Posts Tagged ‘England’

Broadlands Grayling Classic

Listopad 12, 2018 - 11:22 pm Komentáře nejsou povoleny

p1370582 We were walking trough the green forest last night of our September workshop, as every night before, and we were talking about our future plans, and Ben Bangham invited me and Martin to the competition which he organises with friends in the River Test, yes THE RIVER TEST, downstream of Romsey.

The conversation was approximately like this:

Ben: Hey Milan, it would be great pleasure to invite you and Martin to Broadlands Classic, you can stay in my home

Milan:  I would like to go, but I have to ask my boss whether I would like to go :-) I´m leaving for competition in Norway tmrw, so we can arrange it after I will return.

Martin: Yeaaah!!!  zeleny-les-3

Andy: If you come, so I’ll pay your flights.

Milan: Super, Andy, thank you very much

Martin: Yeaaaaaah!!!

Adam: Yeaaah!!!

Milan: Is it Farmoor fishable this time of the year? It has been always my dream to visit it.

Simon: If you come, I will take you to Farmoor, I´m best fisherman in this lake

Milan, Martin: Yeaaah!!!

Somchad: Guys, it is great that you are coming, I´m cooking breakfasts and lunches during the competition, next round of mint-shots is on me.

Milan, Martin, Ben, Adam, Andy, Tom: Yeaaaaah!!!

praha Martin remembered only that he is going to England, but no more details …. :-) But we arranged everything, Franta Hanák equipped us with the new brand Superb XP rods, and on Wednesday October 24th evening we drank the last Czech Pilsner beer in Prague airport and two hours later we met with Ben at Heathrow.

On Thursday, we were practising the river. It was very cold and northern wind did not increased perceived temperature. Martin had leaky waders, so I borrowed him one of my waders as I always take two for foreign trips. But I found, that I left all warm underpants at Ben´s house, so Martin borrowed me some. … We were drinking coffee and chatting with friends for about one hour, but finally we moved downstream to find a suitable place to fish.

p1370573 River was relatively busy as a lot of teams utilised the last day of practice. We found a suitable place at an island and I started to prepare leader, and I pulled out my competition leader from the nymphing line …. But I tied it up to the reserve reel with the floating line and it was possible to fish with it. Martin jumped to the water and caught a nice brown on the very fist cast. I stopped making of the leader and ran to make a picture of the first fish of the trip. Before I finished my leader, Martin was calling me back as he got a nice grayling … Finally I could go fishing, I found a nice hole between weed in the channel behind the island, first cast, take, I missed and all the leader tangled in the willow above me… It was to high, so I had to cat it, “kurva !!!”.

p1370597 I sat down to a bench, breathing slowly and observing swans and after five minutes I decided to make a new leader. Since then, it had been fine (I caught few nice graylings and small trout and salmon parr) before I went into a deeper water and found out that also my waders were leaking …. But it was not necessary to go to depths during the practice day and we really enjoyed the fishing. Later, we were fishing one nice pool for about one hour, and we caught many graylings, one sea trout and one nice brown, I could estimate about 25 fish from one pool. We decided to move a little downstream and another couple of fishermen replaced us in the hot spot, Martin told me with a slightly ironic tone ”I´m curious what they would catch after us” …. and one of them caught brown trout of about 60 cm on the very first cast just in the place when I was staying two minutes ago ….

p1370618 After the lunch we moved a little upstream to see another part of the river, and after about ten minutes of fishing I heard strange sounds, I turned back and saw Martin sunk in the water to the neck trying to climb to a bush at the bank :-) clay soil and weed are treacherous :-) so we had not any dry waders :-) Martin moved to the fishing hut to change his clothes and I was looking for next suitable places for fishing, which was extremely difficult in the river full of weed. But in the rifles, just above the sandy and gravel places, I caught some graylings. Finally, we found some flies which were working, and also typical places where to look for fish.

p1370641 On Friday, the river was closed to give fish a rest before the competition, so we managed the trip to Farmoor. Simon picked us up at Bens house at 7:30, he booked two boats in the Farmoor II, I was in one boat with Simon and Martin was fishing with Ben James Fox. We had a great English breakfast in the sailing club and after some difficulties with the engine :-) we headed to the upwind part of the lake together with sailing boats and windsurfers, I estimated gusts of the northern wind up to 15 m/s. . … Simon prepared nice snake flies, we decided to fish close to the surface, finally, we enjoyed sunny ten times , ten times windy and ten times heavy showers, and we had 9 fish in the boat, and if I had heard Simons recommendation and used stronger tipped, we would have three more, what a nice day :-)

After fishing we moved to the hotel close to the river, We had a nice room with a queen bed and one big duvet, pure Martin :-) but Ben asked somebody in the reception of the hotel and Martin could sleep at sofa with his own duvet :-) In the evening we attended the draw of competition and opening banquet and we met a lot of old friends from all over the Europe.

I thing, that it is necessary to explain system of the competition. They were competing 40 teams created by two competitors, three sessions fishing and three sessions controlling. Both competitors fish the same peg. After end of the session, the team which was fishing in the first session is controlling the same peg in the next session and the same team which was controlling them. So you can see another team fishing before you or after you. Which can be sometimes very useful, and sometime very painful :-)

John Emerson brought new waders for Martin, I created special underpants from plastic bag, so we were looking for a nice dry day full of fishing :-) Day D started with scraping of ice from the cars windows and by the great breakfast prepared by Somchad. The northern wind was strengthening and definitively not worming up :-) We were controlling during first session the peg No 20 (the most upstream peg, as pegs were marked bottom up), so we had enough time to warm up and to prepare rods. Spanish guys caught only three graylings and one sea trout, and they shoved us two productive places. In the peg 19, Max was controlling Tom who could not catch one big grayling which we could observe from the bank in the deep pool at the border between our pegs. Max shoved me his leader, and as I offer “life time warranty” for clients of our workshop, I rebuilt his leader for the pool and chose flies from his fly box. Five minutes after the start of our session Max got the queen of the pool :-)

p1370585 In our peg 20, we caught 11 graylings, two nice browns and one sea trout, and the 11 countable fish was enough to win the session. Ben said “very good” :-) . After great lunch, we were controlling peg 9 just under the fishing hut. Rising olives provoked fish to feeding activity and the team Manningford Monkies caught 16 fish and lost maybe another 10, so they hooked majority of the active fish in the pool. Adam, who was helping with the organisation, commented their approach by “I thing that you guys are making Czechs sad :-) ” . Mainly the double hook up 1 minute before the end of the session was the most painful thing for us:-) After them, we caught only 8 fish which was not good and we finished in the 8 place of the session.

Lynchy offered us to give a lift to the hotel, but he did not know the way, so he decided to follow Tom, but he also did not know the way …. but after 45 minutes of sightseeing tour we reached our hotel, and when I took my mobile from the bag, I found 5 miscalls from Ben and Martin found keys from Ben´s car in his pocket :-) But finally, the river was only 5 minutes from Hotel, so somebody took Ben to the Hotel for keys …. and we finally successfully met in the pub for dinner. In the morning we had to pack all things as we had to leave the hotel, and when we arrived at 7:10 to the parking place in front of the hotel, nobody was there :-) But Ben returned for us and we still had enough time to enjoy the great breakfast :-)

On Sunday morning, we were fishing first session in the peg 2, which was not bad. But we again caught only 8 fish, and gained 8th place in the last session and also in the final ranking. Finally I won a nice soft shell jacket in the raffle. Andy was so kind and took as to the airport after the competition and we even found possible cooperation in our businesses  :-)

heathrow To summarise our fishing, we had not enough time to practice in the dirty water full of drifting weed when all competitors jumped to the water and we did not have some effective flies for this conditions. We won only first session, in the clear water in the peg 20. Our draw was not bad, at least for the third place, but we were not fishing for 100%. It was great privilege to attend such friendly and well organised event in the famous River Test, in which you can catch grayling up to 45 cm, brown trout up 60 cm, sea trout, monster chub or even salmon.

To summarise our trip, after all the difficulties, we were very happy to sit in the pub in the airport. Thanks to the great care from our friends and mainly from Ben, Andy and Simon, we enjoyed the trip very much despite of the all difficulties and I hope, we had not done the shame, next year we will have more experience with this very special style of fishing.

Some pictures you can also find at this blog:


Stillwater spring

Květen 23, 2015 - 8:53 am Komentáře nejsou povoleny

20150508_173254 As usually, I paid more attention on stillwater fishing in spring. We changed management of the Květoňov lake, we removed all carp and pike in Autumn 2013 which positively affected water quality and survival rate of trouts, and lake is open for fishing whole year around since 2015. Ice melted in mid March, overwintered fish were hungry and in great condition, more over they were rising for hatching buzzers. We started immediately regular stocking of fresh fish. After quarantine in 2013 caused by infection, our hatchery is again able to produce good quality fish which is great message for our waters.  I was there few times and fishing was always good, we stocked also really big fish, one local fisherman almost get heard attack after I released trout of 4 kg.
I attended three competitions, in Polička Cup I was third between 180 competitors after first day, but second day was not so good. We organised Czech lake championship in Květoňov lake, I had been full of ambitions but I was again successful only first day. Finally I defended victory in May cup in Květoňov lake, and this three results lifted me to the TOP 20 in the running Czech fly-fishing ranking, not bad start of the season. We will see in rivers.

After one year break, we managed trip to still-waters in England, we were group of 8 people including Karel, we were fishing Eyebrook, Rutland, Grafham, Pitsford nad Raventshorpe, we found great base at Great Easton B&B,  despite of very cold and windy weather we get in 6 days over 400 fish. We met also Ben and Andy and were a little working on preparation of our spring workshop in local pub :-)

England 2013

Květen 13, 2013 - 10:00 pm Komentáře nejsou povoleny

dscn0086 In the first week of May, I took group of my five friends to the traditional trip to England, we headed again to our favourite reservoirs in Midlands. We flew from Prague to London Luton airport, which is ideal for our trips, as the WizzAir allows 32 kg baggage, airport is small and located about 1,5 hours driving from Eyebrook reservoir. ravensthorpe7 In the Car hire park we get Škoda Fabia and Škoda Octavia :-) We stayed again in Great Easton B&B at Elaine and David Hankey. After our evening arrival, we met Julie and John Emerson at Eyebrook lodge to get actual info about fishing and after we welcomed with our lovely hosts, we went to pub to support local business. I love English Bitter.

First day, after the full English breakfast, we fished Grapham, although I fish Lipno reservoir in Czech which has 4000 hectares, Grapham is for me water which deserve respect. Air was full of small buzzers, water was clear, surface was full of nice ripples, what more could we ask for. The key was to get black buzzers to the depth of 5-6 metres, we anchored in several places along the north shore and we get fish in all of them, we caught over 40 fish altogether and it was great start of the trip. I also get fish on new blob which I got from John. So we had a lot of experiences to talk about in the pub.

Second day we headed to Draycote. The day started with humorous skit when Lukáš equipped by new navigation overtook leadership of our group and in the very first crossroads turned to the left instead of to the right and drove to the right side of street instead of the left side. They stopped at first lights in front of cars in the opposite and after “short non verbal communication” directed to the right left side of the street :-)  Water in Draycote was relatively green and it was difficult to find fish, the choice of the place was absolutely essential,  Peter and Paul were sitting in one boat and they were fishing same line, same leader and same flies and after 2 hours was score 15:6 for Peter who was sitting in the site close to the bank. It was possible to catch fish everywhere, but frequency of takes was significantly higher in the right distance from bank, we got fish also just under the banks. The second important thing was to keep flies absolutely static. The selection of flies was less important, everything with red-holo pattern was good. The most amazing surprise was waiting for us in the late afternoon when the wind dropped down and overwintered fish were rising through the flat surface everywhere but we were not able to catch them. But it is fishing. We finished the trip with “Fish & chips” in a Fish-bar in Rugby and few beers in Great Easton.

Third day we visited Ravensthorpe with John and Ben, it was simply amazing, crystal clear water, nice ripples, cloudy sky and fish taking both nymphs and lures, we enjoyed static nymphing from drifting boats (John is great teacher and I found, that in this technique is any detail in the construction of leader important as well as quality floating line) and also pulling lures, we caught over 150 fish including some browns, pike and also 8lb rainbow. Well done Anglian Water.

Last two days we spent in Eyebrook, lovely heavy stocked fishery with friendly staff never disappoint you, hatch of buzzers and a little green and heating water lifted fish up and we enjoyed nymphing with light flies, washing line method and also pulling on glass lines. Relatively high fishing pressure resulted in a little higher precaution of fish and I estimated that we had 50 percent success rate of strikes.

I guess we caught in five days about 250 fish and we are looking forward to next year.

England 2012

Květen 22, 2012 - 10:36 pm Komentáře nejsou povoleny

4 I visited England with two friends Paul and Ondra for 5 days fishing trip in the beginning of May. Lukáš, the last member of our group, got a horrible flu and could not moved, so he had to stay at home. We flew to London Luton by WizzAir on 9th May, we left  Prague at 6 o’clock and at  7 we were in England. As we had problem to find easy-rent company and there was a traffic jam in M1 and my navigator had not such a great day, we reached our accommodation at Great Easton B&B relatively late.

But we were sitting in boats on the Eyebrook Reservoir at about lunch time. I have already visited this lake at least for 15 times, fishing is always good there, they have friendly staff and good shop.  Lake has in my opinion ideal size and location and it is always full of fish.  It was rainy but buzzers were hatching and fish were active, so fishing was good, I was fishing washing line and team of 3 smaller black buzzers and booby on the point and I covered rising fish or simply cast to the bank and fig.8. When I got soaked I made break for coffee and small talk in the lodge, owner of the fishery Andy told me, that lake (similarly like other lakes in England) was low after long drought and it was filled up during last week, so it was full of fresh water rich in nutrients. Finally we got altogether over 20 fish, so it was good start. In the evening we went for two beers and 1 Cola the local pub in Great Easton (Paul don’t drink alcohol – he is veg and don’t drinks, poor Paul, he has nothing funny in his life :-) ).

After perfect full English breakfast (Paul had full English veg-breakfast :-)  we went to Elinor fishery which was recommended to me by Mick O´Farell.  I changed navigator, but it was again nothing special, 15 miles long journey took 1,5 hours. This 25 acres lake welcomed us by strong western wind and owner recommended to us bank fishing. But it was wasting time as fish were rising out of casting distance and we rent the boat for the afternoon. We were three in boat, it was good idea, Paul is left handed, so it was no problem for casting and more  flies in water brought more fish, we caught over 30 fish. The best method was fishing light flies just under surface, best pattern were claret and black hoopers and different smaller DB. I got also some fish on nymphs in the deep and one on tequila blob. During the way home we stopped for dinner and a few beers in Pizza restaurant at the intersection close to Eyebrook, Paul ordered veg-pizza with paprika sausage.

On Friday we went to Draycote Reservoir, Craig Baar had nice new shop and it was visible, that he works on the improving of fishing facilities. Wind was stronger and changed its direction to NW, so there were 1 m high waves at the dam. In the jetty was everything supervised by nesting coot.  The best method was again to anchor in a sheltered place close to bank and fish nymphs on midge tip line, very good was buzzer with red-holo rib and cheeks which we got from Craig. Relatively hard day I finished with 6 fish and few missed takes and one snapped bigger fish, my friends had similar result. We got few nice silver overwintered fish. After we came to Great Easton, we again visited pub to support the local business, I liked the local bitter beer, but Paul ordered another Cola.

On Saturday we were fishing Pitsford Reservoir , after 2 hours of drifting without any take we anchored in a bay close a small group of boats and we caught 7 fish in 15 minutes including decent pike, all on midge tips and damsel nymphs. Next another boat anchored in front of us and disturbed fish, they left after short exchange of views but damsels did not worked more. Fish were back after 30 minutes, but they took only buzzers and DB, it was necessary to fish as slow as possible and close to bottom, the best was to comb weed by the point heavy buzzer and fish took DB on the dropper. We were again three in the boat and it was great fun, we caught more than 30 fish. But it was one boat in front of us which got twice more fish and in my opinion the reason is that our boat with three people moved in the wind from side to side and therefore we were not able to keep our nymphs static. After great fishing we visited Fish-bar in Brixworth and bought “Fish and chips” and ate it at the  bench in front of the bar like homeless. After we arrived to Great Easton we went directly to pub and ordered three beers. “No more Cola? ” asked the waitress :-) .

We finished our trip again in Eyebrook, I was in boat with my friend John Emerson. Clarity of water decreased to the half comparing to Wednesday because of water bloom, it was sunny and very windy, so nothing special for fishing. Fish were not active, I got  4 fish on TL Buzzer and the huge pike, John put Cat-lure to the point and got 6 fish on it and smaller pike, he told me, that fish did not feed, so it was necessary to try something to provoke them. If you would like to find a good guide for fishing in lakes or rivers in UK ask John, he is very experienced angler.

We had to leave Eyebrook at 3 p.m., pack our things in the BB (it was absolutely perfect accommodation in low price located 5 minutes from Eyebrook, we felt there like at home, Eleine and David Hankey were great hosts) and directed to the London Luton and we landed in Prague exactly in the midnight.


A Passion for Trout

Únor 6, 2012 - 10:27 pm No Comments

cover My friend Mick O´Farrel published very interesting book titled “A Passion for Trout” last year, which covers his long term experience from fishing for trout both in rivers and lakes. I met Mick few years ago, when we were boat partners during Grand Final of  Lexus International competition held at Chew Valley lake. Mick is Irishman, but he has been living in England for a long time and he has applied experience from fishing for brown trout in Irish lakes to reservoirs in UK and he has created his own original stile of flies and fly-fishing methods. When all anglers fish for rainbows with blobs, he has the same success with dabblers and diawlbachs. Book is richly illustrated and mainly more than 400 pictures of flies tied by himself are fantastic. Each fly is illustrated with colour photography and each has a precise and detailed recipe to make sure that the reader can tie the fly exactly as he intended and in doing so enjoy the same success.
I can highly recommend this book to everybody interested in fly fishing and fly-tying. More info you can find at