Fly Fishing For Carp

When the temperatures rise in the height of summer and the trout fishing becomes difficult, fly fishing for carp can provide some welcome rod bending action.

The fish in the video was taken at Burton Springs Fishery in Somerset who actively encourage fly fishers to target carp when the trout aren’t playing ball.

Although the fish isn’t massive in carp terms, it was really good fun on a fly rod and I would recommend giving it a go if you ever get a chance.

Carp can be taken on all manner of techniques and flies. They will readily take natural offerings like nymphs and dry flies or can even be taken on lures such as blobs and boobies. One of the more popular methods is to get the carp feeding on the surface with dog biscuits then use a deer hair imitation biscuit to tempt the fish. The key to this particular method is to feed the biscuits little and often and really get the fish feeding confidently, almost competing for your offerings, before you cast your fly onto the water.

One thing to remember when you fly fish for carp is to take an unhooking mat to protect the fish when you have it on the bank. Also carry a decent size landing net as a lot of these fish just aren’t going to fit in your traditional trout scoop net!



Burton Springs Casting Clinic

Today saw me hosting a casting clinic at Burton Springs Fishery near Bridgwater in Somerset.

Arriving at the fishery I was met by blazing sunshine and angler lined banks with bending rods, what more could you wish for?


After setting up some kit, Adam the fishery manager greeted me with a most welcome cup of coffee. If you have never fished  at Burton Springs before I strongly urge you to, it’s a cracking fishery with trout and carp on offer to the fly angler with the most welcoming family you could ever wish to be running a fishery, who will do everything they can to make your day a truly enjoyable one. They will even deliver hot food to you on the bank while you are trying to fool some of the hard fighting fish stocked into the lake……. now that’s service!

It was a truly great day in the sun meeting friends old and new, casting some lines and having a chuckle and generally talking about all things fishy.

Time was spent tweaking overhead casts along with some single and double hauling and a spattering of speys, basking in the warm spring sunshine.

Thanks to all you guys who attended and hope to bump into on the bank in the future.

On returning home and firing up the computer it was great to be met with a such nice thank you email as well  ………

” Hi Neil, a cracking day, thanks mate. When Jon and I arrived this morning we couldn’t cast for toffees! It seemed that all you had taught me had disappeared.
After half an hour with you this morning it all seemed to come together. We spent the rest of the day casting various flies and lures all around the lake. We didn’t catch; but we had a great day. Thanks again, and see you in April. Regards, Ken”

Burton Springs Beginners Day

Saturday saw the arrival of the Burton Springs Beginners day near Bridgwater which I had set up some two months previously thinking that a June date would give us some good weather. It was an early start loading the car with all the equipment ready for the off and when I opened the front door I was met with some really heavy rain……..not what I had wanted to see.

We arrived at the fishery around 8.15 am and proceeded to set up for the days events but still in the pouring rain. Everyone started arriving around 9.30am and was greeted with tea and coffee and the day got started at 9.45 am.

I had hoped to run some of the course outside in the morning but this was just not possible due to the now monsoon type rain we getting!! Luckily Burton Springs has a lodge so we all packed into this for sessions on fly tying, entomology and knots and leaders.

Burton Springs Lodge….a haven from the bad weather!!

The weather broke just before lunch and I took everyone out onto the lake for a talk and demonstration on basic casting mechanics, 5 minutes into the demonstration the heavens opened again and we all made a dash back to the lodge for cover, it was short lived and we were all soon on the bank again to finish this session.

Getting to grips with the casting.

After lunch we were lucky as the weather seemed to get better and we were all able to get out and get into some casting before finishing up with some fishing with a few fish landed on the bank to end a great day.

One of the casting sessions.

The day was made all the better with the great people that had turned up, all of us had a good laugh and a chuckle throughout the day which helped considering the conditions we had to endure. Everyone went home with a smile on their face so I guess it was mission accomplished!!

The smile says it all!!


For everything they done to make the day a success, I would like to say a big thank you to fellow instructors Sally and Tony Pizii, Gilly for laying on all the great food for the day, taking the photos and not forgetting the home made cakes which went down well!! And finally to Adam and Dave down at Burton Springs Fishery for hosting the day and helping us make the day run smoothly.

Father & Son enjoying the fishing.

For those of you that attended the day, I would be grateful for any feedback that you can give me by filling out the message box at the bottom of this page and please feel free to copy any of the photos I have posted here.

Keep an eye out here for similar future events and come and join us on the bank.

Here are some photos of the day, please click on a thumbnail to enlarge the photo.

Fly Fishing and the National

Last Saturday I had to make a trip to Burton Springs fishery to drop off some posters for the Beginners day I’m running in June.

I arrived about 2.00pm in blazing sunshine and was greeted by Adam who runs the fishery along with his father. These guys are really friendly and switched on when it comes to running a venue, always on hand with useful advice and a smile…………what a refreshing change compared to some of the places I have been to in the past. If you get a chance to visit, don’t hesitate, you’re sure to have a great day. They have even just added a pleasure lake where you can fly fish for carp, a great alternative in the summer when the days get too hot for the trout.

High Sun at Burton Springs

After putting up the posters in the ticket room and the lodge, I thought long and hard for all of thirty seconds before deciding I just had to wet a line!! Probably not the best conditions with a big sun high in the sky but I couldnt resist having a go anyway.

After wandering around the lake to my chosen spot and sat on a bench to tackle up whilst keeping one eye on the water. No sign of any fish for the ten minutes or so while I was sat there…….no surprise there given the conditions. I decided to fish a black buzzer deep under an indicator as there were a few midge coming off the water, not everyones cup of tea I know but needs must sometimes.

I fished this method for an hour or so varying the depth, fishing the buzzer static and with a retrieve without even a sniff off a fish. Time to change, so I then tied on a bead head Damsel, fished that through the depths and with different retrieves but still no joy. At this point I realised it was time for a different plan of attack so I decided to retire to the lodge for a cup of coffee until the sun had dropped in the sky a bit.

Who stole my seat!!

On arriving at the lodge I discoverd Adam and his father glued to the t.v. as the Grand National was on, I’d totally forgotton about this and usually have an unsucessful flutter on the race myself. Adam on the otherhand had a bet on. The race started and so did all the shouting and cheering with it, any anglers in earshot must have wondered what was going on!

Some rod bending action
…….followed by a Rainbow at the net

Race over I returned to the lake to find a few fish moving so I changed my set up to a black Harry Potter dry with a black buzzer suspended a couple of feet underneath it New Zealand style with the result being the first fish in the net after five minutes. The action really got going as the evening progressed with fish coming to both the dry and the buzzer, all in all a great session after a very slow start. Sometimes its just good to take a break if the fish aren’t playing ball, sit back and realx and enjoy the surroundings and wildlife………or go horse racing!!