Game Fishing Articles: Fishing Tips and Advice

Salmon fishing on the
Fowey in Cornwall

These angling articles, some written specifically for Get Hooked, will help you get the most out of your fly fishing in the Westcountry.

There is advice on tackle, bait and where to fish. Some are specific to particular areas, others more general. Even seasoned local anglers are sure to find some useful information among them. Not all are advice, some are humorous, others intend to inform on ecological and environmental issues. We are sure you will enjoy reading them.

South West Lakes Trust Trout Fishing Competitions 2013

Submitted by Mandi on April 18, 2013 - 11:25am

Fly Fishing on Wimbleball Lake

Trout Fishing Competitions 2013 - Sat 20 April 2013 to Sun 1 September 2013 

At South West Lakes Trust we extend a warm welcome to all trout anglers, whether beginner or expert.

Throughout 2013 we will be running a number of fishing competitions for individuals, pairs and groups. The range of fishing we offer ensures excellent sport for all anglers. Our still water rainbow and brown trout fisheries are among the best in the West, with natural, free wilderness sites offering an inexpensive, but maybe challenging, day out in beautiful countryside.

 2013 Competitions

South West Fishing For Life

Submitted by Mandi on March 13, 2013 - 4:24pm

Fishing is not on the top of the list of things to do when you have been through the trauma of breast cancer, and trying to get your life back together again. But as the members of an organisation called Fishing For Life have discovered it is exactly what this group has helped them to do. SWFFL provides a network of friends and support to help breast cancer patients with ‘moving on’ and coping with difficult times, as well as the ability to share information and experiences with people who can empathise. Thanks to the generosity of various waters and all the volunteers these days are free for the members to attend and also provide them with a social and supportive network.

South West Fly Fair 2013

Submitted by Mandi on February 27, 2013 - 11:59am

   ******** South West Fly Fair, Roadford Lake - Sat 9 Mar 2013 **********

  Calling all fly fisherman, both novice and advanced!

On Saturday 9 March Roadford Lake, near Launceston, will be hosting a new attraction - The South West Fly Fair, organised jointly by South West Lakes Trust and the Westcountry Rivers Trust. The event, which is set to become a regular feature in the trout fisherman's calendar in anticipation of the new season, includes the opportunity to watch and learn from some of the greatest fly-tiers in the region, brush up on casting skills, see and try the latest tackle and listen to a series of guest speakers.

With free entry and with a variety of activities on offer the event is definitely one not to be missed!

The fair will run from 2pm - 7pm and will include trade stands, fly tying demonstrations and clinics and the opportunity to learn from the experts and have a go yourself.

Lucy Bowden Talks About Fishing For Everyone And Her Passion For Angling November 2011

Submitted by Mandi on November 3, 2011 - 3:19pm

November 2011

One of the questions many people ask me when they find out I’m an angler is what got me into it and why is it such a big part of my life. My response always is, “My Dad got me into the sport and for that I am eternally grateful.” Angling like with many of us, to me is more than just a hobby, it is my life and everything I do, the people I know and my career revolves around that one hobby. Fishing For Everyone was first created in 2005 from the adolescent idea that I wanted to encourage more people, in particular more females into the sport of angling. I was young at the time and wanted to make a difference for the good. Although things didn’t happen overnight, over a period of time I feel I’ve established myself as a dedicated and proactive role model for ladies in the sport.


Many people do not realise it but in fact the FFE website was just that to begin with– an information website before a year following its initial launch it was developed into an e-commerce website selling ladies angling clothing and accessories, and later on, my coaching services. Although I’m only 24 years old now, two years ago I decided I wanted to give something back to my community and so went about founding the Fishing For Everyone Ladies Fishing Club, an angling club dedicated to encouraging more ladies into the sport of angling. Although it wasn’t an easy task, in its first year the Club proved such a success that by year two we applied for official angling Club status and a committee was put in place, along with club rules and a constitution. Today the Club hold regular events every month covering all angling disciplines from fly fishing to predator, sea and coarse fishing.


The club is open to all females and junior members under the age of 17. I stand as Chairman and I’m very proud of what we’ve created. Recently someone asked me, what’s in it for you, why do you give up your free weekend’s to voluntarily run a ladies fishing club? Why not I often say back... there are few things I’d rather be doing. Seeing the faces of those young and old catch their first fish does it for me every time... it’s more than just catching fish, it’s an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives. Since forming the club I’ve qualified as a level 2 UKCC Game Angling Coach and the youngest female coach of this description in the UK. Knowing this fact is a huge honour for me and actually quite a scary thought. I love coaching and like to get out regularly – it’s in my blood, young and old, male and female – it doesn’t matter.

As well as running my own business and standing as Chairman of a fishing club I also work full time for world renowned fishing tackle manufacturer, Hardy & Greys. I’ve been with the company for nearly four years and love the variety of the job. Recently I have attended various enterprise days in local schools and

workshops where I have given motivational talks.Many have asked, do you think you are a success or where do you want to be in five years time? I like to get them thinking and ask them what determines success. Is it making money, having a nice house or flash car or is it achieving what you’ve always wanted, being happy in yourself, self assured and confident with the person you are. For me, it’s certainly the latter.

Lucy coaching Lucy

Fishing and the great friends I’ve met along the way have made me who I am today... I’m sure no other industry can do the same. As for where do I want to be in five years time, I often look back five years ago when I was 19 and never had an inclination I’d ever be where I am today so the answer simply is, who knows – happy, healthy and successful I hope. Bring on the fishing!

 Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Follow on Facebook / Twitter:LucyBowdenFFE

South West Rivers Association 2011

Submitted by Mandi on September 22, 2011 - 3:47pm

SWRA is the voice of riparian owners and game angling in the South West. It is the umbrella of the individual river associations in the South West and a powerful lobbying body regularly consulted by the Environment Agency and Government. Its main aim is to see salmon and sea trout stocks and the sport of angling for them return to their former glory. As with many aspects of modern life, angling and our freedom to enjoy it have been threatened by an ever-growing bureaucracy. Our rivers are also subject to pressure from abstraction, pollution and public access. By enabling individual rivers to work together to speak with one voice SWRA continues to influence the political and environmental agenda in a number of key areas, including: Salmon Stock Assessment - we lobby for a more accurate approach, a requisite of good management. Salmon Stocking Policy - we support effective stocking to compensate for the effects of environmental degradation. Our Hatchery Best Practice Group, supported by the Environment Agency and Westcountry Rivers Trust, is ensuring the best possible use of our volunteer hatchery teams.

Canoeing - we continue to support the policy of voluntary access agreements and have helped secure more acceptable ones on some rivers Abstraction - over-abstraction remains a serious threat. In South Devon we are working with the Angling Trust to reduce the unacceptable levels of abstraction. The biggest and newest threat is the rapid growth in hydropower developments. Our Secretary is not only active at a local level but sits on the National Hydropower Stakeholder Group set up to ensure best practice..

Partnership Working - with the inevitable cuts in Environment Agency funding, the management of our rivers and their fisheries will increasingly depend on the work of the charitable and voluntary sector. SWRA is a lead player in developing this approach.

If you would like to know more about the work of South West Rivers Association by joining the mailing list for its Newsletter, or wish to become an individual member, please contact the Secretary, Roger Furniss at: [email protected]

South West Fishing For Life

Submitted by Mandi on September 22, 2011 - 12:44pm


South West Fishing For Life was started early in 2008 by Gillian Payne as a non profit organisation to help anyone suffering from, or recovering from, breast cancer. Fly fishing has been found to be very beneficial to anyone with breast cancer as it tones muscles, and talking to other people in the same situation always helps. The club has three groups at; Wimbleball lake on Exmoor, Kennick lake in Devon, and we are delighted to announce the third group at Siblyback in Cornwall which started in the Spring of 2011.

These venues are all South West Lakes Trust lakes, to whom we are most grateful. Tuition and tackle is provided to allow a mornings fishing, with lunch. Other venues are sometimes used and during non fishing months we still meet for fly dressing, socials, talks and other interesting activities. After lunch participants are encouraged to fish independently, with friends or, if tired, are free to return home. All Instructors are professional and hold suitable qualifications and insurance. South West Fishing For Life not only aims to provide fishing for participants but also would like to see other venues set up their own organisation in other areas.

If you would like to read more about SWFFL please look at our web site:

For enquiries please contact:

Gillian 01398 371244

Email: [email protected]

or Patrick, 01398 323409 Email: [email protected]

A Golden Age Of Fly Tackle

Submitted by Mandi on September 21, 2011 - 11:33am

Throughout the ages old codgers have always been ready to tell the world just how tough things were when they were young – and how easy things are for the new generation. Perhaps that view is wearing a bit thin, especially in the present economic climate, but there is one area where we have never had it so good – modern fly fishing tackle These thoughts came to the surface as I was sorting out some old tackle that had been cluttering up the house and getting it ready to go to auction. One rod in particular made me realise how far we had come. It was a greenheart salmon fly rod made by Hardy around 1900 that was 23 ft long and weighed in at 2 lb 12 oz – I can only assume that most of the salmon anglers of that period had a ghillie to carry the rod down to the river.

Fast forward half a century to the 1950s when I started fly fishing and the split cane rod that I used to fish at Chew Valley and Blagdon just topped 8 oz and had only a fraction of the power of the 4 oz carbon fibre rod that I now use on the lakes. And the rods that I use on the trout streams are only around 2 oz. Today we take for granted fly lines that both shoot smoothly and float well but my first line, like that of other anglers at the time, was made of silk and quickly absorbed water. The first task of the day was greasing the line, which was fine until casting removed the grease. 

Then – and this was often just when the trout started rising – the line began to sink and it was necessary to strip it off the reel, hang it out to dry and then grease it all over again. By that time, of course, the rise had come to a stop. Fortunately, I did not have to wait too long before the first synthetic floating lines came along and today we enjoy a wonderful range of fly lines from the highest-riding floater to the fast sinking lines that get us right down to the depths. One of the items that went to auction was a damper tin in which the brittle gut casts of the first half of the 20th century had to be soaked before they became supple

enough to use. By the time I became a fly fisher, monofilament nylon had arrived and in much-improved form remains with us as a leader material, though now joined by fluorocarbon and copolymer. These developments – and others like ever lighter fly reels, breathable waders, an infinite range of fly hooks – provide the fly fisher with the means of being more effective than ever in angling history. Fortunately, the very best tackle can only support our efforts to fool the fish and we still need as much skill, river craft and experience as ever to be successful.

Thankfully there will always be days when the fish make complete fools of us all.

Salmon Farming and Wild Fish 2011

Submitted by Mandi on July 13, 2011 - 12:11pm

Salmon farming and
wild fish just don't mix!
What is the problem?
There is overwhelming scientific consensus that salmon farms pose a threat to wild salmon and sea trout. Parasitic sea-lice from salmon farms can kill wild fish, particularly juveniles migrating to sea, while
farm escapees breed with wild adults, diluting natural gene pools.
Fish farms are struggling to control sea-lice problems. In Norway,
farm-origin fish can constitute up to 20% of salmon found on the spawning grounds.Salmon are currently farmed in open-net cages, allowing parasites,disease, waste products and pesticides to flow freely into the wild and
impact wild fish. And many fish farms are located close to estuaries important for wild salmon and sea trout, making interaction between farmed and wild fish inevitable.

Sea Trout Protection English and Welsh Version

Submitted by Mandi on July 11, 2011 - 3:30pm

English and Welsh rivers were colonised by sea trout at the end of the last Ice Age, and their descendents are the populations of brown trout and sea trout we know today (both Salmo trutta). Resident and migratory characteristics have developed within individual catchments, so that some fish now remain permanently
resident (brown trout), some always migrate (sea trout) and others can do either, depending on circumstances. It is believed that both genetics and environmental issues, such as habitat and available
food, play a part in whether or not a trout migrates to sea. What is a Sea Trout? SALMON & TROUT ASSOCIATION
Game anglers for fish, people, the environment.At the 1st International Sea Trout Symposium at Cardiff University in July 2004, four key issues emerged as being vital to the future of our sea trout stocks:
lSea trout utilise tiny spawning streams, but these are the very habitats most at threat from unsympathetic land use and agriculture. Finnish sea trout stocks have been savaged by fish being accidentally
caught in the coastal white fish gill-net fishery. The UK's coastal waters are exploited by bass gill-netters, and the potential threat to sea trout is obvious.lLarger female sea trout are often multiple repeat spawners with a potential to deposit many eggs over their lifetime, so maximising their contribution to local stocks. They have proven their fitness to survive in both the river and the sea and so contain important genes to pass on to their progeny. Protection of larger fish is therefore vital. Some scientific opinion suggests that salmon are on the edge of their viable range in the southern half of England and Wales. If our climate becomes warmer, as is widely predicted through global warming, sea trout will also be
vulnerable to the resulting environmental pressures, such as droughts, abnormal winter flows, inevitable changes to their growth/life history and,weakened by sub-lethal levels of pollution while in rivers, they might be unable to survive the additional stress of migrating from freshwater into the
marine environment.
What can you do to help?

Get The Drift

Submitted by Mandi on February 24, 2011 - 12:45pm

Looking down over a lake prior to getting to the bank, or into a boat for a days fishing, we have all watched the stretches of wind lanes. Some, gently wandering across the water, others, in high wind conditions showing as a definite path of foam amongst the wave breaks. These wind lanes often hold feeding fish I am fanatical about fishing wind lanes and would like to point out their advantages. Let me explain the formation of these wind lanes, why they attract the fish, and how best to use them. Wind lanes were studied in depth (excuse the pun) by Irving Langmuir, an American physicist, after noticing the lanes forming on the water surface. He discovered that when the wind was blowing across the top of a water mass in one direction, because of the ‘Coriolis’ effect (this is what make your bath water spin whilst going down the plug hole) cells are formed below the surface, and actually break the surface at the top of each cell. These are known as ‘Langmuir Cells’ What we actually see is the top of each cell where it breaks the surface, and in fact the water in that space is turning very slowly at right angles to the wind direction.