Latest News and Top Tips

Hints & Tips - May

Date Added: 24/04/2019

Fly fishing on Chatsworth and around the Peak District & South Yorkshire has been generally good during April. We may have had to work for our fish but with effort they have been forthcoming. We should now see things getting better during May as it starts warming up and, hopefully, settling down.

Fly hatches have been brief but the Nymph, Larvae & Pupa Patterns have paid dividends & terrestrial patterns have occasionally worked on the surface. We should now start seeing better hatches of Upwings and Caddis but don’t forget to take a few Hawthorne's, as they appeared late last year, and maybe a Double Badger, just for good measures.

Always keep an eye out for the odd Dunn floating by and watch its progress. If it is greeted by a fish then it will be worth putting a dry fly on and having a few casts. Remember to choose something similar in size & shape and if in doubt check out the waterside spiders webs for ideas. At this time of year the odd Dunn can sometimes be joined by a host of others and when this happens the sport can be truly amazing!

Nymph patterns should always be in your fly box. Both Beaded and Non Beaded versions so that you can present them wherever you wish in the water column. If the river has a bit of colour try a slightly larger than usual version so that it gives them something to see easily & something worth moving their bum for.

With luck May should herald some good hatches on both Still Waters & Rivers and we can then start to have some traditional Dry fly action. If that isn’t the case though we will just have to keep an open mind, a keen eye, and a variation of patterns to tempt the little darlings.

Remember the correct fly choice is important but presentation is everything. The right fly in the right place doing the right thing usually gives the right result - a nice fish!

As always I wish you tight lines and hope that you have an enjoyable season!

Kind Regards

Peter Lax
Professional Game Angling Instructor & Licensed Coach

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Hints & Tips - April

Date Added: 23/03/2019

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 relatively mild winter with a few cold snaps 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 in the previous 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 the Hawthorne 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 very busy 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: 24/02/2019

Fly fishing in the Peak District & South Yorkshire is only a few weeks away from the new season now. It’s an exciting time as we all wonder what the 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 some wonderful days on River & Still Water and 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 2019:
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.
If you are new to Fly fishing and intend to book some tuition then do it now as Instructors get very busy once the season has started. My diary is already looking busy in the peak weeks!

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: 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

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