Chew Valley Lake

At this point in the year, it’s a bit of an in between time for me, the grayling and pike fishing has come to an end but the river season is still a couple of weeks away. With the need to scratch an itch, I planned a spur of the moment trip to Chew Valley Lake.

Chew valley lake

Social media, love it or hate it, provides invaluable up to date fishing reports from various venues across the country. Having seen the recent reports from Chew, numerous reports of big catch numbers and quality fish, these only fuelled my eagerness to get out there and throw a line.

It’s all too easy to get to the day and decide for whatever reason not to visit the water, so with that in mind I played my personal trump card and booked and paid for my permit the day before so there was nothing going to get in my way come the day.

Chew valley Lake

One thing I hadn’t banked on was the big rise in temperature overnight and into the day itself. This seemed to switch the fish off and had slowed down sport considerably from previous days.

I turned up and started off at Woodford bank. The weather was overcast with heavy drizzle which again was not in the forecast I was looking at. A steady South-westerly breeze blew from right to left, perfect conditions! The warmth on the day had encouraged a steady buzzer hatch, surely the fish had to be in the mood to feed?

I started out with an intermediate line, an 18 foot leader with a damsel on the point, black buzzer on the middle dropper and a diawl bach on the top.

After 45 minutes of moving along the bank between casts and not even a sniff I decided a change was in order. I cut off the leader and switched the spool on the reel to a Di5 and repeated the process. Again, all in vain. Time for a fly change, I set up a new leader with a sunburst booby on the point and a pink blob on the dropper. The next half our produced zero interest despite counting down through all of the depths and trying every retrieve in the book.

Only one thing for it, time for a move, so headed over to Nunnery, another area of deep water. I stuck with the lures and it wasn’t long before a nice fish hit the booby on a fast roly-poly retrieve. Moving around Nunnery I added another 3 fish, all safely returned. I also had plenty of knocks and lots of follows, hanging the flies at the end of the retrieve saw plenty of interest but no solid hook ups. The fish were definitely not committing on the day. This was probably down to the big increase in temperature, as we know, fish don’t like big changes and today seemed to be proving the point.

It was enjoyable session with quality fish all in the 3lb to 5lb bracket, but wind really got up in the early afternoon and the fishing slowed, so I decided to end the day and head home as I’d had a few fish and new things were only going to get rougher weather-wise. As ever, on the larger waters you do really need to go in search of the fish, if you’re not getting any interest move to another spot, if you persevere you will usually be rewarded.

Beginners Fly Fishing Day.

Beginners 1 day Stillwater Fly Fishing Course

Sunday 19th April 2015 from 9.30a.m. To 4.30p.m.

At Burton Springs Fishery, Burton, Bridgwater, Somerset.TA5 1QB.

This fun filled beginners fly fishing day is aimed at beginners wanting to give fly fishing a try for the first time or improvers who want to brush up on some core skills.

The course will cover:Beginners fly fishing day

Fly fishing tackle and setting it up.

The roll cast and overhead fly cast with safety awareness.

Basic entomology and fly selection.

Some basic knots used in fly fishing.Beginners fly fishing day

Fly fishing techniques.

Playing and landing fish.

Fish welfare when catch and release fishing.

Included for the day will be:beginners fly fishing day

All tuition with qualified instructors.

Use of all equipment for the day if required.

Fishing permit for the day.

Tea or Coffee throughout the day.

All you need to provide for the day is an Environment Agency rod license which can be purchased online or purchased from a post office and any food you require, although the fishery does offer a selection of sandwiches etc. but these would need to be ordered on your arrival.

Also please bring clothing to suit any weather eventuality, a hat and some form of eye wear, Polaroid’s or similar if you have any.

Cost for the day is £75.00 per person payable in advance to secure a place.

If you would like any further information or to book a place, please do not hesitate to contact Neil on 01761 472656 (evenings are best) or by email at

beginners fly fishing dayBeginners fly fishing dayBeginners fly fishing day

Westcountry Grayling Masterclass Weekend

Westcountry Grayling Masterclass Weekend

13th & 14th December 2014

For many people that enjoy fly fishing on rivers, the end of the trout season tends to mean it’s time to put your rods and waders away and wait patiently for spring to arrive once again.

grayling fishing

But if you fancy the thought of getting your fly fishing fix through the autumn and winter months, why not give grayling a go?

The fishing in October & November can be surprisingly productive as fish feed hard to survive the cold winter months. Fly fishing for grayling is becoming increasingly popular with avid river fly fishers so if you fancy giving it a go come and join Neil Keep Fly Fishing for a grayling master class weekend.

The fly fishing instructors and guides for the weekend course have many years of experience targeting grayling in the westcountry and one is now a member of England’s European rivers team so you have a chance to learn from some of the most knowledgeable guides around.


We will teach you all of the best techniques used to catch grayling successfully and consistently in a weekend spent on some of the finest river fishing in the westcountry on the Somerset/Devon border. These techniques will not only help you catch grayling but can also be applied to your trout fishing to increase your success rate.

Let us show you the latest killer fly patterns and how to tie them, also learn how to read the water properly so you can increase your catch rate and make your fishing more enjoyable.

The cost of the two day course is just £150.00 per person, includes fishing permits and is suitable for all fly fishers of any ability.

Please feel free to bring your own fly fishing kit with you although we will have kit for you to use on the course. You will need to bring waders with you, preferably chest waders but if you are really stuck get in touch and we will see if we can sort you out a pair to use.


Payment will be required to confirm a booking and numbers are strictly limited so book early to reserve your place.

No food, drink or accommodation is included in the cost of the course but we are able to arrange accommodation for you if required.

In the event that the course is cancelled due to weather you will be given the option of a full refund or an alternative course date.

Cancellations – for a full refund you will need to give 10 days notice, for less than 10 days notice you will receive a 50% refund.

To book a place on the course or for more information please call 01761 472656 or 07821 647055 (evenings are best) or email