Recent Posts

Threats To Angling

16 Sep , 2014,
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  • Lack of anglers’ involvement in the running of clubs and societies, sitting on Consultatives and RFACS and helping to fund the sport.
  • Continuing pollution of waterways – join the ACA.
  • Increasing water eutrophication from phosphates, nitrates and other farmland “wastes”.
  • Endocrine disrupters introduced to water tables from sewage treatment plants and domestic and industrial waste.
  • Increased water abstraction and declining water quality.
  • Continuing calls for ‘channel improvement’ and investment in land drainage to reduce flooding and allow building on flood plains.
  • Water transfer schemes between river catchments.
  • Increased navigation on inland waterways, particularly with unsuitable craft.
  • Increasing fish predation by cormorants, otters and signal crayfish.
  • An escalation in fish kills and disease, partly through the relaxation of import controls.
  • Increasing illegal fish movements and fish stealing.
  • Litter problems from anglers and non-anglers alike.
  • Increasing anti-angling activity and propaganda.
  • Waters regularly being lost to angling.
  • Political infighting between angling groups.
  • The lack of funding from central government to match that available to other sports.

Some best tips for fishing

9 Apr , 2014,
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The reproduction of the trouts requires special conditions. The fact to fish outside the dates authorized implies a new element of alteration: the death of reproducers and the loss – to medium term of one of main attractive the tourist ones of the region.


DCF 1.0

We reiterated that we talked about exotic species. The Law protects the native fauna in all the cases.

The fishing modalities go from spinning (with teaspoon from the coast) or trolling (it fishes embarked), to fly-casting (it fishes with fly). The places for each modality will be able to consult them in the regulation of fishing or the tourist information bureaus. In order to acquire equipment specific commerce very well assorted exists. An advice: to always resort to the services of a fishing guide. Many and very good exist, and will be the best election to guarantee an unforgettable day

1. Use a double taper line for your dry line fishing. Many shops and instructors like to have a new caster use the weight forward dry line because it gives the illusion of greater distance and power than a double taper line. This is truly an illusion. The weight forward line is a shooting head and has all the benefits and drawbacks of a shooting head. A given rod will throw a weight forward farther than a double taper, but not much. A double taper first of all feels like a fly line. It has a silky, comfortable feel and has the virtue of demanding a little better technique and understanding of the casting process. A double taper will mend beautifully. It can be reversed when one end wears out. With your double taper floater you can roll cast like nobody’s business out to fifty or seventy feet, depending on the bushes. A double taper will execute a Spey cast just fine with a single-handed fly rod. This is valuable when you are back to back with trees and bushes. If you have ten or fifteen feet behind you a dynamic roll cast will get you way more than fifty feet into the river or lake. The place you need a weight forward dry line is tropical surface fishing for bones and tarpon etc. where you need lots of distance in a hurry.

2. Buy a stiff double taper dry line. This is not a commercial site but you can find high end lines that are stiffer than the others and these will make casting much more of a joy. The stiff line shoots through the guides more readily and it does not tangle like the very flexible ones.

3. Dont be too lazy to use line dressing on your dry line regularly. The line picks up algae and dirt and gets to be not so smooth. If you dress it you not only remove the scum but you lubricate the line and it shoots through the guides like a dream. It also floats higher which is particularly helpful when you are making that fifty-foot roll cast.

4. Concentrate on your back cast. With a good strong straight back cast the fore cast or lay down is a snap. It is the back cast that counts.

5. Practice for short periods regularly. One way to induce this good habit is to keep a rod set up in your garage or closet and step outside for a few minutes whenever you feel like it and practice something. We cut little circles or squares from plastic milk jugs, punch a small hole with an awl, the sharp point on a compass or any such tool and then cut a slit from the edge to the hole with a jack knife. We pull the tippet through this by the practice fly or yarn fly and leave the rod either fully assembled or half and half with the leader straight. We walk out the door and Voila! we are fishing. ( well almost)

6. When you practice something. Always have an objective. You can practice on the sidewalk, across the street, in the parking strip or anywhere but have an objective. Becoming a journeyman fly caster is like learning a musical instrument, basketball, tennis or any other skill. Practice is focused on one or two points at a time.

7. Be prepared to backslide on what you know while you are adding to your fly-casting skills. It is a normal learning pattern to make two steps forward and then one step back.

8. Take a blond, brunette, redhead, grey head, silver head or any head fishing with a fly rod. Fly casting is not a gender specific sport. We know couples where the wife casts in tournaments and fishes and the husband goes along to enjoy the camaraderie and the scenery. We know couples where the man is the caster and the woman does the bird watching.

9. Critique one another. If you have a friend who thinks casting is a worthwhile pursuit watch each other cast and dissect your strokes. The most telling signal of good or bad practice is the character of the back cast. It tells more about the state of your progress than anything else.

10. Watch your own back cast from time to time. We have seen casting works that recommend that the caster watch every back cast and we have seen others that recommend that the caster never look at the back cast. Neither of these positions is tenable. Turning your head or body to observe your back cast disturbs the geometry of your arm and shoulder joints etc. and is not ideal body mechanics but you must know what is going on behind you to evaluate your cast.
Ultimately you will become so grooved that the friendly little tug of the line will announce that you’re on the right track. We have film of a world champion caster who looks at his back cast in distance events. He does this to see if the line is straightened out and in an optimum position to accept the strength he will put into the final forecast.

11. Wait for the friendly little tug of your line on the back cast. In order to feel this tug you must have a short stroke on the back cast, about 1:00 or 1:30 is fine. The farther back you get the less you can feel the tug of the back cast. After 2:00 it is pretty subtle.

12. For long and powerful roll casts learn the dynamic roll cast. The basic roll cast is taught in the static mode – the rod drawn back to about the 1:00 o’clock position, letting the line fall and then making the casting stroke forward. The cast works because you have put enough line behind you to be able to impel it forward. For a dynamic roll cast you throw a small loop of the line behind you and commence the casting stroke while the line is still bellied out behind. You doted full casting stroke – load the rod with hand movement, add the power stroke with mainly wrist movement and snap the tip. This will drive the line out in a fifty or sixty foot roll cast. You can snap it high to get the line into the air for a soft dry fly landing or you can snap it farther forward and make the line roll out on the water for a wet fly presentation or to overcome the wind. It is important to start the forward casting stroke immediately after the loop of line bellies out behind. There are two reasons: First, the line is at its maximum distance behind, giving you more room for the loading part of your stroke. Second, the floating part of the line has come to the top of the surface and has no time to sink a little bit and slow down your cast. I first saw this at a fishing show and was astonished at the power. The amount of line you can throw behind is dependent on the amount of space behind. If there is fifteen feet clearance behind you can throw a fifteen foot belly of line behind – that’s thirty feet of line you are moving forward. This dynamic roll cast blends all the way from the static roll cast with the line hanging straight down from the rod tip two feet behind your ear to a full blown power roll with not much more than the leader and a little bit of line remaining on the water. The amount you throw behind depends on how much room there is and how far you want to roll cast. The Spey cast is a variety of dynamic roll cast or the dynamic roll cast is a spey cast in a straight line. This cast is very useful fishing and for hitting targets in accuracy games. Try to keep the back toss as close to your body as possible without fouling. It works fine on the off shoulder also. You can get just as much power on the off shoulder when the line is down stream on that side or the wind is blowing from your dominant side. Try it. You’ll like it. Warning – It takes practice to get the feel and timing down.

13. If you want to improve your range and distance and are willing to practice try to practice with a medium stiff rod. The softer the rod the easier it is to tail your loop and overpower the rod. If you concentrate on loading the rod before cranking in the power stroke, the softer rod will discipline your stroke by giving a horrendous tailing loop if you load or haul too fast. Then when you are out there with your cannon rod, the slower motions forced by the soft rod will permit you to load the rod nicely and then apply the horsepower.

14. The softer rod will also give you a chance to acquire a feel for delaying the haul until the rod is loaded. We all have experienced the paradox of doing a languorous sleepy sort of cast and being surprised at the way the line flew out there. Then when we try to really do it and make it really go we get a short untidy cast. A haul started before the rod is bent – loaded- from the inertia of the line will distort a good loading motion by further bending the tip toward the ground, driving the line down and expending part of the haul in bending the rod rather than moving the line.

15. One effect of a good load is a heavy feel to the rod. If the rod feels heavy during the power stroke you will know that you have both straightened out the line before loading and loaded the rod at the right tempo. This is true on both false casts and back casts. If the rod feels light you know that you are not adding as many foot-pounds of kinetic energy to the line as you are when the rod feels heavy. The faster the line is moving the more foot pounds of kinetic energy it has to carry it through the air resistance.

Fly Fishing Accessories

16 Feb , 2014,
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If you are going fly fishing, you need to have your critical gear with you while wading and casting. One of the critical pieces of equipment is your vest.




Construction workers have tool belts to hold everything they need while working. Fly fishing anglers have the same thing in the vest. They hold your tools of the fly fishing trade. Without them, you will be endlessly hunting for flies, repellant, grapplers and so on.

This necessary fly fishing clothing comes in a variety of styles. Old school vests are the best in my opinion. They fit and look like regular clothing vests, but are made with mesh pockets and water proofing material. I find they are perfect for holding the necessary fly fishing gear. They are also good because the distribute the weight of your junkerr, gear across your shoulders and back. Any fly fishing gear shop should have them.

Being a consumer society, more than a few companies have come up with advancements in ways to carry around your gear. Typically, they come in the form of modular systems hanging over the shoulder. They look like travel fannypacks hanging off the front of each shoulder. Depending on the brand, they may have a rear or front fanny pack and even both. Some anglers love these more modern gear accessories. Personally, I find them ungainly and annoying, but to each their own. I strongly suggest you fit yourself with one of these new systems before committing to buy them.

When considering how you will hold your stuff, you should give a good bit of thought to what you want it to hold. Personally, I want mine to hold sunscreen for my bald head, insect repellent, clippers, forceps, a poncho for rain, my car keys, line and, of course, flies. I dont like hauling my stuff up and down the shore, so I tend to load up like a Sherpa. You might prefer a less demanding approach. The point is to figure out what is best for you and then buy a version that meets your needs.

If you are going to get serious about angling, you will need to a way to lug your stuff around with you. Figure out what you want to put in yours and then make your selection.

CEFAS And Illegal Imports of Live Fish

11 Nov , 2013,
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CEFAS needs your help!


The question of illegal imports of live freshwater fish seems to stimulate more interest, more comment and more hypocrisy than just about any other facet of angling. Everyone has something to say on the subject.  Some sensibly view it as an activity which is potentially dangerous and should be stopped. Others feel that foreign fish should be allowed onto secure enclosed licensed sites. A section of the fisheries and angling fraternities feel that all movements of live fish should be de-regulated and fisheries given free reign to introduce whatever they like. After all, aren’t the smugglers only exercising their entrepreneurial skills to satisfy an obvious demand, and aren’t the fishery owners only catering for an existing and thriving angling market? I’m sure we’ve all heard the comments:

They cope well enough on the continent without worrying too much about regulating fish movements don’t they?’

 ‘There’s no such thing as a British carp.’

It’s too late to do anything about it now.’

‘Why don’t they just de-regulate the whole industry and let everyone get on with it!’

An alternative view might be that as so very little is known about the long-term ecological and environmental impact of foreign fish, perhaps it would be sensible for all interested parties to work together to stop them coming in before irreversible damage is caused. We know that SVC (spring viraemia of carp) and  other exotic varieties of parasites have been found in illegally imported fish, and it is reasonable to conclude that many of our indigenous fish have died as a result of this trade. What else has been brought in?  What are the long-term implications?  Nobody knows.

The agency responsible for preventing illegal imports of live fish is CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science), but CEFAS needs the help and support of the public in its attempts to stamp out this  illegal trade. Our indigenous fish stocks are a valuable and essential part of our environment and of our heritage. It is in the interests of everyone involved, from anglers, fishery owners and traders, to the general public to help prevent illegal imports.

What is CEFAS?
The Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science is an agency of the   Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and is responsible for the prevention of serious fish disease in England and Wales. It’s head office is located at Lowestoft and it has other laboratories in Burnham, Weymouth and Whitehaven. The Weymouth laboratory is the European Union national reference laboratory for fish diseases in England and Wales. It is home to the Fish Health inspectorate, a team of fourteen fish health inspectors, including eight field inspectors and four administrative staff. The inspectorate is responsible for carrying out routine inspections of all fish farms in England and Wales, and for licensing and monitoring all legal imports and exports of live fish and shellfish from the EU and third countries. 

When are live fish imports illegal?
All imports of live fish into Great Britain must be accompanied by a movement document/health certificate attesting that the fish are healthy and free from disease.  The documents must be issued and signed by the veterinary authorities in the country of origin. Prior notice must also be sent to CEFAS.  Imports which fail to meet these criteria are illegal.

Throughout the European Union there are ‘approved’ farms and zones (EC directive 91/67) These are EC-designated areas which have been tested for and shown to be free of certain of the most serious fish diseases. Great Britain is currently an approved zone for VHS and IHN. Live fish may be legally transferred between areas of equivalent status or when the supplying zone is of a higher health status, provided the above procedure is complied with.  Imports which fail to comply contravene the provisions of the Fish Health Regulations 1997. There are also specific additional regulations to further protect UK fish stocks against other serious diseases, such as Spring Viraemia of Carp, which are prevalent on the continent.

How real is the threat of disease and environmental damage?
The dangers to indigenous fish of introducing diseased foreign imports may be evidenced by the increasing number of unexplained diseases and mortalities in our waters. Tests on fish found in previous interceptions of illegal consignments have established that they carried a variety of diseases including SVC. Illegally imported fish pose a very real problem which must be addressed if we are to reduce the risk of spreading disease, and the possible demise of many of our waters. But it is as much a question of what we don’t know about their long term impact, as the obvious known risks.

The ecological effect of naturalised fish on native aquatic communities was summarised by Taylor et al (1984) as follows:

Habitat alterations (e.g. through consumption or uprooting vegetation)

Introduction of parasites, pathogens and diseases

Trophic alteration (e.g. by competition for food or predation)

Genetic degradation (e.g. through hybridisation)

Spatial alterations

Environmental effects

What are the motives for illegally importing fish?
There are large profits to be made by smugglers who steal fish, or purchase them cheaply from non-approved sites on the continent and sell them to fisheries in the UK. Similar profits can be made by fishery owners who impose high charges on anglers who are prepared to pay to catch larger or different species of fish than may otherwise be available.

What fish are we talking about?
Although carp, wels catfish, sturgeon and zander are the obvious species, recent interceptions of illegal imports have included roach, bream and various species of ornamental fish. France, Belgium and Holland have been the traditional source countries for many large coarse fish in the past. However, it is understood that fish have been smuggled into the country recently from Eastern Europe where carp are not only plentiful, but in less demand and therefore cheap.

Who’s doing it?
It is believed only a relatively small number of individuals or groups are involved on a regular basis in organising and arranging illegal imports. However, it is unlikely that they involve themselves personally in the physical act of smuggling because they are known to employ others to do it for them. These friends or associates, are known to use hired vans or borrowed vehicles, seldom using their own transport for obvious reasons. It is likely that a significant number of the fishing public know or suspect the identities of many of the individuals who are regularly involved in organising illegal imports, and the names of those waters which are prepared to introduce illegally imported foreign fish.

Why aren’t the smugglers caught more often?
The main reason people are not caught more often is because it is a relatively simple matter to smuggle fish in from the continent. The introduction of the European free-trade legislation in 1993 made the practice significantly easier and we have to accept that, at present live fish imports are unfortunately not a high priority for either HM Customs or the police.

Historically, there has also been a failure on the part of the authorities to acknowledge the potential for greater inter-agency co-operation and coordination. This situation has since been largely addressed.

In addition, there are the conflicting attitudes of anglers who, whilst they would not wilfully do anything to harm indigenous fish stocks or the environment, effectively do so by demanding to fish for large carp of dubious origin etc (without questioning their origin). The controversy surrounding illegally imported fish is such that there appears to be no consensus within the fisheries and angling fraternities over the question of illegal imports. A united and determined approach by the industry and the authorities would have a major impact on smuggling.

Furthermore, CEFAS has limited resources and illegal imports are only one of its many responsibilities. There is no doubt that these resources could be deployed to better effect if more detailed information was available on the activities of the smugglers.

What is CEFAS doing about it?
CEFAS is attempting to combine a more robust and imaginative approach to the problem of illegal imports with a more measured long-term gathering of information and evidence, aimed at targeting those people whose offending represents the greatest threat to our indigenous fish and to the environment. Fish smuggling, fish thefts and illegal fish movements are often closely linked and for this reason we are seeking to improve the levels of co-operation and co-ordination between all of the relevant agencies. Our aim is not necessarily to prosecute more offenders, but with the help of other agencies and the public we aim to target and prosecute those people whose activities are likely to have the greatest detrimental impact on fish health and the environment.

The CEFAS approach therefore includes the following measures:

  • Working closely with HM Customs, the Environment Agency, police forces, State Veterinary Service and others to identify offenders.
  • Targeted operations against suspected offenders.
  • Attempt to establish the nature, extent and patterns of offending.
  • Routine monitoring and inspections of imported fish from EU and third countries.
  • Working closely with other EU authorities to combat fish thefts and illegal movements.

A more structured approach to the problems surrounding illegal imports and fish-movements generally. The introduction of the new Live Fish Movements Database is an example of this approach. The system was developed by CEFAS, the Environment Agency, the National Assembly for Wales Agriculture Department (NAWAD) and the Department for Environment Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and provides for all legitimate movements of fish to be recorded. Such a facility would be of immense importance in the event of a major disease outbreak.

Seeking the views of the fishing public and those involved in fish farming and fisheries management.

An open policy with the press and media to make the public more aware of CEFAS’ aims and objectives. We also endeavour to candidly explain problem areas such as illegal imports, and seek the assistance of the press to inform the public of the potential dangers and threats involved, in an attemptto reduce the market for smuggled foreign animals

Confidential hot line number to encourage the public to contact us with information.

Adoption of a more consistent common approach to all enforcement issues.

Introduction of the efishbusiness internet site which sets out details of the relevant legislation, the various procedures involved and other items of helpful information.

What assistance can the public provide?
A top priority for CEFAS is to gather detailed, reliable information on illegal importers for the purpose of intercepting such consignments and preventing further offences. Members of the public are invited to pass any information they may have concerning the smuggling of live fish into the UK to CEFAS.