Sunday, 28 April 2013

Last cast syndrome..

I'd been looking forward to today all week as i had planned to fish a big river for trout and knew from fishing these spots the last few years that there was a good chance of a big trout. I was looking forward to it because the river levels were so low and I'd not fished these spots in decent conditions before so expected to do well.

I wanted to fish streamers on the fly rod but took an ultralight rod too to cover all bases. I met up with a fishing buddy, Paul. We fished the known spots with not a sign of any fish at all, things were very slow. Eventually Paul had abit of interest when a fish swiped at his lure a couple of times. It wasn't until we moved up river that i had my first encounter, I was on the lures now because of the high bank behind me and no room for casting the fly rod. I was retrieving a crank through some faster water when i saw a decent trout come charging in and it took the lure, a brief tussle in the fast water then it jumped and as doing so it spat the hooks! I wondered if my momentum was going to end today and after fishing on for another hour or so it was looking that way.

Paul had to leave soon so i thought I'd pop up river to a spot I'd tried before and had a few trout from. Again nothing at all was showing, it was if the fish had not distributed themselves throughout the river yet, probably lying low in deeper water. i did give a few deep spots a go but again nothing showing. It was nearly time to set off home when i saw a few splashy rises in the distance, I thought I had a shot if i knew there was fish there so headed off to that area to give it a go. I reached the rising fish and soon realised that the fish were going to be off a decent size as the rises were being made by something of a decent size. I cast over the rising area and retrieved the lure back through the area, as soon as it past through the rod hooped round and the reel was screaming away. I knew it was a good trout and this one had more room to run than some of the trout id been catching recently on smaller rivers. trout really are powerful fish not only in speed but they have quite good stamina too, care just needs to be taken when returning them because they fight so hard. After a few heart stopping moments when i thought the hooks had pulled i got the fish in the net. It was a stocky fish and had been feeding well. A quick snap and I was putting it back and reviving it to make sure it was ok before releasing it. I thought I might get another as there was obviously a few there but they must have spooked while playing the other fish.

A few hours after I wrote this post, i got a text from Paul to say he had been back this evening and had the fish below! Much better looking than mine! Thought i'd add it to my post.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Building Momentum

I managed to get out yesterday on a local canal that has been coloured for months now, its only just showing signs of coming back to life. I've only just recently started fishing abit more regulary and I feel I'm starting to build momentum now as the fishing slowly improves. I wouldn't say i was quite 'on a roll' but Ive enjoyed some good fishing, and a few nice fish over the last few weeks and the blanks seem like a distant memory. The fishing won't be on top form until we get some consistently warm weather but it is warming up and venues are showing signs of life.

On the canal I thought I'd go for my ultralight baitcaster outfit and just treated the few hours fishing as a bit of fun. I didn't go out expecting much, just a fish or two to keep things rolling along would do nicely.
After about half an hour I had my first take, but like a wally i missed it out of not concentrating! never mind i thought, at least there was a chance of a fish in the coloured water. Not long after missing that take and i had another, this time i was ready and struck into it, I could see the spinner bait blade flashing as the small pike shot from side to side. It was great to see a pike, feels like a while since Ive targeted them.

I carried on walking slowly and casting as i went, basically just searching the water, I felt my spinnerbait wasn't fishing in the right depth as it would either catch bottom if i slowed it down, or it would be too high in the water if i fished it slow. A quick change to one of my ultralight lures with a rattle inside and another fish was on, again a small pike. The action started to hot up a little and i was soon on a tally of 5 micro pike, great fun!

On the lure building front, I'm building another set of the bean type lures at the minute and have just finished a batch of small cranks. I tried out variations of the tiger pattern technique, one ended up looking like flames, very effective. I also tried to do something more natural by layering more natural colours, this turned out ok too.


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

I love it when a plan comes together!

I was back fishing a small stream today with a mate of mine, Neil. The last time I was at the stream I was wading and I spooked a few big fish, It was difficult to fish the overgrown stream and get close enough to the fish without spooking them. The thought crossed my mind of trying for them with the Ultralight spinning rod, that way i could cast way beyond where i was wading and the water bulge would not spook the fish either. I'd much prefer to catch trout on the fly, but i was interested in a big one this time round and i couldn't ignore the most likely form of success.

I did start with the fly rod but with the wind making it difficult to cast in a jungle stream that is all ready challenging enough, I popped back and got the ultralight rod and box of tiny bean lures out the car.
Neil, doesn't yet have waders so although I had mine on, I opted to stay on the bank with him, so we walked and fished where we could get access. Not too long after fishing with a bean i got a hit and saw the fish turn, a quick re-cast and the trout took again, an enjoyable fight followed with lots of jumping. Not one of the big un's I've seen but a decent sized fish all the same.

We carried on fishing and dropped a couple of small fish off before things started to go quiet. That quiet spell was broken with a fish that I'll remember for some time. I was fishing a small narrow but deep pool when a trout of about a pound came flying up and snapped at my bean, it didn't connect so i cast back out again but this time further down the pool. I'd just started to retrieve when something hit hard, the fish then started to motor and my reel was making the best sound known to man! Again lots of jumps but with a fish of this size it was even more spectacular. Finally in the net, i peered in to see a big trout, big for my standards anyway and certainly a fish to fulfil my ambition of catching a big wild brown trout. Preferably I would like one on a fly rod, but I'm not turning my nose up! One thing kind of preys on my mind though, is it a brown trout, or could it in fact be a sea trout?

I did some research on the Internet to try and find out which one it could be, the fact that it had a couple of red spots, slight red edge to the adipose and olive fins does in fact suggest its a brown trout, but it looks so much like a sea trout colouration? Although the smaller fish I have caught all have this same colouration so I'm not really sure at all. To be honest I'm just chuffed to bits what ever it is and it doesn't really matter either way as if sea trout, it was once a brown trout too. fascinating that you can catch such decent fish from tiny bits of water!

I'd done a batch of my bean lures just recently and it was these that the trout really wanted.


Saturday, 20 April 2013

Just what i needed..

Things are still pretty slow at getting going but you have to keep going out and sussing what the conditions are like. I've not fished much recently so was looking forward to getting out and yesterday i had a short session for perch on the kopyto's. Nothing was showing at all, things were still dead on the perch front, but just when i needed a spot of luck i managed to tempt just the one fish and it turned out to be a cracking fish. I didn't end up weighing the fish as it was very thin and looked like it had just spawned, it had a big frame and was one of the longest perch I have caught but just presumed it to be a spawned out 3lber. Then as time went on i wondered what it might have weighed when fully solid! I was happy with that result despite not catching anything else.

Today was a last minute decision as i supposed to be going out with the family but my mother phoned to say she would go out with the Mrs and i might as well go fishing. I wasn't going to argue so thought id use the time to go explore more of the little stream i had found a few weeks ago.
Its one of my favourite forms of fishing, small light fly rod and a jungle to fish in, i also like fishing very small waters like the little overgrown stream i was fishing.
I wasn't wading long before i spotted a few fish spook, i looked ahead in the slightly cloudy water and thought i saw a fishes tail moving, i took another step forward and it was a fish, a bloody huge trout as well! Probably in the 3-4lb bracket, i wondered if it was a sea trout as it was slightly bluish on the back and looked very light coloured, although trout do differ from venue to venue and the few fish i have had from here have all been on the silvery side.
I followed in the direction that the fish moved off but never saw it again, I then came to a nice pool with a foam run and knew i had a good chance of a fish. A few casts and edging very slowly forward trying not to spook the fish and the dry fly slide away, something had taken the suspended nymph. A fish was on and i enjoyed a lovely fight from this trout, probably the longest Ive ever fought a trout, it just kept going! Finally in the net, it was a solid really well conditioned fish, no wonder it gave a good scrap.

I kept wading and fishing as i went and missed a few fish along the way, i also saw allot of fish and also chub, the trouble was getting to them without spooking them. Even just wading the water was making a wobble which would go for quite a distance in front of me and i think this alerted the fish as i kept seeing puffs of silt and a bubble stream where something had bolted.
I reached another good pool with moving surface water which meant i could get close without the trout seeing me, second cast and the dry slid away at speed, i lifted into the fish and it looked a good one, bigger than my first. It bolted straight for my legs so i had to raise the rod as high as i could to keep in contact with the fish, in doing so i put the rod tip in a bush which caught the line, the fish then pulled against this and snapped off. I'd have loved to have gotten that one in!
I'd been wading now for some time and had probably covered a long distance so i didn't want to go much further before heading back so i decided on two more pools. The first pool didn't produce anything and i didn't even see any fish spook, that wasn't until i stepped into the pool and a fish shot out and cleared the top of the pool in the very shallow water, it was so shallow the fishes back was slightly out the water, again it was another huge trout of 3-4lb! I started to think about the prospect of hooking one of these some day and then i thought about my chances of actually landing it.....slim i thought!
finally at the last pool and i saw a trout right on the edge of it i cast over it but before the flies reached this fish another trout came up from below and took the dry fly, as quick as it took it, it spat it out as i was lifting! oh well, another few casts and i got another fish on. It was nice to finish the session with another fish, although I'd liked to have caught more. I wasn't disappointed at all though as I'd seen lots of fish and some big ones too, the trouble I'd had was spooking the fish so I'll have to give that more thought for my next visit.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Forced to investigate....

All i seem to do is start my posts with how rubbish things have been, I'm afraid its going to be more of the same.... Its been the worse 12 months i can remember for fishing conditions. It feels like its taking forever for the fishing to start picking up.

I'm not really doing allot of fishing at the moment, conditions have not been ideal and the local waters i only have time for at the minute all look quite dirty and pretty dead. This has really knocked my motivation to get out and even try, knowing in the back of my mind that its probably a waste of time, and it isn't even pleasant outside.

I had the chance to fish the weekend but couldn't find anyone to fish with at first then it turned out my mate Paul from River Piker was looking to fish the Sunday so thought I'd get together and see what we could work out between us. Disappointingly when we reached the canal we found it was a very dirty kind of colour and not allot of visibility, it was going to be like finding a needle in a haystack. We gave it a good go before moving onto another 3 canals in total all faring the same, horrible dirty water! Im not sure what is the cause of this. Not having many stillwaters local it was pretty much the end of our chances and we both ended up blanking, although Paul had an early morning pike on his own at another spot.
I was very disappointed to have finally got out fishing only to blank and have a frustrating day, this also meant i wouldn't be fishing much after work as all the local spots were the same.

I had no plans to fish for a while until it eventually warms up but thought i had a chance Thursday that i might get out and have a go. My luck was in and the Mrs had the day off, usually this meant it was a big no no to ask to go fishing, but she was going out for the day with her parents. I jumped at the chance to get out and thought I'd give one more canal spot a chance before resting them a few weeks. I wanted to look at this spot anyway as last year at this time i was catching lots of coarse fish on the fly in a t-shirt! Things are way behind schedule this year, I even saw some snow still on the ground today on my travels from the snow that fell weeks ago.

I cast about with kopyto's as there was no sign of any fish shoaling up or rising. It took quite a while but i did find a perch eventually, other than that it felt like i was wasting my time in the awful coloured water.

I had time left so decided to go and investigate a small river i had been thinking of trying for trout. There isn't much in the way of trout around me, so i don't have any local fly fishing opportunities. As soon as i found out there was the possibility of some local trout it got me really interested. Ive been checking out spots on google earth but didn't know when or where to go try. I knew there wasn't going to be anything much in the way of numbers of fish and expected them to be small trout. This didn't fase me though as catching trout on the fly is all about the method than anything else.
So the opportunity came and i took the chance to go and look at the little river, i say river, it is merely just a small stream that you can literally jump across.
It was proving very difficult just to find a spot to park the car and get to the river, and when i did eventually find a suitable spot it was even more difficult to access the water as it was such a jungle. It was the kind of stream that was covered over in most places with bushes and trees, often fallen trees lay right across the stream. 
I didn't have my waders with me which would have made things much easier, I could have walked down stream and then got into the stream and waded up it, this would mean i would have a slight bit more room to cast and i could also creep up on the fish better without them knowing I was there. In reality i was scrambling about on the bank for little holes between the overgrowth vegetation, and when i did find a slightly deeper spot it was proving difficult to get a fly in the water without the fish seeing me and spooking.
I didn't see many fish but didn't disturb a few pockets of fish that i saw dart off when they saw me, not 100% they were trout but could have been.
I was fishing duo which meant i could float a small nymph in the shallow water and search the slightly deeper pools. I had just found a slightly deeper run that also had less flow, it was still only about 2 foot deep. I saw a few smaller fish spook close to me but they swarm upstream so there was a chance fish further down the pool were still sat there. Luckily it was one of the only areas i could get a reasonably long distance cast and i landed the fly just where i wanted it, the dry fly suspending the nymph wasn't afloat for long and i saw it shoot under. A fish on! now what was it? at first it looked like a chub until it jumped out the water followed by at least another 7 jumps! It was certainly a trout and a bigger one than i would have expected from such a small water. Finally in the net, i had a closer look and it was a lovely silvery blue colour, unlike the golden brown colouration i am used to catching on other rivers.

I was over the moon with that result, finally some localish trout to have a go at! Im now left all excited to go again sometime and see if i can get better results with waders on, it should also get better in summer when its warmer and fish can be spotted rising.
Some light at the end of the tunnel.....