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With a chilling North wind reminding us that summer is still not quite with us I ventured South and decided to view what fly life may be around on the Southern chalk streams. With intermittent showers it certainly wasn’t a day to be out trout fishing. 

The recent rainfall had increased the depth of water on the Hampshire Cress beds, green shoots on the Hawthorn were illuminated by the late afternoon sun and rain drops glistened like diamonds on the damp branches.

With the official start to the river trout fishing season underway few if anybody were out unfurling dry lines – the rivers ran fast and silent, not a click of a reel to be heard. I thought I would call into a small tackle shop near Swathing on the outskirts of Southampton. My reason for visiting was firstly to find a pack of braided leader loops and secondly to have a browse as usually I have young Tales in tow which makes for a speedy visit as he keen to be on the water than in a shop.

Having recently acquired an Intrepid Gear Fly reel, which came with line attached I realised I had no loops left to attach any leaders too. I’m not a great fan of needle knots so prefer to use the more modern braided leader loops. The only leader loops in the cabinet in the shop seemed to be too large, however a pack of ‘No Knot eyelets’ were found, made in the U.S.A by Skipper Enterprises. These fine wire No-Knot pins have barbs on them and are just inserted into the end of the fly line, you then just thread your leader material through the eyelet of the pin, hopefully the pin sets firm in the core of the line. I guess the most important thing is that these hold fast when playing a fish-well the proof will be when out on the river so look out for an update.