appropriate Clothing, Food and a Drink etc. but I would urge you all to think about safety & try to make next season an enjoyable & safe one!
Happy New Year & Tight Lines!

Peter Lax (Professional Fly fishing Instructor & Licensed Game Angling Coach)

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Hints, Tips & Fly-fishing Lore

Date Added: 21/04/2012

I've added this section to the website as I thought it might help make the site more interesting to would be fly-fishers.

I'll be adding useful hints and tips on a regular basis so keep checking back.

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Fly fishing courses, fly fishing lessons and fly fishing tuition in Derbyshire Peak District and South Yorkshire.

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