Archive for the ‘Casting’ Category

Italians Fly Fishing Masters Workshop

Friday, June 13th, 2014

I was a guest of FFM in Italy last year see my previous report.  I found the technique interesting and there were definitely aspects of the style that we can utilise and apply to our fishing in the UK.  I am pleased to report that they will be running a one day workshop on the Annan at Hoddom Castle on the 13th July, here are the details.

This is a great opportunity to anyone who is remotely interested or even critical of the style to come and experience it first hand.

I have had to cut and paste the details as I am struggling with the media link, may fix it given time:


Massimo Magliocco and Fly Fishing Masters UK welcome you to the introduction Italian Style of Casting.

We are a non-profit organisation. A charge is necessary to cover our costs. For the day course the fee is £30 per participant (this includes fishing the river Annan in the evening – Hoddom Castle beat)

Information and booking:

This agenda is designed to be informative and interactive. We encourage you to ask questions to of our instructors. We hope you enjoy our company and the days events.


Hosts and Controllers – Massimo Magliocco and Philip Bailey

9.00 – 10.00 Demonstration and discussion on technique This will be undertaken on both grass and water by Massimo Magliocco and compared by Philip BaileyThe technique will be explained and a range of different casts will be demonstrated.
10.00 – 12.00 Tuition of u how to make the basic Angular cast used by FFM The FFM Instructors will work with individual participants to explain the technique and how to make the cast. This is the basic technique used in all FFM casts. This will be undertaken on grass.
12.00 – 1.00 Lunch
1.00 – 3.00 Demonstration and discussion of all casts used by FFM in ‘fishing’ situations. This will be undertaken by Senior Casting Instructors.Each cast will be demonstrated in ‘live’ fishing situations and benefits explained to participants. This will be undertaken on running water.
3.00 – 5.00 Tuition on different casts The FFM Instructors will work with individual participants to explain each of the ‘Backhand’, ‘Totally Under Tip’, ‘Slowed Down Angular’ and ‘Overturned’ casts. This will also be undertaken on running water.

New River, New Rod and Line

Friday, September 21st, 2012

I had an invite a couple of months ago to go and fish the Findhorn we booked and agreed the 13th September.  The day before arrived and I began to  doubt the sense of driving 3 hours there and back.  Nevertheless my host had taken the time and trouble to book the fishing and invite me so off I went leaving home at 5.30am.

My host Ian met me at Dulsie Bridge the gorge section of the river, turns out we were going to fish at the top of this section on the Cawdor Castle, Banchor beat.  This gorge on the Findhorn stretches from here down almost to Forres some 20 miles.

Looking upstream to the top of the beat. Suspension bridge that links to the east bank.

I new that the river would not be very wide so I was delighted to have taken my new Bob Meiser 13 ft which I had bought primarily for skagit casting from their Highlander Classic series.   Whilst I have no great opportunity to fish skagit  as a game angling instructor I needed to know about it and have the kit.  It does however give me the opportunity to have a set up which will enable me to fish in tight locations.  Instead of a skagit I have been linking this rod with a Rio, Scandi Short Versi Tip shooting head.  The rod is rate #6/7/8 with a grain window of 450 to 750 and this is a #8 weight line what can I say the versatility this outfit gives is amazing.

The rod itself is 4 piece with a through action it bends right down into the butt when using skagit lines.  It is not as light as some but extremely well put together and finished off.  At first I was not keen on the look of the part cork/composite handle but with time have grown accustomed to this finish.  The very distinctive jungle cock feather varnished into the butt section makes the rod easily recognisable as a Meiser.

Meiser Jungle Cock

Now for the scandi short line, it weighs in at 485 grains and is a #8 and it does exactly what it says in the packed and more.  Developed by Rio as a shooting head for smaller rivers and tight casting situations.  To be used with shorter double handed rods It comes as a kit and includes 4 interchangeable 10ft tips (Floating, Clear Intermediate, Type 3 Sink, Type 6 Sink).  The more, to me is that I have since used it on the Tay a big river and did not feel under gunned.  Ok you have to strip in a lot of running line but it works a treat.  I have tended to use the skagit where I have had clients who need to get spey casting in quick time.  This line is even better for this and I used it recently with a client planning a weeks fishing  and he asked to keep it for the week, so I hope to get it back!

Black and white pools

Now back to the fishing.  The river was running off after a little rain and looked as though it could maybe have done with a little more water.  Ian was quickly into a fish in the Buck pool which was quickly on and off.  He later told me that he has never managed to land a fish on this beat!  We fished on down the entire beat hoping from rock to rock.  If you are infirm in anyway this is not the beat for you.  Lunch was taken in the splendid hut available on the water and my host had made  a superb lunch including wine which I resisted as I knew I had a long drive home.

My host Ian in the Cow Pool

The afternoon was time for a fly change and I put a red francis tied on a size 10 long shank treble.  I had never used this fly before everyone said it was good but for some reason I resisted it, the limited colour I think put me off, being all red.

Red Francis

I could not understand why though as I had in the distant passed used natural dyed shrimps and GP’s.  As you might imagine it worked as I entered the big rock pool not the biggest fish in the world I would guess about 7lb but a nice clean fish for this time of year.

So there it is my first fish on this fly, on this river , on the line and on this rod always a joy.











As  a post script I was on the Tay a couple of days later and the red francis worked again this time on a fish that was approximately 17lb coloured as you can see,  on my Scott MacKenzie 15 ft partnered with another great line from Rio the AFS.

Tay Salmon approximately 17lb


I am told that the black francis will also work a treat but that might well be a step to far.


Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Japanese translation apparently means “from the heavens” said to be called this because the fly lands gently from above.  From an instructors perspective it could also be heaven sent.

I was at the British Fly Fair last month and all the chat at the GAIA fly tying stand was about Tenkara. Louis Noble one of our members from North Wales was totally sold so much so that he was sat tying traditional Tenkara flies on needle sharp traditional barbless hooks that required gut eyes to be tied on as part of the process.

I was sceptical, coming from the western background of short rods, reels and the need to cast, what advantages could this method possibly have over my Helios and weight forward line.

Well to start with its extremely simple just a telescopic rod at the end of which you attach a leader either furled or straight through copolymer or fluorocarbon, that’s it.  The rods are long averaging between 12 and 14ft but they are ultra light.  You can fish all our normal methods for trout and grayling, dries, nymphs and wet flies.  So far I have used it only for dries and it does enable you to position a fly gently and hold it without drag in all those little awkward corners that you would have difficulty casting to.  It’s also a joy to play fish with although I guess that when I do catch a big one with this set up I will need to follow the fish and it might well play me!

Tenkara will never replace my normal set up but it does have other distinct advantages.  As an instructor I am often asked to take complete novices fly fishing and when this happens normally the issue is being able to get the pupil to get past go and cast a line, in fact most of the day is taken up with casting.  Not any more Tenkara solves this, novices and children with very little casting instruction can be introduced to fly fishing in a very short period of time, this to me is “heaven sent”.  It’s also extremely light and compact so that it can be carried in the back of your waistcoat or bag ready to use at an instant.

As an Orvis Endorsed guide it also pleases me that Orvis in the USA are promoting and selling Tenkara kits so it will I assume only be a matter of time when it arrives in the UK’s stores.

Tenkara Masters – Lessons with Dr. Ishigaki and Sakakibara Masami from Tenkara USA on Vimeo.

Orvis Endorsed Guide

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Delighted to say that as of the 1st May I am now an Orvis Endorsed Guide  with the Orvis Company.  This is a company that I have always admired for its quality of product and speed of service.  I am more than happy to be part of this organisation in the UK.

GAIA Scottish Open Day

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The Game Angling Instructors Association are running assessments for its members at Angling Active on the Teith on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd April.  The 22nd is open to non members who have an interested in becoming  instructors or simply want find out more about what GAIA does. Details can be located here.