Diaries & Reports

0 2018

Dear Sportfish
Here are a few pictures of my daughter, Jessica M (aged 12) with her first ever salmon caught at the river Farrar in Inverness, Scotland in August last. One on her own, there is one of her playing the fish and one with our brilliant Ghillie, Dennis R.
She had 2 in total the one pictured was 7.5lbs with her second at 5lbs.
Thanks to Chris and Tom (Sportfish Reading) for their excellent casting lessons (although her stepdad, Neil W has guided her a lot also!).
Wendy J

Jessica in action play her salmon
Jessica and Dennis the ghillie


When was the last time you saw a salmon angler under 25? How many older anglers have lost their enthusiasm and stopped fishing because of the lack of opportunity or lack of fish? How many beats lie unfished day after day?

We would like to help youngsters learn the skills of casting and river craft in order to allow them to experience the pleasure of days spent in the wonderful surroundings of rivers like the Wye. We want to find initiatives to reintroduce older anglers to the pleasures they have given up and we would like to see beats once vibrant with the excitement of anglers setting out to catch that king of fish.

Prompted by the comments of one lower river owner who felt last season there were plenty of salmon in his fishings but few anglers fishing, we are creating a campaign in conjunction with a number of owners who have generously donated fishing for the season 2012. This offers anglers the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with salmon fishing on the river Wye and attempts to boost the current slowly improving but still very depressed annual catch.

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Chris Ryan (Sportfish Group Buyer) attended the recent IFTD tackle show in Reno, USA recently to review the latest crop of new tackle that will hit the stores in 2013.

Bill Klyn (Patagonia) and Chris Ryan (Sportfish) with Patagonia’s four awards from this years show










Here is a list of this years category winners

AFFTA 2012 IFTD Best of Show Awards

Best Wading Gear – Men’s Rio Gallegos Zip-Front Waders – Patagonia

Best Eyewear – Costa 580P Sunrise Lenses – Costa

Best Chest Pack/Vest – Flask 2.0 – Rising

Best Outerwear – 3 in 1 River Salt Jacket – Patagonia

Best Youth Specific Product – Castarget – National Fishing in Schools Program

Best Women’s Specific Product – Women’s Kalama Jacket – Redington

Best Eco Friendly Product – R1 Full Zip Jacket – Patagonia

Best Fly Rod – Freshwater – The Circa Collection – Sage

Best Fly Rod – Saltwater – Boron III-SX 9’ 9 wt. – R.L. Winston

Best Reel – Freshwater – Ultralite CLS – Hardy

Best Reel – Saltwater – 8000 Pro Reel – Sage

Best Personal Watercraft – Clearwater Drifter – NRS

Best Fly Line – Freshwater – Scientific Anglers GPX Hover – Scientific Anglers/Ross

Best Fly Line – Saltwater – Bonefish QuickShooter – RIO Products

Best Fly Box/Storage System – MFC Waterproof Fly Case – Montana Fly Company

Best Fly Tying/Materials/Equipment – UV2 Dubbing – Spirit River

Best New Fly Pattern – Freshwater – Flymen Fishing Company

Best New Fly Pattern – Saltwater – Montana Fly Company

Best Accessory – Rod Clip – Smith Creek Ltd

Best General Apparel – Minimalist Wading Jacket – Patagonia

Best New Book – Seasons of the Steelhead – Angler’s Book Supply

Best New DVD – The T-Motion Collection – Catch Magazine

Best Gift Item – Tenkara Set – Tenkara USA.

Best Luggage – Westwater Rolling Carry On – Fishpond

Best of Show – The Circa Collection – Sage

Well done to Sage and Patagonia for scooping up 7 awards between them for some really great new products.

Chalkstream salmon specialist Paul Bullimore catches his first salmon of the season on a fly.

As I’m sure many of us do I spend the early part of the season waiting eagerly for magical first fish? It brings to an end those long nights thinking about fishing, sorting out tackle, reading about fishing etc. In addition, for many of us, it means we can start to relax a little and enjoy fishing the rest of the season in the happy knowledge that we are ‘off the mark’. It doesn’t matter how many salmon I catch, every one brings back that amazing feeling we get when we feel the take, and I guess that’s why I keep going back for more.

This year my wait was over after only a few trips to the river. I fish on a syndicate on the lower reaches of the Dorset Frome where the fishing doesn’t normally get underway until the after 15th of May when the spinning starts. It’s always worth persevering with the fly and for the last couple of seasons I have taken fish before the spinning gets underway.

The Dorset Frome at a good height for spring fishing

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Allan Shephard field tests the new Magic Swimmer softbait from Sebile
The lure fisher has never had so much choice – there are literally thousands of softbaits on the market and almost as many techniques for fishing them. Like most keen lure anglers I have magpie tendencies and can’t resist a packet of the latest softbaits. The magic swimmer looks good straight away, it looks like a fish rather than an extra from a 1950’s horror movie!

Magic swimmer ready to go - note the concealed hook and single weight positioned under the lure's head