John Horsey Fly Fishing Web Log

John's Fishing Blog


Due to the cancellation of the CLA Gamefair this weekend, Sportfish at Theale, Reading, have initiated a brand new "Mini Game Fair which will be held on Saturday 21st July.

I have been invited to promote my new DVD entitled WORLD FISHING ADVENTURES with JOHN HORSEY.

This is a great opportunity to meet with friends new and old to discuss all types and styles of fishing.

I am booked into the Lecture Room to showcase the Tasmania section of the DVD and to do a "Question and Answer" session on all matters fishy.

Hardy and Greys will be represented also and there are plenty of angling stars to meet on the day.

Anglers World Holidays will also be represented by Martin Founds and Shimano's Dave Lewis will be there to chat about his sea fishing adventures across the globe.





The constant rain has scuppered yet another Annual Event - this time it is the CLA Game fair at Belvoir Castle which has fallen foul of the weather for 2012, as contractors battled in vain to erect the site due to the waterlogged grounds.
Even 48 hours of dry weather was not enough to help the situation and with the forecast of more rain to come, the organisers had to make the difficult decision to cancel this year's premier outdoors sporting event.

As it happens, I was attending the 3 day event for the first time in many years and would have been on the Anglers World Holidays stand.

What a bummer of a Summer!!!!!

Chew overflowing in July!!!!

It's now the 8th July - mid Summer - and Chew Valley Lake is completely full, overflowing, with plenty of extra water still gushing in from the Nature reserve at Herriots.

I drove over to the lake today and photograghed both sides of the equation - dirty water pouring in and amazing amounts flowing out - more like a waterfall than a spillway!

It's hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago, we were in the midst of a drought and a hosepipe ban.

Blagdon Lake is also overflowing and I cannot find anyone who works for Bristol Water that has ever witnessed such high water levels at this time of the year.  I actually think that conditions are more akin to early April rather than early July.  The trout are feeding on bottom dwelling insects such as shrimp, hoglice and bloodworm - frequently close to the shorelines.  However, in the evenings they come up and sometimes feed on buzzer or sedge, the latter being very unusual.

Yet in the daytime, most fish are caught close to the surface using nymphs, blobs and boobies using floating or intermediate lines.

Whenever the winds are light, the fishing is superb, particularly in the corners of the dam, off Stratford and Moreton Banks, all across Herriots and off the reeds near Wick Green.

Herriots Nature Reserve where the water pours in
The Chew Spillway
Millions of gallons of water heading back into the River Chew

Will this rain never end?

Between the storms, the fishing on Chew last week was excellent - lots of incredibly hard fighting trout taking mainly Diawl bachs and Crunchers, with not a blob in sight!I   I fished with Jim and Becky Houlihan and Becky, who was boat fishing for just the 2nd time, hooked plenty of trout and landed a couple.  Jim joined us later in the afternoon and knocked out half a dozen near the Dam.

I have just been away to Eyebrook and Pitsford, running 3 consecutive days of Lexus Heats.  Last Sunday, I also ran a floating lines only heat at Chew Valley.
Every day we have had rain and all the reservoirs are now full to overflowing - Chew is overflowing at a rate of knots, as is Blagdon.

Thankfully, the fishing is very good everywhere at the moment, so long as we don't get gusty winds and driving rain - even the fish hate those conditions!

The extra water has certainly suppressed the weed growth on Chew and as a result, trout can still be caught over at Herriots, Startford and along the reedbeds off Wick Green - normally all these areas are choked with weed by this time of the year and the trout avoid them like the plague.

At the Lexus Heat on Chew last Sunday, winner Paul Roach entered his grand daughter into the event.  10 year old Daisy Bristow braved the cold wind and frequent storms to weigh-in 3 rainbows and win herself a special prize as the youngest ever competitor in a Lexus Heat!

The Chew Valley pike have been conspicuous by their absence so far this season - probably due to very late spawning and the millions of gallons of fresh, dirty cold water that has poured into the lake.  They have to feed soon however and I am out for them over the next few days with clients, so I am hoping for some decent results.

Apparently the pike at Pitsford and Ravensthorpe have also been reluctant to feed this season, so it appears it is a trend across the country. 

Becky with a cracking Chew rainbow
10 yr old Daisy with the Lexus qualifiers from Chew

England Qualifier on Chew

Yesterday I fished my England Qualifier on Chew and happily qualified in 2nd place with 7 trout, but boy has it been hard these last 3 days!
Just 5 days ago, we were all discussing it being a lottery, as you needed at least 6 fish over 3lbs in your bag of 8 to make a decent total.  Then came 3 days of gale force winds and torrential rain, which completely put the resident stock of Chew rainbows right off the feed.  By yesterday's match, we were all hoping to save the blank!

We made the draw for boat partners an hour before the match and I drew my England Team mate Iain Barr - this was not going to be a quiet day.  As Barney had not been able to practice, I gave him a full run-down of the 2 days practice I had endured for a total of just 2 trout!  But I did have a few places lined up and our decision was to start the day pulling a combination of lures and nymphs on DI3 sinking lines.

The corner of the dam had produced a few takes for me the previous day, rather than follows from other parts of the lake.  We started there and then never left the area.  Iain and I had a fish each within the first 30 mninutes, but any follows we had were right in the surface, so we felt we needed to switch to slower sinking lines.  I changed to a Fast Glass and Barney put on a midge Tip - and got one first cast.  I got 2 more on the glass line and a double sparkler on the point.

Those fish fought as hard as any I have caught on Chew and at one stage, Barney got his landing net out and netted one for me - then he did it again.  What a cracking thing to do for your boat partner - and this is the sort of thing competition anglers do for one another - thanks mate!

I ended up with 7 fish and came 2nd, while Barney got 4 and also qualified in 6th place - a perfect result.

John Gumbleton fished like a hero and was the only angler to take his 8 fish limit, while Keith Gollop came 3rd, Mark Miles 4th, Andy Croucher 5th, Tony George 7th and Mark Withyman 8th.

The National is at Bewl Water in Kent during September, where 100 qualifiers will battle it out for the 28 places in next year's 2 Loch Style Teams.

What a difference a day makes ......

Today the weather changed for the better - light winds, warm air temperatures and even some sunshine.  The fish responded by feeding properly again and my 2 guests Anthony and John Tabor had 10 cracking rainbows and hooked and lost at least another 10!

Dad John had an 8lb pike on a sparkler booby one cast, then a 3lb trout on a diawl bach nymph next cast.  It was a case of sunscreen and nymph feeders, rather than full waterproofs and lure bashing!

If we get a period of settled weather now, the fishing will revert to it's usual fantastic self - with plenty of massive fish to target. 

Lexus Heat at Chew on Sunday 1st July

I am running a Lexus Floating Line Only Heat on Sunday at Chew and expect the fishing to be excellent.

There are still places available at this Heat, so drop me an email and get your name down for it - you won't be disappointed.

Bryan Brown enjoying Midsummers Day on Chew!
First an 8lb pike for John Tabor
Next cast a 3lb rainbow for John

Great World Championships

I have just returned from Slovenia fishing for England in the 32nd FIPS Mouche World Championships - and what a Championships it was, with a record number - almost 6000 fish caught and returned.

Team England were represented by Howard Croston, Simon Robinson, John Tyzack, Phil Dixon and myself, with Scott Nellins as reserve and Paul Page managing at World level for the first time.  I was drawn on the lake for the first session and following a few marble trout and rainbows in practice, I was hoping to catch a few fish and start well for the team.

1st Place on the Lake

Most of the teams headed toward the river, but 2 of us; Davie Chalmers and myself, waited for the start in the middle of the lake where a few fish were rising.  To cut a long story short, I had a fish 3rd cast, then a marble trout and then 3 other rainbows - losing another 5 on the way and missing a few takes.  DI5 sinking line and a mix of Black, green or white minky flies was the technique, with slow retrieves and fishing the hang absolutely essential.

That was enough to take top slot and get the lake sector off to a good start.

River sessions very "peggy"

Howard Croston started in scintillating fashion, scoring a 1st and then a 2nd place on the rivers - then following that with a 4th place on the lake and with 3 sessions complete, it was Howard who topped the individual leader board.

Sadly, England dropped a bit going into the last day - down to 13th place, with most of the team failing to draw good beats.  However, Phil Dixon kept up his consistent form from last year and made the most of some reasonable, albeit not brilliant, pegs.  Simon Robinson had 3 bad pegs on the trot, but caught on the lake and finished well on the river.

I had a couple of better pegs on the Upper and Lower Bohinka and finished with two top 10 placings.  John Tyzack recovered from a blank on the lake and 3 very ordinary pegs to take a brilliant 1st place on the fickle River Kokra.

So England pulled up to a creditable 7th place and Howard Croston missed out onb an individual medal finishing in 4th place - a fantastic effort by a very talented angler.


Gold - Czech Republic   Silver - Italy    Bronze - Spain

Ind Gold - David Arcay Fernandez - Spain   Ind Silver - Valerio Santi Amantinbi - Italy   Ind Bronze - Tomas Adam - Czech


John Horsey Fly Fishing
John Horsey Fly Fishing
John Horsey Fly Fishing

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