Wednesday, 29 May 2013

And I thought i'd allready been having good days recently...

I had Tuesday just gone off work and had planned to fish all day, I'd recently had a fair few good session and some in glorious weather along with some cracking fish so i was pretty much in good spirits where my fishing was concerned.

I thought I'd use the opportunity of having a full day to invite a fellow Lure Anglers Society member to come over and join me for a fish, I was delighted when Paul confirmed that he was more than happy to make the trip across the pennies and join me. Paul has just started his own blog and it will be one I'll be following, lots of technique info for perch to come along with great photography, you can find out more here Finesse Fishing

I met up with Paul quite early to make the most of the day and despite the weather being lousy I didn't think it would effect the rivers that much, maybe just abit of extra colour from the road drains that is usually the first to go in. I planned to meet Paul at a canal location he had fished before so that it was an easy place for him to find and for me to find himself. I was met with a big grin and Paul soon filled me in that while he'd been waiting for my arrival he had been fishing the canal and tempted a chub of 4lb 12oz, a cracking fish to start the day off! Theres a photo of the fish on Paul's blog.

So off we went, I had kind of promised Paul that I'd put him onto some good trout fishing and had a few venues in mind, the first stop produced a small brownie then on a canal adjacent I thought i had a chance of a chub from an out flow but when my kopyto was snaffled up and all was slow and solid i knew it wasn't a chub, a little bit of playing the fish and a nice pike surfaced, sadly I didn't get a photo as the hooks pulled before Paul managed to get hold of it for me.

The rain was getting steady so I thought we'd head for some good trout fishing before the rivers became too coloured as i wasn't sure what the rain was going to do through out the day. the fishing was slow to start with but eventually it picked up and we started to see fish and get action. I think I was first in with a nice one too.

The rain was easing with only a very little sprinkle now and then so it started to get more enjoyable as the fishing got better. Most of the fish we were seeing were of a good size and i think at this point we had only had one small fish, I'd just bought a new camera after breaking my old one so wanted to try out the macro function on the small pretty fish.
The fishing just got better and although we were not exactly bagging up at that point it was the fact that if we wasn't landing fish we was pretty much getting follows, chasing trout or missed takes at every new bit we fished. I had another few belting fish, lovely colour to them too!

Paul was having abit of a frustrating patch of hooking over every snag imaginable and missed some takes from some really good fish, this was topped off when he finally got a good fish hooked for it to the throw the hooks virtually as it was about to be netted. Not too despondent he fished on and finally got what he came for.

We had a break from fishing not long after and filled up with 'man fuel' ready for some more fishing. Next up was another spot i wanted to investigate so off we went again. We carried on in the same vein of none stop action, literally fish in every pool having a go at our lures. The average was smaller than the last spot but it was still a good stamp of fish for a small beck and they were also stunningly clean fish, probably never been caught before.
Paul had a really nice fish from this spot and its a real shame the photo doesn't show it off, it had almost a mottled effect on its back and flanks rather than just random spots. I've not had my camera long enough to play around with it and the fish was proving hard to take a photo of, the light was bouncing off the fish and blocking out the true colours of it.

We must have had in excess of 40 fish between us but even more than that which followed or took but we didn't hook up with. It was really difficult to break away and go home in the end, Paul was suffering with leg cramp and my back was giving me grief. Although there was allot of temptation to see what was round the next corner, we reluctantly had to make the decision to just have one more fish each then walk back to the car.
A truly action packed day that I'll not forget in a hurry!


Sunday, 26 May 2013

Water Leopards

Well i just can't seem to get enough of the trout at the minute, and where ever i go i seem to be finding good fish which is strange because you usually bag up on tiddlers.

I wanted to try somewhere new today for a change of scenery so got in touch with my mate Paul and we made the decision to head oop north to a river neither of us had fished before.

We were disappointed on arrival to find it quite coloured, despite not having much rain locally, it must have rained more on this river system. We spent a few hours fishing likely water but nothing was happening so we headed back to the car to think of a plan B. On the way back, luckily we both saved a blank, Paul had an out of season chub which went back straight away while not long after i had a lovely spotted brownie.

We decided to head back home and fish somewhere local that we thought we knew better and would have a better chance. Funny thing is Paul made a wrong turn and we ended up passing over a little bridge, we jumped out and had a look. A lovely little wild overgrown beck... now that's what I'm talking about!

We jumped in and waded up and the action pretty much kicked off straight away, at first reasonable trout were coming in shoals chasing the lures down and we managed to pick off a few. Then we started picking up a few better sized trout. Not only were they a good size but they were also stunning fish, full of spots like a leopard and a lovely buttery yellow. The action just got better and we saw some truly big trout that kept snapping on the lures but would just not connect. I'm not sure if its the boney mouths or the fact that they just tend to nip at the lures but we started missing more than we was hooking up with and sadly it was all the huge ones that wouldn't stick. We were not bothered one bit though as we were more than happy with the two beauties below.
Paul with one of the last fish of the session and pretty much summed up the average scale we were getting, in the end we only spent an hour or so on the beck where as we had wasted about 4 hours on the big river.


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Enjoying the jungle

I met up with a fellow LAS member John yesterday for a fish, John had just got a new Loomis rod to use with small cranks and wanted to get a good curve in it so we opted for trout. John was fishing with cranks and spinners and i started on a 1" kopyto and later changed to using my own cranks.

Things started slow and the fish didn't really seem on it, they would nip and follow but not the usual savage takes to start with. After a while I managed to tempt one which ended up being the smallest of the session.

Not long after John took a fish followed by another which on any given day would have been a great fish, but this was going to be a special day...

So we fished on picking up a few more fish along the way when we came to an area that I had an incling there might be a big trout in residence, i told John to fish on in front of me, after a few casts John hooked into a fish, the first I knew about it was when the fish jumped. I'll never forget that moment even though it wasn't my fish, the trout was flippin huge and just kept leaping into the air! Johns exact words, which i think he repeated about 5 times were "This is a serious fish!" I'm not sure about John but my heart was in my mouth hoping the hooks didn't pull, finally the fish was succumbed and it was rested before we took some photos of the beast, A truly big wild brown trout, btw this is not new zealand!

The fish was released and i stepped forward to take a cast into the very same spot, low and behold i was in straight away, and again it was a good fish, not in the same league as the last but that was a special fish, mine wasn't bad either though

We carried on fishing with big smiles taking a few more fish each until we hit a long slow patch, there was fish about but they were very finicky and it was proving hard to get one to stick, it didn't help that it was such a jungle and you had to be really accurate with your casts.
In the end we decided to cut our losses and head back, still feeling like we had done a good session. On the way back i suggested we drop into a spot where I'd seen a big fish on the way through, the daft sod that i am, the first time i saw it i clipped a willow on my cast and landed the lure right on its head, so i was hoping it was back in position on the way back.
I suggested John have a go at it but unluckily he snagged on his cast, so we didn't spook the area getting out of the snag, John kindly let me have a cast before wading in to get his lure back. I think it was the second run through and my lure was hit and again a leaping trout was in the air!

Another beauty and a great way to finish our session off.



Monday, 20 May 2013

There back!

Every year I look forward to things warming up and the perch action to kick start, but every year it also feels like it takes longer and longer for them to start showing up.

I had a quick session today in hope they would be about after hearing a few mates had caught a few.

Although it wasn't exactly a fish a chuck, i did manage about 6 or 7 with a couple of half decent ones chucked in. Still early days yet but its good to see some interested in lures again. I do love my perch and always enjoy taking photos of them, such a magnificent looking fish.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Ambitions achived...

I got home early from work today and as soon as I'd stepped through the door the phone rang, it was my mother reminding me she was going on holiday mid week so asked if she could pick the kids up from school. You can guess what went through my mind.... a fishing opportunity!!

I decided seen as though i could fish till late if i wanted, I'd have a drive further afield to another small river i fished once last year and did ok for trout.

I wasn't expecting much with the weather being pants just for a change, its now mid May and it barely reached double figures today. None the less the change of scenery would be nice if nothing else.

I was doubtful of rising fish and didn't fancy prospecting so decided to tackle up with streamers, the river was quite limited with room so knowing i didn't need to cast far I opted for a short #3 knowing i could cast the weighted streamers as far as I needed.
It didn't take long to get my first fish which was a reasonable size and saw me off the mark, not long after I had a ballsy little trout take the streamer, this little fish was almost silver in colour its amazing how trout can differ so much.

The weather wasn't actually too bad and occasionally the sun broke through making it pleasurable wading through the small river. I love wading wild places, it really gets you amongst it all and makes you feel like part of the surroundings
As time went on the fishing got better, and i was getting an ok stamp of trout too, fishing streamers is not most fly anglers cup of tea preferring more traditional styles, but its something I really enjoy and it keeps you busy working the flies.
The best was still to come and reflecting back on it I consider myself lucky in more than one way. I had reached a fallen tree across the river so jumped out to get round it, assuming the water was the same depth on the other side i just jumped straight back in. I couldn't see the bottom very well and had a bit of a Dr Gloucester moment when what i thought was a foot or so deep ended up being above waist height! Thinking I must have spooked any fish in the vicinity I had a cast in front of anyway just in case, the line when tight so fast the line ripped through the water surface making a spray. I soon realised this was a big trout and I was in for a lengthy battle on the #3 rod. I must have had a few mini heart attacks when the fish jumped and i saw its size hoping the hooks didn't pull. Was this fish being played or was it playing me? Finally after what felt like an age i swung the fish into my net. This was easily my PB trout and I had achieved an ambition of catching a decent sized trout on the fly rod, I've had some big trout recently but nothing compares to getting one on a fly rod.
I'm actually quite disappointed that the photo doesn't really show its true scale or colour, this is the problem when doing self takes while stood in the middle of a river. It doesn't look much bigger than some others I'd had recently but it certainly was bigger. the photo below across my arm shows just how long the fish was.

I still had enough time left to fish for another few hours but this fish had such a pleasing effect on me i felt really satisfied and decided to go home abit earlier and get in the Mr's good books. Well that was just a thought and i gave myself another hour!
I continued to pick up fish and was by now into double figures. i was nearly out of time when i came to a lovely pool with an over hanging willow, never has a swim looked so fishy. i couldn't believe my luck when i drew the streamer back across the willow and another good trout came up and hammered it. What a session i was having, again a spectacular fight and again my luck held out to get the fish in the net. This fish was a lovely colour including rich yellows and hues of purple finished off with electric blue cheeks. I was pleased this time round the self take photo came up trumps and i captured the colours of the fish...


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Changing Approaches

What a lovely day it was to be out fishing today, hardly any wind or breeze for a change and the sun was out, not too hot though just about right to be enjoyable while trudging about.
I was back on my small stream and had planned to change my approach through out the day, i wanted to do some dry fly fishing if the trout were rising but i also wanted to have another crack at the bigger resident trout.
I parked up in an area i could fish both up and down stream, each different section had the kind of water and features that also suited the different approaches. I set off with the lure rod fishing small ultralights, this was the stretch i had caught and seen some big trout in so this was my first approach.

I missed a couple of takes early on from decent trout before going through a long dry spell of activity until i reached an area that last time visited i saw a few big trout but had spooked them. This time i made a stealthy approach, i got down onto my hands and knees and literally crawled through the grass to get into position, I nestled myself behind a tree for cover so i could cast around it into the deepish pool. It was awkward but its interesting fishing in those kind of swims and the fun is the challenge of it. It took a couple of casts until i saw something following in behind the lure, it kept having a go at the lure but just mouthing it, It looked big and fat and at first i thought it was a well fed trout, until i saw another few fish following in behind it, i realised they were chub and big ones too, I sped up the lure as i was running out of room and shouldn't really be catching coarse species in rivers yet but as i did so the biggest chub sped up and hammered the lure, i had a short tussle before it came off.. good to see though, that fish was probably about 4lb and up until then I'd only seen chub up to maybe 1lb and a half.
I made the decision to head back to the car and switch to the fly rod, as i made my way back i fished a few pools again i had already fished, I lost a few fish off doing so and wondered if it was going to be one of those days! I was close to the car when finally one stuck and it was the best I'd had on so far, it was hooked awkwardly so didn't want to net it, so it took me a little longer to get in to hand as i didn't want to grab it as it was kicking and end up with hooks in my hand. It was a nice sized fish and looked to have a big mouth with slightly larger teeth than normal which suggested it was a more aggressive cock fish.

I carried on the short section to the car and enjoyed a spell of activity, there seemed to be a few fish about there and i landed a few more and lost a few off one of which looked a good one as it jumped.
Now back at the car i changed for my short #3 fly rod and decided to have a go with dries as a few fish I'd had on the lures had taken the lure literally off the surface. there wasn't any fish rising so i was basically prospecting and search for a fish that might take a dry. It took abit of water before i finally got one to rise which was then followed by a couple more, great fun and i think my first on dry for the year, the first fish was one of the smallest I'd had from this stream and still wasn't a bad size but it had amazing electric blue cheeks.

I wasn't really getting allot of action to the dries and it kind of felt like i was wasting water that I was wading through as i kept spotting the odd fish but they obviously wasn't interested in the dries. I'd by now reached an area that was slightly more open, even that was still a jungle though and challenging to cast. I made the decision to change approach again and switched over to a streamer so i could make use of the extra casting space. the #3 wasn't ideal but i could get the distance i needed with the tungsten head streamers i was using. The witch proved to be a good one as the trout really liked the streamers, in fact they were going nuts chasing them down in places which was fantastic to see. I picked up a few better sized fish and again lost a few more off.

I didn't have long left to fish but ended with a couple of highlights. I saw a couple of trout so went downstream of them and again crept into position, the only access point meant it was a long cast. As soon as the streamer hit the water and started to sink a fish hit it, i could see it was a good size for a trout, in fact it looked massive, then as it came closer I realised it was a pike of about 3lb. It actually gave a great fight on the #3 fly rod, i didn't even realise the pike got that far up into the flowing and very shallow water. It was out of season and not targeted so I didn't bother photographing it and got it back asap.
The final highlight of my day came in the form of a fish i had spotted from a high bank, i had to get up the bank at this particular spot as the water had reached a depth that would probably have gone over my shoulders, strange really when it mostly only reached a depth of waist height and even that was only the odd deeper pool. Anyway I was on top of the high bank looking down to the deeper water, upstream i saw that the deeper water was started off with a very small water fall running off from shallow water. As i crept closer i saw a trout swimming in position just at the head of the deep water, but it was quite high close to the surface, it looked brilliant seeing it like that in the deep water, i crept back abit and slid myself into a position where i could cast to it, I got the cast just right and as soon as the streamer hit the water in front of it the trout came to life and hit it, i then had a really enjoyable fight with the fish in the deeper water. It just felt really rewarding to have sighted the fish and cast to it which ended up with a fish in the net, a really enjoyable day of differing approaches...

Friday, 3 May 2013

Short canal sessions

I try not to moan each time I post at the minute but it still feels like its taking an age for things to improve. The weather has been a little bit better recently with some nice warm sunshine but I can't help but feel the overnight low temperatures are still holding the fish back.

On Wednesday I fished the canal i fished last week for pike, it was lovely and warm it was nice to be out comfortable in short sleeves. I was hopeful after last weeks session with a bit of interest that this weeks might be more forth coming, sadly it wasn't. I went a really long period of time with nothing to show for my efforts before saving a blank right at the end with a couple of tiny, but lovely little pike.

Today I was looking forward to dropping on another canal and give it a go with flies for the roach, bream, dace and bleak. The weather looked perfect in the morning but an hour before i was on the bank, it clouded over and a cool wind picked up, typical!! There was no sign of any fish moving about and to be honest the wind didn't help. I also took along an ultralight rod to chuck kopyto's about so if the flies were not producing I might have been able to sneak a perch out to save a blank. i gave the kopyto's a good going over and nothing at all was showing to those either, the water was pretty coloured which didn't help though. I stuck at it and kept having a few more casts in between pondering whether or not to just jack it in and go home, I'd only gone in short sleeves and it was now quite cold in the wind. Then out of the blue everything went solid and the rod was nodding away, I'd only gone and done it again, the amount of times I've been out this year and really struggled only to save the day close to the end with a half decent fish. I'd not caught a perch recently so it was nice to see a good chunk in the net! another miserable session ended with a smile!