Yorkshireflyfishing Agony Aunt



A brand new addition to Yorkshire Fly Fishing! I’ve received many, many, many emails and comments over the years asking for my advice on a diverse range of subjects. I’ve always tried to answer them as best as possible using the skills, knowledge and experience I’ve built up over the years. Instead of keeping these private and confidential questions hidden away I’m going to share them so everyone can benefit from them

Dear Mr X

What’s the best knot for tying on a dropper to my main leader



Hi Gary

Your question affords me an excellent opportunity to demonstrate a new knot I’ve developed called the 15 and a quarter turn Keighley Rat-Strangler which is utterly shit and should never be used

Take your two pieces of nylon thusly

Form an overhand quaffle hitch and pull through into a 5 stop dundle- loop followed by a crapple snitch. Some would argue it’s not an easy knot to tie bankside so there’s a handy little “story” you can recount to help you remember the tying sequence. “The rabbit and the goose go once, twice, three times round the tree, then the rabbit hops over the road, the goose goes into a smoke free house, up a drainpipe, onto the roof, back down, the rabbit goes round the lampost 7 times then out along the washing line. Bring the fox onto its back then pull the chuntering fucking cow through the hedge backwards”

We now need a triple squib (the old version, not the modern one which takes a snug down on the wet pivot). Again, following the “story” we go “Round the toilet, round the toilet, round the toilet, round the toilet, round the toilet, round the toilet, I’ve shit myself, see how it goes up into the sky”

Now it’s simply a case of moistening the knot and pulling tight. Tie on your dropper and point fly, fool, and get fly fishing!

Dear Mr X

I am thinking of having a dabble in French nymphing. Have you tried it? If so how would you rate its effectiveness?



No I have not tried it you sickening pervert.

Dear Mr X 

My line lands in a heap when I’m casting and I’m not getting any real distance. Any tips?!

Mustapha Trowt


Hi. Imagine someone is quietly watching you casting from the side.Watching you, intensely, perhaps in a bush. That’s how I would do it. Think about the shape they would see your fly line making in the air. You should aim for the hands of a digital clock somewhere between 7:35 am and 12:03pm (BST)

Dear Mr X

Tenkara nymphing seems to be really taking off in this country. Would you recommend it as a technique on a chalk stream river with a population of hook shy wild brownies?

Terry Wat


After what they did to my great uncle on the Burma Railway? Not fucking likely mate.

Dear Mr X

What is your ‘go-to’ setup for the Wharfe?

Name withheld

10 foot rod and 3 x Size 8 Nomads stripped back fast and hard on a 4 foot fast sinking leader.

Dear Mr X

I tie my own flies, and have done for a number of years now. Recently I’ve begun to experiment with USD (Upside Down Flies) such as the USD Dun but I’m not sure if they are worth sticking with. What are the benefits of USD patterns and how should I be fishing them? 

Harold, Swindon


Dear Mr X

Having recently taken up fly fishing for trout in my spare time (mainly weekends and school holidays) I am struggling to understand the AFTM system. I have a 9 foot rod rated for a #5 but would that be a #5 DT or a #5 WF? Should I go up a weight when putting a WF through it? It all gets so confusing Mr X!

Many thanks

Jack, aged 9 from Hartlepool

Jack I have literally no idea what the fuck you are on about

Dear Mr X

This is a very embarrassing problem. My 18 year old sister keeps borrowing my PVC thigh waders without asking , I think she has some sort of sexual fetish for them because I found a load of mucky photos of her wearing them. How do I tackle this situation – should I confront her about this?

Dave, Ilkley

I’ve sent you an email, and left you several voicemail messages, please get back in touch ASAP

Dear Mr X

My wife has expressed an interest in taking up fishing, I’m not sure I’m happy about this but maybe I should just be grateful she’s taking an interest in my hobby and encourage her to come along?

Cedric, Essex

Do you disturb her whilst she’s in the kitchen? No, of course you fucking don’t. Nip this shit in the bud right now.

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