Adventurer Ali

Adventure, Shooting, Fishing and Bushcraft

Chasing Rainbows at Dale Pitt Lakes


I woke up to a typical early Feb morning with frost on the ground and ice on the windscreens of the cars. This was not going to deter me from my planned trip to the local trout lake to try and catch a few of the stunning trout they have.

I spent to morning sorting some bits and pieces, hoping the temp would rise a bit. After a quick spot of lunch, I decided to head to the lake to see what I could catch.

On arrival at Dale Pitt Lakes, I had a chat with the guys that work down there and found that it had recently been stocked and was fishing fairly well on lures. I decided to set up on my new #5 with the OPST Command Head fly line, 6lb straight leader down to a simple wooly bugger pattern.

I headed down to the lake and gradually started making my way around casting in various areas trying to locate the fish. I had several follows but nothing wanted to commit. After a few changes of flies, I decided to tie on a crystal wooly bugger. Making way to an area of the lake I could see fish cruising and topping I made a couple of casts locked into a solid tug from a recently stocked rainbow. A short fight followed and the stockie gave a good scrap on the #5 rod. I slipped the net under and brought it to the bank.


I continued to make my way around to several locations but as the sun lowered in the sky the temperatures started to drop and it was soon time to be packing up and heading home. I had a great afternoon at the Lakes and will definitely be heading there again soon. Maybe when the weather warms up a little. You can see the video of this trip here: Chasing Rainbows


I Broke My Rod!!


The day started the same as many of my fishing trips start, with a trip to the drive through coffee shop. With coffee in hand I headed off to a new stretch of the River Don that I had been told by the local tackle shop holds a lot of chub, perch, barbel and even carp along with silver fish.

My aim for this year is to catch as many new species of coarse fish on the fly rod as I can. The only course fish to date that I have specifically targeted is pike.

The aim of this trip was to try and mainly target perch and chub. I went equipped with my 9′ #5 rod and new OPST command head line. To the end of this I had attached a 8′ intermediate leader down to 6′ of 10lb fluorocarbon. The fly I chose to start was a fairly large woolly bugger.

I made my way up and down the river bank casting in all the likely “fishy” spots. I was finding that due to the OPST line being a shooting head style line it was allowing me to fish in some extremely tight locations where I would not be able to cast with a standard fly line.

I tried various flies and retrieve techniques with no success. Im not sure if this was due to weather, river conditions or my choice of flies.

I eventually found myself in a very tight spot trying to cast out fairly far to the other bank. I zig zagged the line onto the surface of the water to create an anchor for the cast. I then lifted the rod tip and hammered it forward to punch the line out across the river. Unfortunately perhaps due to poor technique or try to cast to much line I managed to snap my rod in half.

This brought an end to the day and a first blank of the year. I think the stretch I was fishing has great potential and will definitely be back there soon.

The quest for coarse fish on the fly continues…

New Years Eve Nymphing


Its has been a while since my last trip to the river, Way to long in fact!! So I decided that on the last day of 2016 I would get out and travel to the river in the hope of catch a few grayling.

So I woke up early (as we all do before a trip to the river) packed the van up and head to a spot I have fished a few times before. My plan was to head slightly further down stream than I had been before and work my way up between the 2 weir pools. The weather wasn’t too bad but there was an occasional gusts of wind that could make bite detection difficult at times.

I head off down stream armed with me 10′ #4 nymphing rod with a french leader set-up. My chosen flies to start were a heavily weighted green bug with pink tag on point and a pink shrimp on a dropper around 18” up the line.

I gradually made my way up to the first weir pool with little luck along the way asides from a few plucks and tweaks.

I stopped of for a seat on the wall at the side of the pool for a spot of coffee and a re-think of tactics. After fuelling up and swapping my point fly for a slightly less weighty scruffy hares ear I head to the up stream side of the weir pool to begin my assault on the slower deeper pools that this stretch of the river had to offer.

After only a few cast I was in to my first fish of the day, not the target species but a beautiful brown trout. I quickly unhooked him and set him on his way and got back to the task of locating a school of grayling.

A little further up stream I finally struck on to my first grayling of the day. It was by no means a monster but the target species none the less. Unfortunately due to losing my net down stream I lost the fish as I reached to gather it from the water. Never the less I had located my first grayling and was soon into another.

I continued to work my way up the river with slow but steady success along the way. The light soon began to fade though and it brought to the end a very enjoyable trip and a success 2016.

I hope everyone had a great new year and here to tight lines and great adventures in 2017!!

First Trout of 2016


Out after my first trout of the new season. I wake up to a miserable morning with rain lashing down on the bedroom window. Nothing was going to put me off though.

I arrive to the river and luckily the rain has not affected to water too much. I decide to fish a new stretch of the river I have never fished before. After a short walk I make my way down into the water. My first flies to be used, a hares ear on point and red tag on a dropper 2 feet up the line.

After just 2 cast I land my first brownie of the season. Not massive but very welcome.

I gradually make my way up the river casting in various different location to try and temp out a bigger specimen. I was greeted by a few unexpected grayling and then after loosing several decent sized brown trout, I finally land a new personal best.

All in all an amazing day and a great start to my first years full trout season. I hope to get out again.


After Work Trip To The River



As I drove home from work, the sun was out and there were few clouds in the sky. The evenings are gradually getting longer and I thought to myself, I’m going to try and get an hour or so on the River when I get home.

I arrived home and quickly got my stuff sorted and head off walking down to the river. It was turning into a lovely evening as the orange sun shined down onto the water. I began to cast my fly out and make my way down the river as I go.

Moving long I saw an area that looked promising. A deeper looking section of the river with some structure. I cast the fly out and began to retrieve. As the fly came closer to me I saw there was a pike following. I gave the fly 2 short sharp tugs and the pike couldn’t resist. BANG!! I’m in. The fight was great as the fish ran both up and down the river trying to shake the fly. Eventually coming to the net a stunning fish around 4lb.

I continued on down the river for a short while longer and was rewarded with a very small but equally welcome jack pike.

Ending the evening as the sun set it had been a great short trip and I will be out again very soon after work for another session of pike on the fly.

Pike Hunter


After the success of my last Pike on the Fly trip I decided to take a little stroll down to the River Torne. A new River I have never fished before but I thought it must hold at least a few pike.

As I sat on the River bank in the beautiful morning sun, setting up my trusty #7 rod and floating line with a tapered leader, wire trace and the trusty green and black zonker bunny, A gentlemen walk passed me and made the comment of “you wont find and trout or salmon in here mate”. To which I replied “Im actually after the pike”, the gentlemen laugh to himself and said “on a fly rod, you must be mad…”

I turned back to the River and chose my first spot to start casting. There seemed to be a deep pool just before the River ran over the weir and down under the bridge. I thought there must be pike hiding in there. I cast out the zonker bunny and slowly started to twitch and strip it back through the deep pool… Nothing. Not to be beat by the pool I decided to cast back out and try again. Out went the fly and again I tweaked and stripped it back, but again nothing. I lifted the rod for one last cast and all of a sudden something flashed from the bank under my feet and hit the fly. The fight was short but the small jack gave up a great scrap for such a small fish. A quick pic and I realised it back to the deep dark pool.

I carried on travelling up the River casting to any potential “Pikey” looking spot, with little luck other than a couple of follows. The River Torne has a very unique setting for a River so close to a city. With views of the local wildlife park as I make my way up the River, I was able to fish whilst watching the Camels and Tigers. I was often frequented with the roar of the Lions and Tigers as I fished my way up River.

I found one last spot I decided to try before calling the trip a day and heading home for lunch. I had chosen an area with reeds on the far bank and a small over hanging tree on the near bank. I cast the zonker into a small gap in the reeds and stripped the fly back fairly quickly this time. All of a sudden the line locked up and I was in. I could tell this was a better fish, as the rod bent round and my line went kiting off up stream. After a couple of explosive runs I netted the fish which turned out to be around 55cm. Not a monster but another beautiful pike. I took a quick snap and realised it back under the overhanging tree.
As I walked back down the River in the mid day spring sun with the roaring of the Lions and views of Camels and Tigers, I thought to myself this has been another amazing experience of pike on the fly.

I will be sure to return to the very unique and beautiful River.



Pike on the Fly


After leaving work early on Friday I decided to go and try out the pike flies I have tied for the first time, so I headed down to the local River Witham. I have fished here several times before with a spinning rod and lure but with little success. I knew there were pike about though so decided to try my luck on the fly. On only my second cast a small 20cm jack came out of no where to snaffle my 10cm green and black stripped zonker bunny. I was so excited! Being so small it didnt put up much of a fight, so I netted and unhooked it, took a quick pic and then returned it to the water as fast as possible. It was now safe to say I was “hooked” on pike on the fly.

I carried on down the river casting to various places I thought might hold more pike. I came to a point with an overhanging tree on the far bank and a small bush overhanging on the near bank. I cast the same zonker bunny over to the far tree and gave it a couple of sharp pulls… nothing. As I continued to retrieve the fly across the middle of the river I saw a shadow behind the fly. I paused the fly for just a moment and then gave two sharp jerks.. Fish on!! But this was not like the last one. Line shot out through my fingers and I could tell this fish was much, much larger. After a strong 5 minute battle the fish came to the surface, I realised at this point I should of bought a bigger net! I slid the fish towards the net and as it thrashed its teeth torn a hole clean through my net. I slid the netted monster up the bank onto the wet grass above. After taking a quick picture and unhooking the fish I returned it to the river, where with one powerful swish of its tail it vanished back from where it came. I estimated the fish to be just over a metre long and around 16lb in weight.

I decided to call it a day after all that excitement as it started to get dark. My first pike on a fly trip had been a true experience and not something I will forget. I will be out again very soon chasing pike on the fly!

2015-02-20 19.43.48.jpg

Blog at

Up ↑