Guiding Service

My guiding services are now available to assist fly fishermen on both game and coarse rivers. I'd be happy to advise and arrange your special day anywhere from one of Derbyshires finest trout and grayling rivers to your own local coarse river. Email Mick Martin for details and options. Please copy and paste into your own email

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Come To Daddy

Last night I was gobsmacked when our Grace lifted her whip to show me the first Erewash grayling ever caught to my knowledge. Soon after my boy Alfie followed suit and then myself, I was delighted to hit a pod of Ladies especially as I'd stocked them personally 2 yrs ago in the hope they might take hold which they definitely have. Brilliant news indeed and after losing my way lately and becoming disheartened with the project but I now can confirm my Mojo is now brimming.
so much pleasure in seeing this unfold as these ladies came back to Daddy.


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Payment In Kind

Just as I've lost my fishing mojo this little beauty pops out of the Erewash to replenish things a bit. I can't say how pleased I am to see such a beauty turn up and not alone after humungous efforts from all at the River Erewash Foundation (REF) and those who helped and supported us along the way.
This was caught by a lucky REF member trotting maggots and I've received a few reports on small browns in the same area. Its far from an explosion of trout but fingers crossed we can create more opportunities for them to thrive or at least keep improving their chances.

Congratulations to our members and the show must go on, covert or not.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Wrestlemania! Colin vs Trugg

After suffering a stinking cold all week I was struggling to prevent myself from jumping under a train so I packed my Old Majestick (bamboo) and searched the Derbyshire Wye for a much needed fix of flyfishing heaven. I arrived at Cauldwell Mill to set my sights and although a harsh wind blowing and rather cool temperature I was full of anticipation while spotting a few fish below a crystal clear river. Obviously today wouldn't be easy and the trout seemed to be holding bottom without even a glance skywards, a little disheartening but eventually with the odd flash off sunshine I knew this glorious river would offer me something.
I quickly got the hang of my new Expert Line and paired with my Old Majestick I was writing my name in no time, suprising myself with some very tasty casting. Early afternoon sure enough a trickle of LDO's began exposing the odd fish scattered about resulting in a few fish including my first river trout of 2013, and what a wild cracker indeed.

Moving up to the pumping station there was another half decent hatch around 2.30pm where me and Dave a new member took advantage where for some strange reason he only caught rainbows and me browns. In the blink of an eye it was evening so I beefed up my tackle with the 9ft TCR and 6lb tippet and went for round 2 in town with some of our larger residents, but not before a quick heart attack fearing I'd locked my keys in the boot, but I'd only dropped them and kicked them under the car, thank God!  Apologies to Mr Slaney who was already charging to my aid after creasing up his finest shirt on my request for a wire coat hanger to break into Mrs Truggs car.

Moving on the fish weren't that interested at first if I'm honest, not there usual predatory selves but my pink cdc Ruff Sedge with a dose of Froggs Fanny began to take fish eventually, including the stonker above which completed my excellent 1st days adventure and I decided all was done. I'd had my spring handshake with the Dryfly Expert, along with a memorable meeting with another fine local gentleman who wished to have some more Larry's Pride flies which had totally worked for him - Job Done!.

Well actually the fun hadn't begun until I found myself while walking past the secret garden taking a mosy at Colin stood to attention and looking very active. For those who don't know Colin is a monster rainbow into double figures, Bakewells own Grenadier Guard whos box guards a round pillar under a bridge in town. Many anglers have a cast at Colin but trust me he's not fooled that easily as some of you will know, in fact sometimes he makes you feel an ill equipped, dozy, time waster. The rest is now history as with a flick of the rod Wrestlemania had begun!

Jesus! Mother Of Mary shot out of my mouth as colin smashed the surface, the splash had the effect of a bag of cement hitting the water from a great height sending a small sunami moving upstream. This epic took some time to eventually get the upper hand, in fact I'd jumped into the river by now deciding this was my best way to return him safely without harm. Once I got over the shock of his weight I placed him onto my changing mat using a type of headlock followed by my bear hug before eventually being able to retrieve my hook from that huuuuuuuuuge gob.

Looking at the picture above I have to admit theres not many fish that can make me look that small and he wrapped himself around me with amazing strength for that shot.
Needless to say I eventually pinned him for ten minutes, water upto my elbows (freezing) until he went away safely and no doubt he was back on station while I was left running to the warmth of my car with freezing sleeves. That's it folks, what a fantastic 1st day and may there be many more.

Top Tip ;  On speaking to the local traffic warden he works until 9pm so don't be tempted into a false sense of security early evening, or it will cost you dearly while spoiling your days fishing.


Friday, 5 April 2013

Mitals Mayfly (detached body)

Thought I'd share my detached Mayfly bodies with you as duffers draws close, cheap as chips material effectively used in my James May Patterns and sedge bodys over the last few seasons. I could do a step by step but its simple enough, and for those that don't know me, I don't overplay things and just keep it simples.

Buy a roll of Vet Wrap (horse bandage) for less than a fiver and its self adhesive qualities are superb for cutting off a rectangle pieces to create 1000's of desired bodies like above. Place 3/4 strands of pheasant tail before rolling tightly, imagine rolling a fag without the spit. The rest of the fly is upto you and we all have our own preferences so just adapt the body but feel free to use mine if you wish as obviously I find it effective. You can colour the body but the fish don't mind that much.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Ennio'd Olive

Thought I'd share my latest olive pattern yet to be tested during 2013 season called Ennios Gholive. Fortunately for me I came across a deceased Grey Heron while fishing this winter and decided to take a few prime feathers both out of respect and in the memory of this fantastic Derbyshire angler. On close inspection I claimed the obvious wing feathers to create amazing body's and by offering 2 strands together I realised a dozen feathers could last a lifetime, I hope. The feathers on the back were CDC like (wing) and each feather offering white strands (tail) on the edges slowly running into very fishy grey colour. My aim was to create a simple olive pattern using Grey Heron only.
To further elaborate on the name a Flyforum member,friend and local angler using the name Ennio displays the closest impersonation to a Heron you will ever see, maximum stealth, its uncanny. Me and Commo watched him from a distance working the Wye one afternoon hence his nickname The Heron. So there you have it...............

                                                             Ennio'd Olive

Right then! I always play with the length of body shown below along with amount of wing and tail etc to arrive with all the proportions proved effective on the river, afterall its the trout that choose not the angler, which is a good point to remember. I've used 2 and 3 herl strands for body 's and 3-5 white strands for tail using different lengths and different size pinches of (cdc wing). I believe you should find your own way much of the time as lessons are quicker learned and better remembered, afterall practice makes perfect and we often enjoy the journey aswell as the destination.


I'm expecting great results from this olive and it will sit right next to my other excellent olive patterns such as the JT olive and Midways both real winners. I know my pics are average at best, but hopefully that lovely fluffy wing and long wiry tail and hairy body will convince you to take advantage of an amazing anglers sad demise should you too, come across one on the riverbank.

Quick where's my Frogs Fanny

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Frozen In Thyme

Mist gently strokes a glassy face

Riffles trickle along her cheek
Hidden treasures huddle in depths

Holding pecking order on lease


Shadows sway on mottled beds
Glancing sideways in the know
Winter crunch rings underfoot

Frost sprinkled over meadow


Cradling gifts of silver thyme 
Plump Redbreast tags along
All observe the source of life

Mother natures hanging on


Dogged pulls swing side to side
Breath breaks your frozen dream

Scented palms engrained forever
By the lady of the stream

Thought I'd share this with you all, hope it takes you straight to the riverbank

Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Today the new Trugg mobile was secretly launched along the bridleways of the Erewash Valleys rivers and canals. It might take a little more training on both Trugg and his trusted steeds but no doubt they'll be upto speed before too long. Great news for Truggs weight watchers programme with him doing most of the scooting on their first outing, while the Beagles looked on somewhat bemused. Now you might scoff, laugh or just hold your belly imagining the Truggman whizzing along the Erewash canal on that mean machine, but you have to admit it don't half look like fun, and believe me it really is. The dogs are now very quiet and I'll be walking funny for a few days but what a journey.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Whipkara Baby!


The hours of debate about Tenkara have produced more fun than using the rod could ever offer so I decided to point out a few issues raised by its rise in the UK for entertainment purposes. The first person I know who enjoyed using Tenkara several years ago quickly explained to me Tenkara in its simplicity and enjoyed using the Technique – good on him and after all he works for the WTT – top bloke.  Since then over the past few years I’ve spoke to many anglers and dealers etc who seemed to think it was a gimmick to some extent, making comparables to using a pole, whip or even a fly rod without guides and many more.  2012 has been the year things seem to have taken off for Tenkara and since they are outselling anything else, especially considering it’s the only rod most fly anglers haven’t already got, the very same people are now raving about them, how did we ever survive before - kerching!.  Before I go on I should mention until now I’ve been holding back not to alienate myself from clubs/groups/retailers but on reflection why change the habit of a lifetime, sod em!

Some Tenkara fans claim they can play/catch anything effectively whatever our rivers have to offer from yearlings to double figured wild fish. On the other hand a few respected anglers I know explain how leaving flies hanging from larger specimens soon disheartened them as they were simply outgunned, overpowered or found lacking somewhat using Tenkara. Now you could always tackle up (stronger tackle) but I’d imagine that would detract from other obvious claimed advantages of Tenkara.  

Speaking for myself – I will say I often tackle up knowing there might be large specimens in numbers in certain rivers or sections to ensure I’m not outgunned at the detriment of a fish. Not just concerned with leaving hooks and leader but playing out the fish for long periods increasing the risk of casualty on release. Simply trusting all anglers to use common sense using Tenkara will in my opinion no doubt fail, especially on day ticket waters. Without any commitment and expensive day permits a small minority of poor anglers will attempt to get there monies worth at any cost to our fish and I suspect a majority of the same poor anglers will celebrate at the fact of no reel or line to carry around all day. I honestly believe most fish could be landed no problem using Tenkara, after all its just another method and they’re all to be enjoyed, although many anglers are now guilty of overplaying its simplicity. It is less off a fly fishing technique and leaning towards coarse in my opinion so the fact our traditional fly fishing game rivers are excepting this method is a real turn around and sign of the ever changing times - be it good or bad.

 Light set up with no reels or flylines to carry all day would appeal to most if there honest and this one point is definitely an advantage, especially where several reels might be carried.  Some also claim Tenkara is ideal on small streams where a stealthy poke through the growth can delicately place you onto a fish. Now I get the long rod being used for reach having used poles and whips 35yrs ago for a similar approach, but what about trees all around and tricky backcasts etc I’ve always gone shorter (6 or7 ft) on very small streams with some success I might add, so you could possibly say it could be good and bad on this respect while fishing small streams depending on where your stood.

Keeping on the length theme if you consider a 10ft rod compared to a 9ft rod while Check nymphing you’ll know the advantage on terms of reach/span is huge. Long Tenkara rods will give definite advantage for such a technique where no reel is needed, mind you French leaders, highsticking and flyline can all be used in the same way not to mention whips and poles so no clear advantage on other methods really.  Dealers make claims about casting Tenkara style suggesting an advantage to poles and whips but I could cast with a clothes line prop if I practised enough and let’s not forget the tenkara flies, please tell me I won’t begin seeing  my brethrens fly box full of these uncreative, uninspiring drab flies at £2 each.

Club rules

A club excepting Tenkara rods couldn’t possibly refuse a member using flies on his whip without looking ridiculous. If they suggest Tenkara has a cork handle and a whip doesn’t, then I suppose this is suggesting if you’ve paid more money and had your pants pulled down by a Tenkara dealer that’s fine. Mind you the very same chaps selling Tenkara rods obviously walk hand in hand with the honcho holding the local fishing rights so things are hunky-dory.  

Many anglers claim Tenkara isn’t fly fishing but this depends what you personally class as fly fishing. Some anglers suggest you have to use a fly rod, others a fly line or even both, but what if you fish without using the fly line? Other anglers simply believe if a fly is tied on the business end, then its fly fishing and let’s not forget using all of the above with an indicator might be simply be float fishing to some but that’s another Limahl song.

Excepting Tenkara isn’t a crime but in my opinion takes a huge step to bridging the gap between game and coarse angling, but no surprising the fly lads seem to judge the whip or poles as inferior but it’s undeniably a very similar style to both. The difference is Tenkara is taking massive steps towards merging game and coarse fishing together, have I got a problem with this, most definitely not, but I bet coarse anglers are belly laughing at the game lads all up in arms about a method they have perfected on coarse rivers many years ago. Let’s not forget Walton and Cotton were using Tenkara and the rod caught tuna boys are still standing shoulder to shoulder on their little boats using their own Tenkara style rods today.

The reality is Tenkara is nothing new, in fact it’s been around for centuries, however some bright spark has realised game anglers are so blinkered they could be fooled into paying more for a flyrod without guides, if its marketed correctly.  I think Tenkara is well suited to catching small fish and can be effective enjoyable angling and it could prove effective at bringing youngsters into angling a bit like the whip really.  Dealers will no doubt carry on with this not so new craze until every numpty has one, in fact I think I’ll buy one later in the year when the price drops.

The facts are Tenkara runs very close to whips and poles no matter how offensive Tenkara addicts will find it.  Remember we are all just anglers and I can’t wait to use my whip with its newly fitted cork handle – Whipkara Baby!  I can hear those tills ringing so watch this space.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Big Girls They Are Beautiful

Wye was fantastic today and truly fished its head off with ladies shoaled up and a good crunch underfoot. A perfect grayling day by all accounts and a much needed one after too much guiding lately, nice to get back in touch with Derbyshires finest.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lest We Forget

Got a police check while fishing the Wye today probably down to the big flower on my head, pure magic in my opinion that wouldn't happen anywhere else, they even asked to see my membership card (all 4 of them). Truly a river in safe hands. Grayling are very obliging at the moment and still spread out well through the runs. A cold snap will soon have them cuddling together. I will no doubt add a few pics through the grayling days until Christmas.