Buzzers on a 4wt

Buzzers on a 4wt

Paul Arden | Monday, 20 April 2015

It's been fun to fish the UK reservoirs again. I do like this sort of fishing; I grew up fly fishing the reservoirs and I have to say they have changed, and for the better. Catch and Release has IMO much improved the fishing. One needs now to fish imitatively and of course the Stillwater scene is different and we are much better anglers in general. Something I have realised and started to take note of, is the benefit of fishing lighter tackle... back in the old days I was fishing "light" with a 7-weight, and then a 6-weight, and later a 5-weight... now however I am a believer in fishing the 4-wt.

The sensitivity that a 4-wt rod and line gives if quite astounding. While the mass difference is only 25% less with the four weight line compared to a six, either it or the line diameter is enough to make a significant difference in both detecting takes as well as giving - what I feel anyway - is a longer time to set the hook. With regards to fighting the fish there is no difference, because in the case of stillwater trout we are not trying to pull them backwards, only make them fight against themselves.

Last week at Rutland, while fishing with Peter, I purposely fished the 6wt HT, and caught less fish as a result. I did this for the purposes of research. Of course casting three flies out, in often windy conditions, with a 4wt set-up is going to take better casting skills, and even then you are going to sacrifice distance, but I am now totally convinced that this is the way to go. Were I to spend the rest of the season here, I would invest in a full set of 4wt lines for Stillwater fishing (Floater, Intermediate, WetCel 2 and HiD)... but I don't plan on doing this and would rather get back to the jungle Tongue Out 

Of course there are 4wt rods and 4wt rods! I remember the old Redington FSF9042 when I was pitching them, which was a blinder of a rod, and IMO one of their best. The DFR904 was actually better (the original). What you don't want is something soft in the butt! 


Busy times coming up. My crazy girlfriend from Malaysia is due to fly in next Sunday. Soon after we'll be heading north to the Scottish Meet and then immediately afterwards we're planning a hiking flyfishing camping trip around the Highlands, which I haven't done in a very long time! I'm really looking forward to the Scottish Meet. This has always been one of the highlights of my year and this one will be no exception.  

Then I have some free time - Lars is due over for a stint of Reservoir bashing - which will bring me to the middle of May and then a trip out to my pad in Hungary. I have a few things to do there, before fishing with Ti and the Gov in Bosnia, a Croatian Meet, and then... well... I'm almost certainly going back to the jungle. My fly boxes will be full, my casting on fire, I'll have geared up with new fishing tackle and boat gear and it will be time for another adventure. 

You know, when I grew up reservoir fly fishing it was a time of learning. So much to learn, we didn't fish dries, gink was new, graphite had just appeared - although my first rod was fibreglass, 95% or anglers stripped lures and the other 5% fished buzzers or hare's ears. It was a massive learning and growth time. It was studied and fished to death. And then I hit New Zealand, I fished that to death too; 18 summers of backcountry and lake fishing - there is nothing much left to learn there, only skills to be refined but to what extent? What's the point in spending ten years to become just a little bit better? So no, much better to go somewhere that hasn't been discovered, to become consistent at catching Snakehead, work out Gourami, really stick it to Jungle Perch and investigate the rivers for Mahseer. This is everything in my life right now, and I feel the urgency to spend a hell of a lot of my time doing this.


Yes I'm going to do it in Saltwater too at some point; to completely immerse myself in this fly fishing branch - I'm going to buy a sailing boat and sail the world for a decade or more. But now I have a more immediate purpose, a new purpose. The timing is perfect... and the fishing potential is absolutely amazing. Even a blind man can see this.

I lie awake at night thinking of Snakehead. I dream of Snakehead. I am completely obsessed with Snakehead and I love it Cool The only cure is to catch the shit out of them!

Anyway, I'll be fishing either Grafham or Hanningfield this week. If you want to learn to cast properly then drop me an email. I have some free time at the moment and it would be good to be busy!

Have a great week! 

Cheers, Paul