Free-rising Snakehead

Free-rising Snakehead

Paul Arden | Tuesday, 17 August 2021

We are just coming into that prolonged Snakehead free-rising time of year. For me this is not only maybe the best flyfishing on the lake but it’s actually quite possibly the best fly fishing there is! If you were to, say accidentally, swallow a bunch of magic mushrooms and invent a style of flyfishing that was off the planet, then you might come close… but I seriously doubt it!

Talk about making the shot! Imaginary tropical SW flyfishing is also about shot-taking. But this? It’s in a league all of its own! “Now you see me, now you don’t”.

I’m not quite shot-taking to the best of my ability yet – too many Covid lockdowns! But I’m working on it and it’s coming back. It’s about being able to do it with absolute certainly. Picking off free-risers is a game all unto its own.

With adult Snakehead and babies we are looking at a slightly different technique and size of fish. Snakehead become adults (sexually mature) at around 2KG.  Smaller than this they don’t count! But caught off babies 2-3KG is a small adult. When chasing babies we are really looking for 4 to 5KG+ adults. Anything over 5KG is serious… but there is another bigger size at 6KG and up, to maybe as much as 10KG. 

With Freerisers 2KG is a “fish” but 3KG starts to get you on the map. A 5 or more KG free-riser is a VERY serious fish indeed – for me, this is a far more significant catch than the equivalent fish off babies. This is the ultimate Snakehead game... in the stumps, in their element… no babies. It’s nice that there are these two totally different scenarios in which you can visually catch them.

I hope to show you more of this fly fishing over the next months and maybe inspire you to try the same sometime. It gives unbelievable moments.

This week Ashly and I head down the lake to one of my favourite places. Ashly has been studying hard and just has finished a law paper exam as part of her MBA. That was stressful!!! However now she has a month off. That means, finally, we can do our thing together again.

Personally I’m very excited about this. It’s very nice to see her!! We will be shooting a bunch of video. But it’s also about us enjoying our time together, her learning to drive the boats confidently and – fingers crossed – she can put some good Freeriser shots in too!

Top priority is to stick some Snakeheads. There are two sides to every boat. And I suspect my side is going to nail them this week. I’ll have to think about how to position the camera. Currently it’s completely in her way!!

Last but certainly not least, one of our UK HT Owners is reluctantly selling his HT10. Never used! It has a maniform grip. £580 or thereabouts. If you are interested drop me an email on and I’ll put you in touch.

Have an awesome week!

Cheers, Paul