Monday, 28 April 2014

An enjoyable change.

I dropped on a spot the other day to have a look how things were getting on this time of year, while i was there i saw some monster bleak cruising about and sipping tiny flies off the surface. Its things like this that get me going and i love a change of tactic and approach when ever i see an opportunity.

So today after work i went to have another look and took the #3 fly rod in search of some Lunker Bleak! I've caught them before on fly and despite the very small size i find it as thrilling as chucking plastic frogs at pike. Its the anticipation of casting the fly in front of the fish and watching it come up for it really slowly, fantastic.

On the bank i instantly saw the bleak again but these were just small ones, not the lunker ones i had seen the other day, i wasted no time at all catching a few on a hawthorn fly imitation as I'd seen a few about and is one of my favourites for coarse fish as a small black fly often doesn't fail to catch.

I saw a few other fish cruising about just under the surface that looked like roach, then i saw another quite decent one of about a pound which looked like a chub, in fact at this point i was already thinking I'm not sure which they are. It was difficult to get a fly in front of one as there was only a couple and there was allot of cut grass and bits on the water surface that made it a nightmare where these particular fish were. Then i noticed one in clear water so cast over it, in a panic i rushed it and the fly landed about a foot and a half behind the fish, surprisingly it turned at speed and absolutely hammered the fly, i was not thinking it was going to be a chublet by that reaction to the fly. It wasn't a roach or a chub, but a new species for me on any method, an Ide. I was chuffed to bits with that and from what Ive read about them the fact that it turned and hammered the fly seemed about right as there supposed to be quite aggressive. They can grow to over 7lb but at this size it was a stunning little fish.

The fish then seemed to disappear for a while before i found a small shoal rising, i had a really frustrating little spell trying to hook them and had to scale right down to a size 22 klinkhammer, i thought this would be a good choice as there was midge shucks all over the water surface, probably from a hatch the evening before. i thought the klinkhammer would represent an emerging midge perfectly here. It did the trick and i caught a few more smaller bleak, sadly still no sign of the lunkers I'd gone for.

Again things dried up so i thought I'd have a go for perch with a weighted minkie, I found a shoal and had a really good half hours fun catching them on the little fly rod, i really should do more of this because perch go really well on fly gear and dare I say it, its even more fun than on an ultralight lure rod!

The perch started to dry up and i was running out of time having to be back for the school run. i kept noticing small fish having a go at my minkies on the way down so thought I'd have a quick change to a bead head nymph to see if i could catch one and see what they were. The idea didn't work, and i didn't get a take, it was not time to go and I'd let my nymph sink right down in hope of a last ditched attempt at catching something else. I jigged the little nymph back with a very jerky motion just stripping a few inches of line at a time to keep it down. I thought I'd pushed my luck as everything went solid and thought I'd snagged the bottom but i realised it was in fact a fish. The fish tore off and was putting that much strain on the rod and line i thought it best to get the fish on the reel as it was a barbless hook and the jerk motion of the line stripping through my hands as the fish kept boring made me feel like the hook was going to pull. It was awhile before i saw the fish and was panicking now as i had to be on the road to pick the kids up ten minutes ago! Finally i got a glimpse of a decent perch. This was by far the best fight Ive ever had from a perch, absolutely exciting stuff. Finally got it in the net and i had to take a few snaps before dashing off for the kids.

Its a great time of year to be targeting coarse fish on the fly and I'm guilty of not doing enough of it as a few years ago i had a real good effort at it catching lots of species and if you get days like i had today with the variety its really good fun and make small fish exciting.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Graphite Leader CALZANTE EX

 I've had this rod for a few weeks now and only got out with it today for the first time for a few hours. I've done what most people probably do and sat in front of the TV waggling it in the living room while getting very strange looks off the Mrs! Straight away i could feel what a precision tool this was going to be, so light and balanced. I opted for the 7' 9" 0.6-8g version with a tabular tip, although I'm going to use it for LRF aswell its primary use will be drop shotting for perch so the extra sensitivity of a solid tip is not really needed. For anyone interested you can find out more about the rod here Or do a google search.

I actually got a fish on my first cast and was really surprised, I've fished with a few different UL rods and am used to playing both small and big fish on very light rods but this just felt so much different. I thought I'd hooked into a decent fish and was preparing to see a 2lb perch surface the way it was going but it surfaced as just a 3/4lb perch! I think the rod is that sensitive it transmits everything down the blank and the last third of the rod, bends over very easily with it being extra fast, the rod being longer than i am used to also must add to the feel. This combined leads to a fantastic feel with a fish on. The more i buy expensive tackle the more i feel those that don't are really missing out, i could never go back to a budget rod now just because its 'good for the money'. I fish allot and don't mind spending what it takes as i don't smoke or drink so like to use what money i have to get the best i can afford for something i enjoy and am quite obsessed with lol! As i say, the more expensive tackle really does give you a better feel and just does the job better.
I had a reasonable few hours with maybe about 20 fish, most of which were definitely spawned out, so hollow and sucked in around the body. I left feeling quite satisfied and all the waiting for the rod to come from Japan along with the expense now felt so worth while, i can't wait to use it more throughout the year!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Easter Sessions

I've had allot on over the Easter period and that combined with the kids being off school for over two weeks, I haven't had the most of opportunities to get out fishing much.

I've had a couple of short sessions recently trying out my new G.Loomis GL2 Jig and Worm rod which i bought for fishing medium sized soft plastics, during the few times Ive got out with it Ive been fishing 13cm soft 4plays weedless rigged. Plenty of small fish caught and i really think the rod will come into its own at different times of the year. My mate Neil also bought the same rod and we got out together one evening for a few fish and i had to laugh when Neil thought he was into a really good fish only to find out he had hooked a decent sized roach/bream hybrid through the dorsal fin. I've caught hybrids before on the fly rod and they really do fight quite well, nothing like that of a true bream which is quite sluggish.

Today I managed to get out for a bit of wading and was looking forward to it throughout the morning with it being such a nice day, it was nice to be out fishing in short sleeves for a change. I was kicking myself early on for missing what would have been two cracking trout, The first fish came flying after my bean lure and inhaled it but i was too slow to react and when i did i pulled the lure straight out. The second fish was one i saw rising, i cast beyond it and it followed the lure right in front of me, seeing me and bolting. It was quite a while before i had my first fish which came in the form of a really thumping take, only to find out it was a small out of season chub. I followed this up with a really nice looking trout.

I must have ended the session on around about 10 fish with most coming in the last hour or so, i also lost a couple of better fish off when they jumped and the lure flying out. The average size of those i did land though was quite reasonable and they were putting up a great scrap on my little 5'6" rod, I'd set my drag a little lighter in hope that less fish pulled out of the hook set, it seemed to work other than a few jumpers and it also gave the trout a little freedom to run.

Lastly over the last month I've had a few customers send me photos of fish they have caught on my lures and have given me good feedback. Its always great to know your handy work has brought someone else some joy and a few fish, makes all the tedious sanding worthwhile!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

A cracking session on the streams

On the way to the reservoir we fished last week we found some fantastic streams that we had a stop to look at, we talked about finding out more about them so we could fish them on the way home if we had chance. We had asked the chap running the reservoir about the streams as they were not a million miles away and the good news was the chap had fishing rights to them as well and did a separate ticket for just brown trout fishing. As it turned out we didn't get time that day to fish the streams but they looked so good we talked about going back to just fish those.

So today we was up early to head off to fish the streams we had seen last week, and the weather and temperature had improved a little so we fancied our chances. Paul was into a fish in the very first swim that gave him a right run around even managing to jump out of the net and having to play it again. A beast of a fish to start our session off with!
In the very next pool I was into a quality fish, not the same league as Pauls but not far off. It wasn't just a decent size either it was an absolute stunner, a really nice colour and markings to match.

We fished on through the pools picking up plenty of fish but what was annoying was all the big fish we was having hit our lures but just not sticking, we were not complaining though as the quality and beauty of the smaller fish was enough to keep us happy.

It was noticed that we were getting allot of trout coming up from deeper pools and hammering the bean lures that were fishing quite shallow, these fish were not sticking at all and we worked out that they must have been coming up too fast trying to grab the lure before shooting back down to cover. So to over come this when we reached a deeper pool or missed a fish in slightly deeper water we would switch to soft plastics and fish much lower in the pools. This worked really well and we started catching many more. Paul lost a really big fish down deep that came off during a good fight which was a shame.


 We had really count of fish by now and was having a fantastic days fishing, the average size was very good with the odd big one seen but not landed since those early fish. Paul did manage to hook another big fish but again it gave him the slip after diving numerous times in a deep pool, that was actually the last bit of action of the session before heading back to the car which by now was a long walk away!

A little disappointed that we were finishing on a lost big fish we decided to go downstream of the car and try to finish on a high with a couple more fish each. Its hard to walk away from good fishing! We had to skip across the stream on rocks to avoid sending any colour downstream wading in the water but we managed to get downstream abit before turning back and fishing the last little bit of river before heading home. What a great decision to make as Paul made up for the lost fish with two really good fish the second of which was probably the second or third biggest of the day and that was a signal to end it there before we made plans to fish on for any more hours!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Soooome Whheeere ooover the.....

Myself and Paul had planned to go and fish for rainbows before the rivers closed and every weekend since then it never fell right with either of us having other plans. Today it fell into place and we were up early and on a long drive.
Fishing for rainbows on an any method water is the closest thing to a commerical for lure anglers, its not every ones cup of tea, but for me its something different, its something fun and its catching fish so why turn your nose up at it? despite these fish being stocked purely for catching and eating you can not deny there beauty and fantastic colours not to mention how hard they fight on really light tackle.
The water we fished was a very big reservoir so it was far from stocky bashing on a small lake, we had to work really hard and walked allot of miles to get round the whole reservoir with a total of eight fish between us for the pricey sum of £50. Of course we could have taken our bag home to eat but that's not what we had gone for, and personally i don't like fish unless its cod and covered in batter, too many incidents with bones in my throat as a kid i think. I don't think i could bring myself to kill the fish either, i have no qualms about it being done, but I'd rather not have to do it myself. So you can imagine the looks we got when we was putting them back form those around us with beach cast rods, tennis ball floats and carrier bags full of fish.
The day was not as productive as we would have liked, and it hurt like hell handing that much cash over but we are true blooded Yorkshire men and not everything is free or cheap as chips! I was happy with the few i caught though and was made up with the beauty i caught right at the end, such stunning colours and spots.
Something i would love to do again, but maybe wait till its warmed slightly and see if we get a better return.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Recent Foiled jerks

Just a quick post to add some jerks Ive just finished, a set of three of my usual lure and a couple of re-finishes, the first is a custom lure that was sent to me for a foil finish and the second is a Loz harrop darter that also wanted a re-finish in foil.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Slowly getting back into it

I keep losing the motivation for lure building, i guess once you do something similar over and over again it can often get like that. recently I've been slowly getting back into building lures, mostly ultralights as its getting towards that time of year when i will use them allot. Ive also been doing a few other things too though which I'll include when finished. For now I'll leave you with a pile of Bean lures i built ready for the trout season.