John Horsey Fly Fishing Web Log

John's Fishing Blog

Catch us on Tight Lines this Friday!

This Friday, 10th January 2014, Tony Donnelly and myself are featured catching pike on lures at Chew Valley Lake.
The footage was filmed during the Autumn pike trials and we had fish to over 20lbs to our boat.

The vast majority of pike trials anglers use static deadbaits to get their pike, but this episode clearly shows that big Chew pike love lures!

If you don't have Sky Sports, then you can catch the Podcast on the Sky Sports Web Site.

England World Team call-up

Last week I received the call every competition fly fisher wants to get - being told you are in the England Team for the forthcoming World Championships.
This year the World Championships will be held in the Czech Republic - home to the current World Champions!

There will be two lake sessions and three river sessions and I feel we have a very strong team that definitely has a chance of bringing home a medal.
The England Team are:-
Phil Dixon
Andrew Scott
John Tyzack
John Horsey
Howard Croston
Res. Mike Dixon
Manager - Paul Page

Chew almost full!

The recent storms have had a real impact on Chew Valley Lake and it is a mere inches off being at top level.  Last week I posted a pic of the spillway being a few feet off top water, but look at the pic I took today.

Chew almost at top water level

Happy New Year & Season

The recent spell of wet and windy weather is really having an effect on the lake levels!  Take a look at the pics below taken at Herons Green on Chew and you will see the difference.  The spillway at the Dam is now rapidly filling but the water is really muddy due to the gale force winds.

Chew is now only a couple of feet off top water and still rising, but it is these last few feet that always take the longest to fill.  Considering the long, dry Summer, it is amazing how quickly the lakes have risen this Winter.

Pike on Sky Tight Lines

Next Friday, Tony Donnelly and myself are featured on Sky TV's Tight Lines programme fishing for pike.  The first part of the filming was shown before Christmas where we targetted the Chew Pike using deadbaits from the boat.

This coming episode shows another day where we used lures only to take some cracking pike.  Although the vast majority of pike anglers that visit Chew use deadbaits, this programme shows the quality of fish that can be taken using lures.

Lexus dates now available

The Lexus European Flyfishing Championships calendar is now available and entries are being invited.
For more information, log on to:-

Pike Trials phone-in begins 4th Jan

For those of you interested in pike trials fishing on Chew, the telephone lines open tomorrow, 4th January.  Booking is on a "1st come 1st served" basis and the Chew Valley hotline number is 01275 332339


Herons Green Bay panoramic Autumn view
Herons Green Bay panoramic Winter view
Chew Valley Lake Spillway

Sky TV next!

During the recent Chew Valley Pike Trials, I filmed two sessions for Sky TV's Tight Lines program.  My fishing partner for the day was Bristol Water's Assistant Fishery Manager Tony Donnelly.  We fished using deadbaits on one day and lures the next.

The bait session is being shown on Friday 20th December and the Lure session on Friday 10th January 2014.

We managed to get some great footage on each session and the shows go out on Sky Sports.

Tarrant back on Chew

Following our recent TV Series on C5 - Chris Tarrant Goes Fishing, both CT and I were back together again on Chew fishing for pike at the end of November.
This time Chris was accompanied by long time friend Howard Mann and they managed a very creditable 7 pike to the boat over the two days - and all on lures.

The biggest fish weighed a fraction under 20lbs and CT caught it - with his very first cast - on the first day!  He really is a fishy bloke!!!!

Howard hooked a monster as well but sadly lost it during the fight.  Next time Howard.

Chris Tarrant and Howard Mann on Chew

Thanks for your support for our new TV Series

Judging by the great comments I have received, our new TV Series "Chris Tarrant Goes Fishing" seems to have struck a chord with the angling community - and hopefully non anglers too!

Denis Moules wrote "Well done John with the C5 series - as good as I have seen for a long, long time. Best wishes".

Jock Kettles wrote "Watched your fishing in Canada the other night. Really enjoyed it, looked like the trip of a lifetime"

Jim Boyd wrote "Congratulations John on the great first fishing episode of the new series. Reckon you and Chris have got the content of this spot on. Great, sensible but highly entertaining presentation, terrific fishing, superb action, great photography and great craic. If the rest of the series is as good as this one then reckon it will be one of the best TV fishing series ever. Well done".

Simon Bird wrote "Congratulations on your TV show, excellent".

Ian Spicer wrote "Truly brilliant! The best I've seen since "A passion for angling". At last it seems we have a fishing program that is not about 'how big the fish is' or 'how to catch' or 'look at me in this lovely place that you couldn't afford to travel to' but about how to enjoy FISHING. Not just catching but fishing in all its dimensions ... why we fish, what moves us about fishing, why we started, who influenced us. I honestly thoroughly enjoyed it...."

Malcolm Hunt wrote "Well done John. Great programme and nice to hear the discussion on fish and pain. at last ..... a must watch for all the family. Best of all, the other half suggested I go fishing there and she can relax on the beach ... everyones a winner".

If you missed the series then watch all episodes on


John and Chris Tarrant with a big Wahoo in the Maldives
Brian Dack and John with a Yukon Laker
Chris Tarrant and John holding CT's 40lb Laker

Here it is - our new fishing Series on C5!

Our new TV Series "Chris Tarrant goes fishing" is due to be shown on C5 starting 1st November at 7:00pm.

The four 1 hour episodes begin with Chris and I fishing the Maldives, then on to Ireland for salmon, next to the Yukon for huge Lake Char and finally at Chew Valley Lake in England fishing for massive pike.

Chris Tarrant described the series as "a labour of love" which took many months to film and no fish were killed.

I really enjoyed filming the series and hope that you will enjoy watching it.

Our new TV Series on C5

Perch and Pike on Chew

For the last week I have enjoyed the most amazing perch and trout fishing on Chew and now that the Pike Trials have begun, the pike have turned up in big numbers and some of them are HUGE!

I had my PB Perch on the fly a few days ago at exactly 4:00 and with it on the same leader was another at 3:02!  Barry Hawyes and Steve Harding also had their PB's at 3:13 and 3:02 respectively.  My best brace (on the same cast) weighed 3:11 and 3:09 - a stunning 7:04 in the net at the same time.

Now the pike trials have begun and on the Opening Day I had a beauty at 27:12, while Gavin Young had a 32lb fish and there was also a 31lb taken from the boats.  On day 2, a bank angler had a magnificent 42lb croc and today I saw another 30lb fish taken.  There have also been at least 20 over 20lbs caught in the first 3 days.

So my question is:- where the hell have they been when I have been fly fishing for them??????

My best ever brace of Chew perch at 3:11 and 3:09
My 27:12 Chew pike
Barry Hawyes with his PB 3:13 Chew perch

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