Latest News and Top Tips

Hints & Tips - February

Date Added: 19/01/2019

Fly fishing tuition & guiding on Chatsworth Fly fishery, Haddon Hall Peacock 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 2019 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 or with anyone for that matter 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: 30/12/2018

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 on 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 Christmas & Birthday Gift Ideas - December

Date Added: 28/11/2018

Fly fishing Lessons as a Christmas Gift or Birthday Present are very popular and can be arranged now and actually happen during spring or summer next year.
They are very simple to arrange and allow the recipient to chose when they would like to have their day at a time to suit them.
Fly fishing Days can be arranged for those wanting to try Fly fishing for the first time or those who are experienced Fly fishers wanting to improve their skills or try a premier Fly fishery for the first time.
Fishery choice varies from small still waters such as Barlow or Wharnecliffe to premier & exclusive river fisheries such as The Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth Estate Fly fishery or Haddon Hall. All equipment and instruction can be included to tailor the day to exactly meet the clients requirements.
If you are thinking of treating someone special or treating yourself you would be well advised to talk to the Instructor before buying. This is to ensure that they are suitably qualified and have access to the facilities that will be required. Don’t be intimidated, if the Instructor is any good he or she should be able to offer advice & help with the process. I always like to know a little bit about the intended recipient and the reason for the gift – Christmas, Birthday etc so that the session can be arranged to give maximum enjoyment & benefit.

I hope that the above is of help at this busy time of year but if you are still unsure then give me a call (07704 446468) or email me via my website: I will always give an honest opinion and it will only cost the price of the phone call.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!
Kind Regards

Peter Lax GAIC/L2CCA
Professional Game Angling Instructor & Licensed Level 2 Fly fishing Coach
and Experienced Guide

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Hints & Tips - November

Date Added: 19/10/2018

Fly fishing for Grayling in the Peak District & South Yorkshire has been good so far this year despite the weather. Thankfully we are now getting some badly needed rain although it can disrupt the fishing I know!

October has seen some excellent days on the river, some of which have resulted in double figure catches. If the weather behaves then there is no reason why November should be any different.

River Anglers – don’t be in a rush to put the tackle away just yet. If you have access to Grayling fishing then make the most of it.

If you don’t have access to any Grayling Fishing and fancy a Grayling Day at Chatsworth please get in touch with me - and experience what can sometimes be the finest fly fishing of the year.
Fishing tiny flies amongst the fallen leaves can produce amazing sport.
Yes the days are shorter and it can be a little cool but to fish for the truly wild and beautiful Grayling somehow encapsulates what fly fishing is all about. “Not big but stunningly beautiful and tricky to catch, especially on the dry fly!”

Fly patterns such as the Red Tag, Treacle Parkin, Griffiths Gnat, Pheasant Tail Nymph, GRHE Nymph, to mention a few, should be in your fly box. Remember the Grayling is at her best at this time of the year and yet few Fly fishers spare her the time of day after the end of the Trout Season.

Still Water Anglers - have also enjoyed some good fishing this year.
Still waters can offer some great autumn and winter fishing. It’s quieter on the banks, and you sometimes have to get well down to the fish but a sunny, frosty day with a hot mug of soup sure beats shopping!
Fly choice should include GRHE & Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Diawl Bach, Cats Whisker, Daddy Long Legs & other terrestrial patterns. Make sure to ask the bailiff or other anglers which patterns they recommend as they will perhaps know the water better than you.

Whatever your plans are for the coming months I hope you have had as good a season as I have and that next season proves to be a another good one for us all!

Tight Lines! Peter

For further information on Fly Fishing Tuition/Lessons & Guiding - Contact Peter Lax GAIC/L2CCA at

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Hints & Tips - October

Date Added: 21/09/2018

Fly fishing in the Derbyshire Peak District & South Yorkshire for River Trout is now almost at an end for another season. Overall it has been a very good season although fly hatches haven’t been as predictable as in previous years and water levels have been desperately low. The Mayfly, however, did us proud with some amazing sport on the rivers.

Still Water Fly fishers will continue to fish for stocked Rainbow Trout on many fisheries. If the weather allows it can be a good time to find a little peace and quiet as many anglers store their tackle away for next season. Hatches of flies will be spasmodic but will still occur in the warmer parts of the day. Don’t forget your Terrestrial Patterns as flies will fall victim to the colder weather and some will end up as trout food.

River Fly fishing for Trout will be at an end until next April. Grayling, however, offer the Fly fisher some excellent autumn & winter sport. The difficulty is that most fisheries do not offer Day Tickets in the winter & so it tends to be available only to club members. NOTE: Winter Grayling Fishing is available through me ( - call to get your day booked!

If you can get access to Grayling fishing then take your thermals, a flask, and ensure you have some Grayling Flies to hand. Double Badger, Red Tag, Klinkhammer, Treacle Parkin for the dries (I know the Klinkhammer is an emerger – but let’s not split hairs) and Czech Nymphs, Killer Bug, and Gold Ribbed Hares Ear for the sub surface offering are just some examples.

For those who don’t intend to do any winter fishing then don’t just put the rod away and forget it. Remember those rising fish you couldn’t quite get a cast to last season? Well now is a good time to get some practice in. A piece of wool on the leader and a dinner plate on the lawn as a target, or casting the wool under a bench in the local park will all help make next season more successful.

If you are struggling then get some help with a casting lesson while you have plenty of time to practice how to do it right. Remember “practice makes permanent” not “perfect”, unless you are practicing the correct way of doing it of course!

As always I wish you “Tight Lines” - Peter

Fly Fishing Lessons & Tuition from:

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Hints & Tips - September

Date Added: 20/08/2018

Fly Fishing Tuition in the Peak District & South Yorkshire has seen another very busy season for me and in particular with people booking River Days. From the beginning of April I have been constantly busy with clients wanting both Instruction & Guided Days. People completely new to the sport booking Introduction Days and many existing clients coming back to me for further Instruction or Guided Days. It has been a very enjoyable season!

It’s hard to believe that September is upon us already and hopefully the weather will get back to our more normal pleasantly warm days with some rain to rejuvenate our rivers & streams. The Brown Trout Season will soon be at an end for another year. No time to be heavy hearted though as September can be a cracking month. Brown Trout should be feeding well in order to put on some weight before their breeding season and Grayling & Still Water Rainbows will be in peak condition. All we need is some favourable weather and the opportunity to get on the water, be it still water or river.

Still Water Fly fishing can be very good at this time of year and you should make sure you have patterns with orange in them, to simulate water snails. Fry Patterns should prove useful as the bigger fish target the fry. Terrestrials such as Daddy Long Legs are likely to be on the menu, especially on breezy days.

River Fly fishing will require Sedge Patterns, Dry, Emerger, Pupa & Larvae, together with Daddy Long Legs & Beetle Patterns. Take along the usual Nymphs and if you want some seriously delicate fishing a few North Country Spider Patterns may just pay dividends. Keep an eye on any leaves floating by and if the fish appear to be rising to them then get out the Greenfly Patterns & Griffiths Gnat. Cast them near to the leaves and see if you get a reaction from the fish. Make sure the flies you are using are very small!

Remember you need the right pattern and you need to then offer it in such a way that the fish think it is the real thing. Fly fishing is the art of deception and the fish will be the ones who have the final say on just how good we are.

Tight lines!
Peter Lax GAIC/L2CCA
Professional Fly fishing Instructor, Licensed Coach & Experienced Guide.

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Hints & Tips - August

Date Added: 24/07/2018

Learning to Fly fish in the Peak District, Derbyshire & South Yorkshire in August can involve a lot of patience & cunning.
It isn’t just about learning to cast or having a vast choice of flies. It’s about being able to put the right imitation fly in the right place doing the right thing at the right time.
If the hot and bright weather continues then look for the fish in shady places. They don’t have eyelids so being out of bright sunlight is more comfortable for them.
If it stays very hot then they will seek out the well oxygenated places. Perhaps where a river or stream enters a lake, or near the aerators in still waters, or at the head of pools in flowing water. All good places to try during hot and dry periods.
Fly choice can be made easier by asking the owner of the fishery or the water bailiff what they would recommend. Look around and see what is about both in the water & in the air. Check the spider’s webs as they can be very revealing.
There will be times when you really struggle to find what they want. I don’t think the fish always know what they want at this time of year, so don’t be afraid to change fly pattern often.
Daddy Long Legs will probably feature along with other terrestrials. Sedges will be about especially in the evenings and large numbers of fry, so fry patterns can be useful on still waters. Quite often the fish will be smutting and so very small flies may be required to prompt them to take your offering.
If the fish appear to be taking at the surface but aren’t interested in your dry fly then try a nymph or spider pattern fished just subsurface – this requires a lot of skill and quick reactions but it is a fantastic and delicate way to fish!
August can and often is a tricky month but make the most of it as the rewards are magical. A good Fly fisher will make the most of what takes he or she gets and these can be few and far between or all in a very brief period of time.
Remember Fly fishing isn’t about catching loads of fish; if it was then we would just use a worm and have done with it!

As always Tight lines! Peter

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Hints & Tips - July

Date Added: 16/06/2018

Fly fishing in the Peak District, Derbyshire & South Yorkshire has been very good during June, Rivers & Still Waters have fished well despite the very low water levels and the May fly have treated us to some really exceptional sport.

The odd May fly is still emerging but the fish aren’t paying much attention. It is normal to get a bit of a lull after the Mayfly period. The fish are usually full to bursting and starting to get a little more choosey about what they will eat. But they will eat if we offer them the right pattern doing the right thing. Small offerings can often be the answer. Check out the spiders webs to see what fly are about!

Sedge Flies will be about in great numbers during the day & in the evenings. So make sure you have some sedge patterns and be prepared to offer them in all sizes. It is the one time that the Dry Fly Fisherman will purposely let his Dry Fly “Drag” to simulate the “Skittering” of the natural Sedges over the water. The takes can be savage!

For the river angler the Grayling is now back in season and it would seem rude not to offer “The Lady of the Steam” something to take her fancy. Perhaps a Sturdy’s Fancy or a Treacle Parkin might do the trick!

The Terrestrial Flies are about in numbers now and we should be looking out for them particularly on breezy days. Flying Ant, Daddy Long Legs, & Beatle Patterns are a must. Don’t forget Griffiths gnat & Double Badger which can be well worth trying when the fish are taking small stuff at the surface. Fish them on the downwind end of still waters and around tree lined banks on rivers.

Always keep a close eye on what appear to be surface rises as they aren’t always what they seem. Quite often the fish will cause a disturbance at the surface when they are taking sub surface items of food. Look at what’s happening and fish accordingly. A spider pattern fished just under the surface perhaps?

When giving Fly fishing Lessons I always try to get my clients to look at what is happening around them. What are the Flies doing? What are the Fish doing as a result of it? And what should We be doing to take advantage of it?

As always I wish you – Tight Lines! Peter

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