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Trout Fishing Techniques

There are two common trout species. The brown trout and the rainbow trout. The brown trout is native to Britain and Europe whilst the rainbow trout was introduced from America towards the end of the nineteenth century. Rainbow trout do not breed naturally in British rivers and lakes so stocks rely almost entirely on hatchery…

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Locating grayling

During the summer, when the water is warm and rivers are frequently very low, the grayling venture into the very fast shallow water where there is the most oxygen. In autumn grayling come into peak condition and can provide the trout fly angler with excellent sport after the trout season has closed. Grayling are basicallv…

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Gudgeon

The gudgeon is often the first fish a young angler catches. They seldom grow larger than 4 oz (I 13-4 g) but for their size they can be enjoyable to catch. Gudgeon are shoal fish and can be caught in large numbers. A gudgeon is similar in appearance to small barbel, but has only 2…

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Bleak

These little silvery fish are often referred to as willow blades. Bleak are surface feeders with a protruding lower lip. Throw in a few loose maggots and set your float tackle to fish no more than 18 in (45-7 cm) deep. Tackle should be very fine with a single maggot for hookbait. Bites from bleak…

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Pope or ruffe

More commonly known as the tommy ruffe, this little fish can be a real pest on some rivers. Unlike most small fish it has a very large mouth and is quite capable of taking a lobworm intended for larger fish. The tommy ruffe is a bottom feeder and looks rather like a miniature perch without…

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Perch

Perch were once the species of fish most familiar to Britain’s young anglers. Disease wiped out perch in some waters and in many others they have been very slow to regain their former numbers. The slow recovery from disease is surprising because perch are extremely prolific breeders. Like the roach, perch will tolerate and adapt…

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Pike Fishing

Pike have long been the subject of folklore and myths, and are subject to more misconceptions than any other species. The stories told about pike which slaughter ducks or that attack dogs and bathers are endless. Most of these tales are simply superstitious nonsense. I well remember netting a lake which the locals claimed was…

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Fishing for Bream

One of the most popular fish with anglers, the bream is widespread throughout Britain and Europe. There are two species of bream, the bronze and the silver. The silver bream is not nearly so common as the bronze bream and does not grow very large. Bronze bream can be large and fish over 12 lb…

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Carp Fishing Basics

Carp are normally to be found in stillwaters, but they do exist in a number of rivers, including some which are fasi flowing. In rivers where the water is used for cooling power stations it is returned to the river very much warmer than when it was taken out. Carp thrive in these warm water…

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Fishing for Eels

There are very few waters which do not contain eels. The eel is a migratory fish which spawns in the Atlantic Ocean. The tiny eels or elvers drift with the ocean currents to reach Europe in their millions. The elvers find their way up the rivers and streams where they grow to maturity. Eels will…

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Grayling

The grayling is a member of the salmon family but because it spawns at the same time of year as coarse fish it is usually regarded as such. Grayling cannot tolerate pollution and because of this their distribution is restricted to clean, fast-flowing rivers. In rivers where they exist, grayling are generally found in great…

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Fishing Lakes & ponds

Many of the species of fish encountered in rivers will also be found in lakes and ponds. Sometimes the species may have arrived naturally in the lake but in many cases man has introduced them to provide sport. Large lakes can be very daunting places to fish. Confronted with a vast expanse of open water…

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Fishing Lowland lakes

This description covers a wide range of lakes, many of which have been created by man. Lowland lakes are usually capable of supporting a wide variety of fish. The richness of the water depends on several factors. The most important of these is whether the water is acid or alkaline. This is often referred to…

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Locating fish

Locating fish is not very difficult in small lakes. Shoals ofrudd and roach often congregate close to the surface where you can see them splashing about. Tench and carp will grub about on the lake bed, frequently discolouring the water and sending masses of bubbles and bits ofdebris to the surface. Carp will feed amongst…

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Fishing Gravel pits

These are the water-filled lagoons which remain after the land has been quarried for gravel and sand. They vary in size but some of them are very large. Some gravel companies landscape the area when gravel extraction has ceased but other lagoons are left until vegetation appears naturally. The gravel pits are usually stocked with…

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Fishing Reservoirs

These have been created to provide water for our towns and cities, and are formed by building a massive clam across a steep sided valley so that the land behind the dam is flooded. Because the water is used for supplying domestic needs most water authorities restrict fishing to the use of artificial lures. This…

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Fish handling skills

Keepnets The introduction of knotless kecpnets and landing nets has helped a great deal in preventing unnecessary dam-Use a rod rest to keep a big net fully extended in shallow water rent, and tails continually brushing against a keepnet will quickly be worn away. Choose the site for the keepnet before you begin fishing and…

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Litter and angling

Perhaps the most serious problem to be found on heavily fished stretches of water is litter left behind by thoughtless anglers. It looks unsightly and can kill riverside wildlife. So serious has this problem become in recent years that the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has carried out a survey which reveals that…

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Waterside behaviour

The most effective way of making sure you don’t catch any fish is to noisily stamp around on the river-bank or lakeside. If you were only spoiling your own chances of catching fish by doing this you would only have yourself to blame, but the chances are that you would be ruining the sport for…

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Fishing Drains

These fall into two categories. Some drains are simply small rivers which have been straightened, widened and dredged, whilst others are completely man-made. They are created to drain water away from flat agricultural land and often have little or no flow. The water levels in the drain are controlled by sluice gates which are opened…

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Fishing Canals

Originally constructed to transport cargo by barges, many canals have now fallen into disrepair. Those canals which run through large industrial areas are often used by thoughtless people as tipping grounds for domestic waste. Whilst some canals only support small fish, there are a few which offer good sport for the angler. The main species…

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Fishing Chalk streams

Chalk streams are the richest of all the types of river and can provide superb fishing. These rivers are fed by rainwater slowly draining through chalk rock and then rising to the surface again through springs. Most chalk rivers are carefully protected trout fisheries and offer some of the finest dry fly-fishing in the world….

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Chub and perch

Both these species will fall to the same method of using small fish as baits. No wire trace is needed as these fish are not capable of biting through your line. Chub have very powerful crushing teeth in their throats but you should have struck into the fish long before your bait is swallowed. Livcbaits…

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Fly-fishing

Fly-fishing was once regarded (and still is by some people) as a superior method of catching fish. The skills of fly-fishing were greatly exaggerated, causing many anglers to be dissuaded from even attempting this method of fishing. Another reason which deterred anglers from attempting flyfishing is that it is mainly used to catch trout and…

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Fly-lines

Fly-lines can be very expensive and the beginner should buy one of the cheaper varieties to use when learning to cast. An expensive fly-line can crack and split easily with clumsy casting so it is wise to learn to cast with a cheap line. The size of line-should be chosen to suit the A.F.T.M. Rating…

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Fly Casting

The problem of learning to cast with fly tackle is the most difficult part of fly-fishing and in reality cannot be mastered by reading about it. The secret is that you must not be deterred from trying, because casting a fly-line is not nearly as difficult as it looks. To begin with you should aim…

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Dry fly-fishing

One of the most enjoyable aspects of fly-fishing is that you can wander along the side of a river without being weighted down with a lot of tackle. All you need is a box of flics and a few sundry items in a small haversack. You can carry your rod and landing net. Dry fly-fishing…

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Wet fly-fishing

Wet fly-fishing calls for slightly different tactics. The object of fishing a wet fly is to imitate a drowned insect or the nymph stage of a fly which lives under water. In most instances a fly can be fished wet, still using a floating fly-line. The nylon leader is 3 yards (2-7 metres) long and…

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Lure-fishing

Lure-fishing is practised on lakes and big reservoirs and requires much stronger tackle since the conditions encountered on a reservoir are sometimes rough. On a large, open expanse ofwater the wind can whip the waves up to resemble an inland sea. The rod has to be powerful enough to punch a fly line out into…

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Fly-tying

Flies are an expensive item in flyfishing and are easily lost or dam- aged. It often seems that the more expensive a fly you use the more likely you are to cast into a tree or snap the fly off on the back cast! It is worth the effort for anyone seriously interested in fly-fishing…

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Natural baits

The list of baits which will catch fish is nearly endless but those I have mentioned in detail form the bulk of successful baits. The beginner to fishing will probably restrict his bails to maggots, worms and bread. As you become a little more experienced at fishing, do not limit yourself to just a few…

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Fishing for predators

A slightly more unorthodox style of fishing has to be used to catch predators. All fish are predatory to a certain extent, especially just after spawning. Some fish, such as pike. Zander and perch, are confirmed predators. Other species such as chub, trout and eels are far more predatory than many anglers appreciate. All these…

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Spate rivers

These rivers normally have their beginning, or source, high up in the hills and mountains. They derive their name from the fact that rain very quickly affects their flow; spate being the name for a sudden flood of water. Mountains and hills have more rainfall than the valleys, and consequently the lower reaches of a…

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Deadbaiting for pike

The tackle used for pike fishing needs to be very strong. Not only must the tackle subdue a large and powerful fish, but it must also withstand the exertions of casting heavy baits. Some anglers use a carp rod for pike fishing and this is fine if you are only casting small fish baits moderate…

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Fishing for zander

The methods used for catching zander are very similar to those used for catching pike but the strength of the tackle has to be somewhat reduced. Zander do not have the huge mouth of a pike and are not capable of dealing with big fish baits. When a zander grabs a small fish it will…

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Deadbaiting for eels

Deadbaiting for eels can be great fun, especially after dark during summer and autumn. In a lake the deadbait can be freclincd when fishing reasonably close to the bank. When fishing at long range or in a flowing river, straightforward leger tackle can be used. Eels are not tackle shy, so make sure your line…