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Gareth Jones, the Sales Director of Airflo, shared some of his secrets with us. He’s gone from catching his first fish on a grasshopper to fishing with the greats, all the while staying true to his country upbringing. Developing brand new products to advance the sport as well as captaining the winning team in a prestigious angling competition are just a couple of the things that make his life in the fishing world a wonderful mix of activities. He’s had some brilliant experiences and has a seemingly never-ending supply of advice.   Name: Gareth Jones Age: 44 Location: Usk, South Wales Job Description: Airflo Sales Director Likes: Technical Dry fly fishing Dislikes: Shopping! Gareth Jones Describe a typical day for you? Looking after the export of Airflo products around the world could start at the office in Brecon - liaising with production, customers, suppliers or graphics departments to keep everything running smoothly. On another day, it could start waking up in any of the fly fishing markets around the world and we could start developing a new fly line product for a specific type of circumstance.   What age did you start fishing? I started fishing the river next to my parents home when I was eight years old – I was tying flies and had my first Milbro Glass fly rod by the time I was ten.   What is your first fishing memory? It would have to be catching my first fish over eight inches (the size limit to keep a fish) on a natural grasshopper. The takes used to be superb and rattled all the way along the line.   What do you love most about the sport? For me, it’s all about the people I get to fish with. The knowledge that they have gained and are happy to share with a fellow angler, that’s what I really enjoy.   Can you describe your casting style? In a word; deceptive. My power stroke is generally quite short and I tend to generate a lot of line speed with the haul!   What is your most memorable fishing experience? There are too many to choose from, but recent ones include a great visit to Lough Corrib for the caenis feeders - this is super technical dry fly fishing for huge trout on ultra light tippet and small flies. Get it right and it’s heaven, but get any single part of the approach wrong and it’s game over.   What piece of kit could you not live without? I should probably say our latest range of Airflo fishing tackle, but the reality is I couldn’t live without tippet degreaser. Fish are just so sensitive to the line caught in the surface film on calmer days and getting your tippet subsurface helps you catch a lot more fish. Check out the John Norris range of tippet degreasers below: Loon Snake River Mud Fulling Mill Fullers Mud Orvis Original Mud   What do you still want to tick off your fishing bucket list? I’ve never been to Alaska, and although I’m not a big Salmon angler, I really would like to get hold of some of those heavily spotted rainbow trout.   Gareth Jones 2Any funny fishing tales you would like to share? None that could ever be printed!   What would your perfect day consist of? Fishing anywhere without a phone!   What are you most proud of/greatest achievement? I’ve been lucky enough to have won quite a few competitions over the years, but my proudest moment was captaining the Nymphomanics team to a win in the AWAI competition a couple of years ago.   Who or what inspires you? I get a huge amount of energy from the people I get to work with, from product development to being able to spend time on the water with some of the legends of the fly fishing world. I’m not going to start name dropping, but I have been very privileged when it comes to the people I get to fish with and call my friends.   How did you get a career start the fishing industry? Before I left University, I wrote to all the fishing tackle companies asking them for a job. I had just won the National qualifier and thought I knew everything about fishing tackle – which I didn’t. Both Airflo and Hardy’s in London made me offers and being a country boy I chose Brecon and the river Usk ahead of Pall Mall and the Thames.   Gareth Jones 3 Any advice for fellow anglers that would like a career in the fishing world? It’s going to be tough and you may not earn the money you could earn elsewhere, but it will be fun.   What is the big thing for your brand this year? I’ve been working hard on our new top end Blitz and Rocket rods which are starting to get some good recognition. In fly lines we finally launched a stretchy floater; it’s called the G shock and gives a very similar feel to a PVC line in use, but with the added advantages of Ridges and Super Dri technology.     Can you give us any advice or useful tips? Firstly, practice your casting! If you can cast well, then you can put your fly into the position you need it to catch fish – sounds basic, but essential. Secondly, as you advance into the fishing try to think in 3D. Understanding how drag on both river and still water affects your presentation will make you more effective as an angler. Finally, don’t forget to have fun!
Many of you may not know this but for over 35 years we have bought and exchanged a large amount of used fishing tackle. If you are ever looking to buy a new fishing rod, reel or even a pair of waders and have some used tackle that you could possibly exchange in the process, don’t hesitate to contact us and we can offer you a quote based on further inspection of the goods. Once we receive any used items we inspect them carefully and grade them as follows to sell on to anyone who is looking to pick up any second hand tackle at a good price – A – Appears Unused B – Superb Condition C – Very Good Condition D – Marked but Appears Sound E – Usable F – Poor Condition, Reflected in the Price In addition to the used tackle we receive, we also have quite a large selection of ex-demonstration fishing rods and reels available at a discounted price for sale. These are also graded using the same system but are nearly always a grade A as many items have never even left the shop. With around 200 items currently in stock, you can find a full list of the Ex-demonstration and Pre-loved Fishing Tackle listed on our website. This list is updated daily however we can’t guarantee all the items are still available as they are sold on a first come, first served basis.

Salmon Season is Open on the River Tay!

30 January 2015 14:02:14 GMT

The salmon fishing season opened on the River Tay on the 15th January with the traditional celebrations taking place as usual. The 2015 season was officially opened this year by TV actor and keen fisherman Paul Young in the town of Dunkeld. There were good crowds following a bagpiper through the town and along the river with many carrying out the usual toast of “tight lines” followed by the throwing of a glass of whisky. There were similar ceremonies at Kenmore and Meikleour even though the weather conditions were far from pleasant.   Paul YoungPaul Young2                 The Tay is the longest river in Scotland at around 117 miles and originates in western Scotland on the slopes of Ben Lui in the Scottish Highlands. Its mouth is at the Firth of Tay, just south of Dundee and is also the largest river in the UK by volume of discharge.   River Tay Perth Atlantic Salmon                   This year also sees the start of the new ‘no kill’ rule which came in to force on the 9th January. The new legislation means that all salmon caught prior to April must be released back into the water unharmed. This will actually make little difference to most of the anglers currently fishing the Tay as the previous conservation code was for 90% of the salmon caught before April was required to be released. Notable improvements in catch numbers have been seen over the last couple of seasons and the changes in legislation have been widely welcomed by anglers. You can find all fly fishing season dates for the rivers across Scotland in our handy guide we posted previously. To book fishing on the Tay go to www.fishpal.com

Salmon & Trout Fishing Seasons in Scotland

13 January 2015 15:33:21 GMT

Christmas is over and 2015 has arrived and from everyone here at John Norris, we would like to wish you all a Happy New Year! January brings the start of salmon and trout fishing seasons for many of the UK’s rivers and fisheries and this year we thought it would be a good idea to post a list of the season dates for as many popular rivers as we can. As there are so many rivers across the UK, particular in Scotland we thought it best to split the rivers up into two or three articles starting with Scotland as they have the earliest season start date of the 11th January. The dates listed are as accurate as I can find following my research but if anyone can see any that need amending, I will gladly update.  

Aberdeenshire Dee

1st February - 30th September

Ailort

11th February - 31st October

Aline

11th February - 31st October

Almond

15th January - 15th October

Alness

11th February - 31st October

Amhuinnsuidhe (Harris)

3rd June - 15th October

Annan

25th February - 15th November

Arnisdale

11th February - 31st October

Aros (Mull)

11th February - 31st October

Awe

11th February - 31st October

Ba (Mull)

11th February - 31st October

Beauly

11th February - 15th October

Berriedale

11th February - 31st October

Blackadder

1st February - 30th November

Bladnoch

11th February - 31st October

Border Esk

1st February - 31st October

Borgie

12th January - 30th September

Broom

11th February - 31st October

Brora

1st February - 15th October

Caron (West Coast)

11th February - 31st October

Carron

11th January - 30th September

Cassley

11th January - 30th September

Clyde

11th February - 31st October

Conon

11th February - 30th September

Cree

1st May - 15th October

Creed (Lewis)

1st June - 15th October

Dee (Kirkcubright)

11th February - 31st October

Deveron

11th February - 31st October

Doinard

11th February - 31st October

 

River Tay

 

Don

11th February - 31st October

Doon

11th February - 31st October

Dunbeath

11th February - 15th October

Dundonnell

11th February - 31st October

Eachaig

1st May - 31st October

Earn

1st February - 31st October

Eden (Fife)

15th February - 31st October

Ericht

15th January - 15th October

Ettive

11th February - 15th October

Ettrick

1st February - 30th November

Evlyx

11th January - 30th September

Fhorsa

1st June - 15th October

Fincastle (Harris)

25th February - 31st October

Findhorn

11th February - 30th September

Fleet (Kirkcubright)

25th February - 31st October

Fleet (Sutherland)

25th February - 31st October

Forss

11th February - 31st October

Forth

1st February - 31st October

Garry

15th January - 15th October

Girvan

25th February - 31st October

Gour

11th February - 31st October

Gress

1st June - 15th October

Gridie

11th February - 31st October

Grimistra

15th June - 15th October

Gruinard

11th February - 31st October

Hamanavay (Lewis)

3rd June - 15th October

Helmsdale

11th January - 30th September

Hope (River & Loch)

12th January - 30th September

Inver

11th February - 31st October

Irvine

25th February - 15th November

 

 River Dee

 

Isla

15th January - 15th October

Kannaird

11th February - 31st October

Kirkaig

11th February - 31st October

Kishorn

11th February - 31st October

Laggan (Islay)

25th February - 31st October

Laxay Fishery (Lewis)

25th February - 31st October

Laxford

11th February - 31st October

Laxford Fishery (Harris)

1st April - 15th October

Leven (Dumbartonshire)

11th February - 31st October

Lochy

11th February - 31st October

Luce

25th February - 31st October

Luss (Mull)

11th February - 31st October

Machrie (Arran)

25th February - 31st October

Moidart

11th February - 31st October

Morar

11th February - 31st October

Nairn

11th February - 7th October

Naver

12th January - 30th September

Ness

15th January - 15th October

Nith

25th February - 31st October

North Esk

16th February - 31st October

Obbe System (Harris)

3rd June - 15th October

Orchy

11th February - 15th October

Orkney

25th February - 31st October

Oykel

11th January - 30th September

Polla

12th January - 30th September

Polly

11th February - 15th October

Rodel Fishery (Harris)

1st May - 31st September

Ruel

16th February - 31st October

Sanda

11th February - 31st October

Scaddie

11th February - 31st October

 

 Salmon

 

Sheil (River & Loch)

11th February - 31st October

Shetland

25th February - 31st October

Shin

11th January - 30th September

Sligican

11th February - 15th October

Snizort

11th February - 15th October

Sorn (Islay)

25th February - 31st October

South Esk

16th February - 31st October

Spey

11th February - 30th September

Stinchar

25th February - 31st October

Strathy

12th January - 30th September

Tay

15th January - 15th October

Teith

1st February - 31st October

Teviot

1st February - 30th November

Thurso

11th January - 5th October

Till

1st February - 30th November

Torridon

11th February - 31st October

Tummel

15th January - 15th October

Tweed

1st February - 30th November

Ugie

10th February - 31st October

Ullapool

11th February - 31st October

Urr

25th February - 31st October

Whiteadder

1st February - 30th November

Yarrow

1st February - 30th November

Ythan

11th February - 31st October

 
The October rains have hit and it is producing spectacular fishing conditions. Thanks to some of the best salmon fishing weather seen in a while, our Facebook page has lit up with updates on the big catches taking place. Derek Spry, one of our tackle advisors, caught this monster thanks to the exemplary fishing conditions seen at the River Eden.

 Salmon Fishing Success

The good fishing conditions haven’t just been seen at River Eden, either. Great results have also been seen at The Yorkshire Fly. Mark Strong detailed his successes on our Facebook page. Mark Strong The good news just kept coming in, on October 14th even more results came in from The Yorkshire Fly.

Upper Eden - Yorkshire Fly

Good yields were also reported from the River Tay in Scotland where an impressive 369 salmon and 26 seatrout have been counted. The River Tweed has bought in similarly good results - 428 Salmon and 48 seatrout. For the latest catches from Scotland take a look on Fish Pal and discover which rivers are still open. Make sure you don’t miss out on the excellent fishing conditions and join in our community of big salmon catchers. Post your best catches to our Facebook page and we’ll share all your hard work! See if you can beat the impressive 34lb salmon that was caught at Dunkeld House in Tweed. Be sure to stock up on your fly fishing supplies so that you can catch yourself a bit of the action. What have been some of your biggest successes? Share your stories with us and the rest of our fans!          
Environment Agency       As most of us will be aware, salmon runs and rod catch returns have been in a steady and continuous decline on the River Eden since its previous high rod catch in 2004, and as a consequence of this the Environment Agency have decided to act to promote conservation measures at the earliest opportunity in order to work towards supporting a more sustainable salmon population once again. River Eden at Armathwaite The current restrictions are set to run until the end of 2017 but with current figures showing more urgent measures are needed, it is highly possible we will see an early review of the existing Net Limitation Order and Byelaws, or a set of interim byelaws being put in place from 2015.   In the mean time, as the development and application of new regulations can take up to 12 months, they are seeking the adoption of concerted and effective voluntary conservation measures. At present Eden anglers are returning 69% of their catch. The environment Agency would like to increase this to 90% to help protect the salmon stock and future generations of Eden salmon. Atlantic Salmon The voluntary rod measures are being developed and promoted by REDFA (River Eden & District Fisheries Association) and became effective as of 16th June 2014. A brief break down of these measures is as follows: Salmon 1.            Daily kill limit of 1 fish per day 2.            Maximum season kill limit of 6 fish 3.            All gravid cock and hen fish to be released in a responsible manner, as quickly and safely as possible 4.            Development and introduction of a tagging system for 2015 - 6 tags per licence holder per season with a 100% catch and release once all tags are used up. Tags are non-transferable between licence holders   Sea Trout 1.            Daily kill limit of 1 fish per day 2.            Maximum season kill limit of 3 fish 3.            Development and introduction of a tagging system for 2015 - 3 tags per licence holder per season with a 100% catch and release once all tags are used up. Tags are non-transferable between licence holders   Further 2014 Voluntary recommendations -          Maximum annual kill of 3 salmon -          Maximum annual kill of 2 Salmon per licence holder on the River Eden below Caldew Foot junction -          100% catch and release of migratory fish on the River Caldew -          Fly only on summer level and below on the River Eden system -          The use of single and double hooks on flies and artificial lures -          100 % catch and release for Sea Trout on the River Eden system   More details can be found on the REDFA’s website at www.edenfishing.co.uk
Every year we like to spend time searching out the best deals and offers we can and put together a number of Fishing Rod Outfits that suit our customers needs whether they are new to fishing or not. Our collections of Fishing Rod Outfits include Salmon Rod Outfits, Atlantic Outfits, Stillwater and Reservoir Fly Fishing Outfits and much more.  We include a Fly Rod, Fly Reel and Fly lines with our outfits as standard and sometimes include bags, nets and other accessories we feel would benefit our customers and help get them out on the water’s edge at an affordable cost.   Greys GR50 Stillwater and Reservoir Fly Fishing OutfitOne of our most popular Fishing Rod Outfit is the Greys GR50 Stillwater and Reservoir Fly Fishing Outfit currently priced at £204.99 - £209.99. These outfits are specifically designed for the UK’s Stillwaters and reservoirs and features:  
  • Greys GR50 4 Piece Fly Rod
  • Choice of Greys GX500 4/5/6 or 6/7/8 Fly Reel + 2 Spare Spools
  • John Norris Evo Twin Colour Floating Fly Line
  • John Norris Pro2 Clear Intermediate Fly Line
  • John Norris Pro2 Sink Tip Fly Line
  • Backing and Loops Fitted
  John Norris Atlantic OutfitsAnother of our best selling Fishing Rod Outfits is the John Norris Atlantic Outfits priced from £279.99 - £319.99. These outfits have been put together by the John Norris fishing team and have been created to cover every imaginable salmon fishing situation. This outfit includes:  
  • John Norris Atlantic Salmon Rod
  • Snowbee Stealth Reel Featuring Disc Drag
  • John Norris Atlantic Fly Lines to Cover all Salmon Fishing Conditions and Challenges
    Shakespeare Sigma Complete Brook and Stream Fly Fishing OutfitThe last Fishing Rod Outfit we would like to feature is our Shakespeare Sigma Complete Brook and Stream Fly Fishing Outfit currently on offer for £119.99 reduced from £237.89! These outfits have been designed to offer the fly fisher everything you need to get started or looking to try something new. Included in these outfits is:  
  • Shakespeare Sigma 4 Piece Fly Rod with Tube
  • Snowbee Classic Fly Reel
  • John Norris Evo Twin Coloured Floating Fly Line to Match
  • Shakespeare Glider Pocket Bag
  • Shakespeare Glider Scoop Net
  • Snowbee Easy-Vue Fly Box + 60 Flies
  • 10 x John Norris Pro2 Tapered Leaders
  • Loon Fly Floatant and Sinkant
  • John Norris Snips, Zinger and Forceps
  • Backing and Loops Fitted

Halstead & Bolton

Our 2014 Spring Salmon Course was, as ever, a huge amount of fun even though we arrived to find the Eden at its lowest level in months! With Jim now engaged as a member of the Guideline Pro Team, we had a great array of rods and lines to play with – and we didn't waste any time getting started.

Spring Salmon Course

We began the first morning working on Spey casting. Our six participants split into three slightly more experienced salmon fishers and three complete novices with the double hander. Jim provided the more experienced trio of Hugh Dalgety, Godfrey Holden and Iain Roxborough with a detailed explanation of shooting head systems and they were soon throwing lines across the upper pools of the Warwick Hall beats. I started with the newbies – Peter Alpin, Bill Fazackerley and Alex Ward – working on the Circle Spey cast. It wasn’t long before all three were making rapid progress and making some nice, efficient Spey casts.

Warwick Hall

After such a good start, we refreshed ourselves with lunch in the Warwick Hall dining room (still in waders thanks to the very understanding proprietor Val Marriner). In the afternoon, Peter, Bill and Alex attacked the lower beat, switching to the Double Spey cast. The others continued on the upper beat at Warwick Hall where the odd spring fish was showing. Godfrey had a lovely spring fish follow his Monkey fly right to the bank but it turned away at the last moment. Dinner at Warwick Hall is always an event and, with a few aching muscles, we stayed up perhaps a little later than we should swapping fishing stories in the drawing room. On the second morning, Jim started with a detailed presentation on tactical salmon fishing – this is essential knowledge for modern salmon fishing and few people are better at it than Jim! He talked through the ranges of modern tackle, including the pros and cons of shooting head systems, and then moved on to angles of cast, speed of fishing the fly, unconventional tactics, line management, fly choice and reading the water. Jim gave us the benefit of years of experience distilled down into an information-packed session. Then I moved on to a Skagit casting demonstration to cover the full range of modern tackle choices and a Snake Roll demonstration – in which everyone was keen to join in and was surprised at how quickly they could get this effortless-looking cast to work. Jim finished off the morning with a switch rod session – and again everyone was amazed at how sweetly these small double-hand rods cast. I’m sure there were a few converts! With the sun shining, lunch was taken on the spectacular Warwick Hall terrace overlooking the river. We could have lingered for a long time, but there were new skills and new casts to put into practice. Hugh, Iain and Godfrey worked carefully through Crow Wood and the Coops Stream on the lower Warwick Hall beat – all casting beautifully but to no avail with few fish about.

Alex Ward's First Spring Salmon

It was a different story on the top beat, though, where Alex Ward locked into a powerful spring fish (just where we had been demonstrating in the morning session!) and eventually landed a sparkling springer of around 12lbs – his first salmon. Alex works in the John Norris store in Penrith so we’re pretty sure that tale will be told a few times on the shop floor! Thanks to Val Marriner at Warwick Hall for her lovely hospitality and tolerance of waders and Guideline for the supplies of all the latest kit.   If you’d like to join us next year for the H&B/Guideline spring salmon course at Warwick Hall, get in touch. Dates are 22 and 23 April 2015.  Email - fish@halsteadandbolton.com Phone - 07973 291367   - Bob Sherwood
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