Latest News and Top Tips

Hints & Tips - June

Date Added: 24/05/2018

Fly fishing in Derbyshire, the Peak District, South Yorkshire or anywhere for that matter is about deceiving fish with an artificial fly.
There is much confusion about what is meant by “Fly”. Just look in a Fly fishing Shop and you will be amazed at what passes as a so called fly.

River & Lake Flies are creatures that live for almost all of their lives underwater as Nymphs or Larvae. When we use imitations of these we are “Wet Fly or Nymph” fishing.
To complete their life cycle they must change to Air Breathing Flying Insects to find a mate. It is one of nature’s true wonders. When we imitate these we are “Dry Fly” fishing.
We can even imitate the creature as it is in the process of changing & this is called “Emerger Fishing”. This can be a very successful approach but to be effective it has to be done when the natural creatures are “emerging”.

That is the trick to it all really. The fish react to what the Fly are doing and as Fly fishers we should be doing the same thing. That is, reacting to what the Fly are doing & offering the fish the correct imitation doing the correct thing.

I always teach people to understand these basic rules as it is fundamental to what Fly fishing is all about. You don’t have to know the name of every fly on the water – the fish don’t. You do, however, have to know or be able to make a good assumption of what the Fly are doing. This will determine what the Fish are doing & consequently what You need to do about it!

It can take a lifetime to become a truly skilled Fly fisher. That’s part of the charm of it as there is something about a pass-time that continually tests you and at which you are always learning. It can be frustrating though when you first start out and that is where time spent with an Instructor or Coach can get you off to a good start and begin to help you make sense of what for many is a complete conundrum . Do beware though of those who tell you they know everything there is to know about Fly fishing. I know quite a few excellent Fly fishers and the one thing they all have in common is that they openly admit that they learn something every time they go to the water. That is why they are so skilled!

The Derbyshire Peak District has some stunning Fly fishing venues, both River & Stillwater, so why not have a day Fly fishing and really get to know the Rivers that have made places like Ashford, Bakewell, Chatsworth & Haddon Hall such idyllic locations.

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

Click photo to enlarge...

Hints & Tips - May

Date Added: 23/04/2018

Fly fishing on Chatsworth and around the Peak District & South Yorkshire has been slow to get started this season due to the rain causing problems with river levels. Thank goodness for still waters at times like these. 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.

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

Click photo to enlarge...

Hints & Tips - April

Date Added: 23/03/2018

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 with some very 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

Click photo to enlarge...

Hints & Tips - March

Date Added: 26/02/2018

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 2018:
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

Click photo to enlarge...

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)

Click photo to enlarge...

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.

First Page

Previous Page

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

© Copyright 2019, Peter Lax Fly Fishing. All rights reserved

Website design: Hooked on Websites