Bolton AbbeyFishing with Style

At Fishing With Style we aim to provide a unique service for those wishing to purchase quality gift ideas for their "Fly Fishermen" friends and relatives.  All products are quality merchandise and may well solve the problem of "What present to buy" for Christmas, birthdays, retirement, anniversary, Father's Day, special occasions or "Just for the sake of it" for the "Fly Fisherman" in  your life.

We are a husband and wife team, both keen fly-fishers, and our aim is to provide you with gift ideas that we ourselves would be delighted to receive.  Any one of our top quality gift will solve the age-old question of what to buy the man in your life for Christmas or any of the other special occasions listed above.

We will strive to give you a personal service, providing advice, information, technical details where needed and the comfort of knowing that you are buying from someone who knows how your "Fisherman" ticks!

North Country Spiders        Salmon Fishing Maps    Fullers Earth Powder

Fly Fishing Instruction      Malham Tarn Courses


Fishing with Style

Partners: Stephen Cheetham & Christine Cheetham

40 Aire Grove, Yeadon, LEEDS, West Yorkshire, LS19 7TY

Tel: 0113 2507244

Main web site:

Contact us for details of our unique gifts, fly casting instruction, Fuller's Earth and our range of more affordable smaller quality gift ideas at



North Country Wet Fly PatternsNorth Country Spiders

Commonly known as North Country Spiders or Soft Hackle Flies in the USA.

At Fishing with Style we aim to supply a full range of North Country Spiders (soft hackle flies) tied in the Yorkshire Dales using, wherever possible, the authentic materials as used by the innovators  of those most famous of fly patterns.  All the North Country Spiders are tied by and photographed by Stephen Cheetham.

Please note that North Country Spiders or Soft Hackle Flies are traditionally tied with a very sparse hackle and short in the body, we use Partridge Captain Hamilton YL3A hooks size 12 to 18.  Some of these spider patterns date back over 400 years, the Partridge and Orange can be traced back even further to the 1400's.

North Country Spider Patterns can be viewed and bought from - Click Here

These flies do not represent spiders! Hares lug and plover

It is a name given to a group of flies that have a very soft, mobile feather wound around the head. This is called the hackle and undulates in the current, suggesting the movements of water borne creatures. Spider patterns are intended to fish below the surface of the water. For this reason they are members of the “wet fly” family. The body of the fly is often made of one or two layers of coloured thread. A spider pattern is, therefore, frequently named simply by referring to the colour of the body and the bird that donated the feather.  So, some of the best known spider patterns are partridge and orange, partridge and yellow, snipe and purple and woodcock and green. Just for extra fun, some of the spider patterns are called “Bloas”. Bloa is an old northern word that describes a slate - blue colour. Bloa patterns usually have a dull grey hackle, often found on the wing of a coot, waterhen or starling.

Many of the spider-type flies were devised in the Yorkshire Dales, mainly for fishing rivers and are frequently referred to as “North Country” patterns. The examples that we feature this month were all mentioned in a list, written by an angler called Sylvester Lister. In 1873 Sylvester was a founder member of what is now called the Appletreewick, Barden and Burnsall Angling club. He is buried at Bolton Abbey.

Waterhen BloaWe have chosen three flies that will feature in many successful catches on our Dales rivers all year round. Lister recommended all three and we are not intending to argue. They are the partridge and orange, snipe and purple and the waterhen bloa. They are usually dressed on hook, sizes 14 and 16. The partridge and orange is sometimes dressed at size 12. There is a whole tradition around the method of fishing with these, and other similar flies. Anyone interested in learning more about these methods, should read “Fly Fishing, The North Country Tradition” by Leslie Magee.

We could spend, and perhaps waste, an awful lot of time discussing what the flies represent. Some say that the partridge and orange is taken for an adult stone fly or the aquatic nymph of this and other species such as the up-wings. Others assert that the orange colour mimics a developing midge pupa. Snipe and purple is frequently reported to imitate the nymph or adult of a fly called the iron blue. Sadly, the iron blue is in serious decline; we rarely see it on our northern streams today. The snipe and purple, however continues to catch fish wherever it is employed. When the waterhen bloa is awash in the surface film, its straggly body and soft hackle writhe gently. It’s colour, size and behaviour suggest a member of the olive family struggling to hatch or indeed drowning in the process. It still takes fish when not a single fly is to be seen on the water.

After many years of careful research, scientific experimentation and empirical research we can however reveal the truth. Trout and grayling mistake these artificial flies for – FOOD.

The year 2007 saw the 150th anniversary of a well loved publication The Practical Angler by Mr. W. C. Stewart. During 1857 alone there were at least two reprints with the last full reprint complete with colour plates in 1958 - such was the popularity of his work.

Stewarts SpiderW.C. Stewart, described as a “dour” Scot, held firm opinions on fly fishing and in particular the spider patterns and the methods of fishing them. He was a great advocate of the upstream method and seemed to be constantly in contention with other authors south of the border, to the point of being verbally aggressive at times, such was his belief.  He would also argue vehemently regarding the best colours for flies. Like Henry Ford, Stewart’s favourite colour appears to have been black, his argument being that, in water, a fly between the fish and the light above is in silhouette, therefore colours are indistinctive, his opinion being that the movement of the hackle (legs) of the fly is the attraction, and this seems to make a lot of sense! Stewart also fiercely maintains that the fly dresser could never truly imitate nature and that Man’s interpretation of what a fly should look like can never ever be truly attained and I quote “Those anglers  who think trout will take no fly unless it is an exact imitation of some one of the immense number of flies they are feeding on, must suppose that they know to a shade the colour of every fly on the water, and can detect the least deviation from it – an amount of entomological knowledge that would put to shame the angler himself and a good many naturalists to boot”. 

Although Stewart mentions his three “killing spiders” in chapter V, it is the black spider tied “Stewart style” that, even today, is one of the most loved flies by many. A fellow angler, James Baillie, introduced Mr Stewart to this pattern in the early 1850’s and it became his trusted favourite to the point where he says “We were first shown it by James Baillie, and have never been without it on our line ever since”.  

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Salmon Fishing - River Maps of Scotland - For more details Click Here

Salmon Fishing Maps

The largest salmon rivers of Scotland; the Dee, Don, Ness Spey, Tay, Findhorn and Tweed are probably the best known salmon rivers in the world. They have wonderful variety, are a great pleasure to fish, and there is still the chance to make some great catches. These maps, show the pools from the side they fish best, and also the division of the beat boundaries.  They are updated versions of his original maps of the rivers showing not only pool names and beat boundaries, but also details of monster fish caught in the past and also many other interesting facts about the various rivers plus anecdotes on 'fishy' tales and how pools acquired their unusual names. All are printed on a top quality white paper and come rolled in a tube or we can arrange for a custom-made frame to be supplied.

The four Kyle of Sutherland salmon rivers; Oykel, Shin, Cassley and Carron, have a worldwide reputation far in excess of their size. They are all a delight to fish surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland. The maps show pools (marked where possible from the side they fish best) and the division of the beats. All are printed on a top quality white paper and come rolled in a tube.

For more details Click Here

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Fullers Earth PowderFullers Earth Powder   -  Buy it Here

"Keeping up with tradition" The Traditional Fly Fishing Leader Sinkant

Fishing with Style are pleased to offer the traditional fly fisherman the opportunity to purchase Fullers Earth powder in sealed 100gm containers and also in 1 kilo bulk packs.

Keeping up with tradition (and in view of the steady demise of the supply of Fullers Earth Powder in local chemist shops which has been commented upon in many fishing journals of late) Fishing With Style are pleased to step into the breach and offer the traditional leader sinkant, in powder form ready to be mixed, to the fly fishing fraternity.

 More and more traditional fly fishermen are realising the cost saving in mixing their own sinkant.  If mixed correctly Fullers Earth provides one of the best natural methods of creating an effective and durable sinkant and one small tub can last all season.


Apart from the use listed above there is a growing demand world wide and we have supplied Fullers Earth as an automotive brake degreasing agent, in the horse racing fraternity for horse leg injuries, for face masks, face packs, general degreasing, removing grease/oil from clothes and carpets, nappy rash and in theatrical use (dust for spooky films).  We have also supplied our Fullers Earth for removing (or should we say drawing) oil/grease/fat spills out of furniture and also from wooden and stone floors.  

Fullers Earth Mines in Kent

Fullers Earth is a stiff clay with a waxy appearance and it can be either blue, grey or yellow in colour. Like most clays, it is mostly made up of silicon and aluminium but it has traces of many other minerals. Its most useful property is that it is an efficient absorber in powder form. It gets the name from 'Fulling', which is the process of removing grease from woollen cloth. Kent used to be an important wool producer in the 17th century and Fullers Earth was required in great quantities by the Fulling Mills which processed the cloth. It was so valuable once that a law was passed banning its export and a London merchant was heavily fined in 1630 for sending some to Holland. It is now used in face care cosmetics, cat litter and to absorb agents used in Chemical Warfare.


The Kent industry was centred on Maidstone with deposits occurring in an area 9 miles long and 3 miles wide, from West Mailing to Leeds (Kent). There were once 13 Fulling Mills on the River Loose alone but by 1776 this had been reduced to only 1. The sites of these mills can be traced with a little research and one on the River Len has given its name to Fulling Mill Farm near Leeds. In this area, the Fullers Earth was found in beds up to 7ft thick but it was at a depth of 30ft, being underneath other strata. This made opencast quarrying uneconomical because a vast amount of material would have to be removed first and a large area would be required for the spoil tips. The method employed was to sink wide shafts down to the deposits which, after the Fullers Earth had been extracted, were abandoned. It is not known if horizontal workings led off from the shaft since the roof would require strong support and it was easier to sink another shaft. Underground mining for Fullers Earth did take place in Surrey, however, and it is possible that this was the local practice as well. The whole area would have been pitted with abandoned shafts and a report in 1790 (when the mining had almost died out) stated ‘ . . . there is a pit in work near Maidstone where a large space of ground has been worked over'. There was a brief period of reworking this century near Leeds and Grove Green but these were opencast sites.


In view of the age of the workings, present day remains are scant and consist only of hummocky ground where the shafts have been infilled and planted with trees. Near Barming, such areas occur at Oaken Wood and Fullingpits Wood. Near Grove Green, they can be found at Lower Fullingpits Wood and there were also others at Upper Fullingpits Wood until it was recently built upon. There are probably many more yet to be found. Grove Green was a much-worked area and the actual word 'Grove' was an old term for a mine. Much of the area is being built upon and sites are becoming obscured.

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 Stephen Cheetham - Fly Fishing Instruction

Stephen Cheetham is a qualified GAIA instructor and one of the first game instructors in Yorkshire to gain a Level 2 certificate in Coaching Angling awarded by Sport England through the Angling Development Board and a member of the following bodies:

Salmon & Trout Association (Chairman of the West Yorkshire Branch)

Fly Dressers Guild (Fly Tying Instructor at Otley Prince Henrys)

A GAIC COACH  has a coaching qualification approved by the Angling Governing Bodies.

A GAIC Licensed Coach will also:

Licensed coaches have demonstrated both their practical skills and their teaching abilities to the highest level required to achieve their qualification. In addition they have received professional development which has enhanced their abilities to work with children, to assess risks and to deal with safety issues. They also hold appropriate insurance cover.

Individual fly fishing instruction courses are for a minimum of 2 hours up to full day on stillwater or river all over West & North Yorkshire.

Stephen's fly casting lessons consist of:

The Overhead cast,

The Roll cast
The Single and Double Haul cast.

The mechanics of each cast, safety procedures, grip and stance, wrist, arm and body movements, rod arc and power application will be explained to the student. When the basic casting methods have been mastered, the line retrieve, flies and other tactics to enable the student to catch his or her first trout will be explained in easy to understand terms.

Most students in the fine art of fly fishing can be categorised into three main groups, novices who have never fly fished at all before, improvers are those who wish enhance their capabilities and the final category are those who are quite proficient but need to advance to specific casting techniques. 

Novice: This first level of fly fishing instruction covers safety, tackle and lines etc. the basic overhead cast, the roll cast, playing and landing the fish.

Improver: After the novice level, instruction is given in making allowances for weather conditions, increasing casting distance using false casting, the single haul technique, and  wading practises.

Proficient: This level of fly fishing instruction covers the double haul for long distance casting, changing casting direction, side casting and accuracy techniques.

Fly fishing lessons can be arranged by the hour (minimum 2 hours) or by the day at a suitable fishery local to the pupil. In partnership with the Salmon & Trout Association Stephen also organises group coaching for children, ladies, gentlemen and beginners or improvers of all ages.

Stillwater and River Tuition Fees

Including all tackle, rods, lines, flies etc.

One Day (Approx 8 hours) £165.00 – additional students £30.00 each

Half Day (Approx 4 hours) £85.00 – additional students £20.00 each

Local Evening Fishing at Billing Dam (Approx 2 hours) £45.00 – additional students £15.00 each

All prices quoted exclude day tickets for the relevant water

More Details Here

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Weekend Course - 18th May to 21st May 2012


Full Week: 10th - 17th August 2012

Malham Tarn Residential Fly Fishing Instruction - Yorkshire - More details here

Malham Tarn holds a stock of genuinely wild brown trout, and this course gives you the opportunity to enjoy the experience of fly fishing for them and at the same time learn some of the techniques involved and something of the life of the trout in the Tarn and in the surrounding waters. In general terms, the course is aimed at newcomers to fly fishing who wish to try the sport and other anglers who wish to extend their skills and knowledge. It will give you a broad view of the whole fishing scene so that you may pursue any facet later - however, there is no guarantee that you will catch any trout. It is hoped that the course will enable you to fish more successfully, but above all to offer you the chance to pursue a satisfying sport amidst a unique environment and provide you with an enjoyable relaxing yet instructive holiday. The days will largely be spent fishing with a high degree of individual instruction and help for those new to fly fishing who need to acquire the basic skill and techniques.

East Boathouse Malham Tarn

Visitors to the Malham Tarn Centre can expect to find a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and although not luxurious, the accommodation is warm and comfortable, situated in Tarn House itself and the converted stable blocks. There are four well equipped study rooms, drying rooms, libraries, a bar, TV lounge and facilities for making drinks at all times. In addition to a cooked breakfast and wholesome evening meal, fillings are provided for you to make a picnic lunch to enjoy wherever your course may take you. Contact Elizabeth on 01729 830331 for details of all courses.

Couples are most welcome, even if only one is on the course, for your partner there are some superb country walks in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales or perhaps the other partner may wish to join one of the other courses being run at the same time as the fly fishing course.

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