Friday, 30 May 2014

Busy week

This week just gone by my Mrs and kids went of for the week, i couldn't get the time off work so was left home alone... what was i to do with my time? Fishing of course, none stop! Sadly my week didn't go to plan due to the horrible weather spoiling what i did have planned, i wanted to have a bit of variety and also use the time to go a little further to fish but the rain meant any trout fishing was near enough out the window. I did have some decent sessions though.
On Monday it was a bit unexpected when my Mrs said i could go fishing, they were not due to go away till Tuesday morning so i thought id take the opportunity while it was there. I'd recently bought a shimano scorpion 1501xt for my Loomis GL2 which was a perfect match, I thought id go give this a go and bash some jacks. I ended up getting quite a few along with a few scabby perch looking perch, think i had near enough 20 pike in just the few hours so it felt really action packed. I wanted to try the reel out on the lighter side of my rods casting range so opted for a 9cm savagear 4play and lip skull which i could keep above the cabbages on this shallow venue. It worked really well just brushing the tops of them and was basically fishing right in the zone. I could cast that relatively light weight as far as i could possibly need to so was chuffed to bits with the reel.

I really wanted to get on a small stream on Tuesday as i wanted to do a bit of dry fly fishing but the weather was not really right for it and there was always the risk of the stream being coloured. I got in touch with my mate Mart as i knew he was fishing that day so thought I'd go meet up with him. He suggested a small stream that Ive only fished once and he knew it well and was confident it wouldn't be too coloured.
The stream wasn't in the best condition but it was fishable, nothing was rising so it was going to be a case of prospecting. We waded and kept jumping out to fish better sections but nothing was happening on the dries, Mart was using his Tenkara rod which was proving a really useful tool as it could be packed away to nothing and set up again in a flash. He was catching a few trout and OOS grayling on nymphs so i had a quick switch and caught a few also although i was finding it hard to control and even seethe line as i didn't have the right set up for it.
Eventually we found a few rising trout and i got my first of the year on dry, only a small little fellow but he was very welcome. Mart then had to leave so he left me to carry on for abit on my own. The stream looked really good where he had left me with little deep pockets here and there so i thought id prospect these with a small bait fish streamer to see if i could get a decent fish out for the day. It proved a great decision as first cast into the first pool and a decent trout shot out and hammered the streamer. It gave a really good scrap in the flowing water and really made the trek worthwhile. I went on to catch a couple more before the water turned more flat and there was a lack of the pocket water id just been doing well on.

I'd planned to fish with John on the Wednesday and we decided to go off to a canal John had never fished before and i had not been to for a few years. It was very disappointing as it was totally weed choked at one end and the other was very coloured, it wasn't even the kind of weed that was fishable with frogs, it was more like the banks had totally grown over it! We drove around to look at other sections i knew of but it felt like a waste of time so we thought we would do better spending our time on a venue that I knew was fishing well. It was disappointing because its nice to fish new scenery and also being a Yorkshire man the waste of fuel was on my mind..
Although nothing new we had a good few hours in the end and again i had near enough 20 pike in a few hours on the 9cm 4 play, nothing special size wise but some big enough to give a good scrap and its all about the take when jack bashing. They really wanted it anyway as most fish were hooked right down the thought and it was like operating every time unhooking them.

This was my last day to fish and to be honest I was looking forward to a little rest, I'm one for fishing as much as i can and for as long as i can, i really cannot get enough of it. When your up for work at 4:00am in the morning though and not getting back home after fishing until 19:00pm it was starting to catch up on me, id not eaten a meal since Monday dinnertime and was basically living out of a carrier bag of snacks and cans of pop.
So the plan was to just fish but be back in time to relax and make myself a proper tea. As it turned out it was probably my most enjoyable session of the week. Ive been doing more fly fishing recently and really enjoying it. I'd done OK for the pike this week, the trout were still not an option with all the rain spoiling the rivers so it was going to be a perch day with streamers. It took a while finding them as i was fishing a stretch i had not fished in a while, but when i did they came thick and fast, mostly smallish with a few better ones now and then, but all enjoyable on a a fly rod, it really is the most enjoyable method of catching fish, even when your not catching its fun as your more involved with the casting as you are with chucking a lure out. It really is a form of artistic expression. The best moment of the session came when i hooked into a fish and it just slowly bored away as if it didn't realise it was hooked and then when it did it went mental, it kept me guessing what it was I'd actually got on the end. At 3lb 4oz it was a new fly caught PB, i don't normally weigh fish as I'm still waiting for another over four and a half pound to make it worth while but wanted to know if it was a 3lber so i could say it was my first on fly.
I can see me doing allot more fly fishing for perch they really are such an easy and viable fish for the fly and its the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

So that's it, a busy week of fishing and lots more to look forward to in the coming weeks, nearly time for rivers and i have a solid 3 days booked off work for that! Bring it on..... (feck off rain)

Sunday, 25 May 2014


Its now in the back of my mind that its only a matter of weeks now until the rivers opening so I'm trying to cram sessions in and get places fished that i wont get time for once the rivers open and my attentions will be focused on other venues and methods etc.
I have a busy week ahead of me fishing wise as my Mrs and kids are going away for a few days with the inlaws, i couldn't get the time off work so I'm free to go guilt free fishing as soon as i get in from work.
I wanted to get some dry fly fishing in but yesterday that was just not an option, I had planned to fish with Paul and we knew we had a good chance of half decent conditions on a river we wanted to fish, we fished it once before when it coloured up and we had a really good day dropping soft plastics deep into the pools. The river did have abit more colour than we expected but we still thought it worth a go. Paul got a fish early on and then so did I, the fish could not see us at all and were hitting the lures right at our feet. The water was much faster with the extra water and we noticed the fish we had were in the very slack water just to the side of a fast seam. I lost a decent fish early on but followed it up with another two that were of similar size.
We had only been fishing about 10 mins before it started lashing it down and it was evident minute by minute that the river was filling up and colouring up, the speed of flow was increasing to the point of it being difficult to even stand up so we had no option but to play it safe and call it a day.
Not the best session and in hindsight we probably shouldn't have risked it and chosen to fish a canal instead, we both still wanted to get a few more trout sessions in though and to be fair it was looking like we was going to continue to catch fish in the bad conditions until it actually rained. We both caught though so it was a risk worthwhile.

I'll probably do a weeks round up at the end of next week as I'm basically going to be on the move from 4:20am until bedtime working and then fishing everyday, Ive not even thought about or planned when I'm going to eat! Fishing is more important though and I'll probably just cram in food here and there on the move or live off a golden arches diet for a week. Looking forward to it though and hope the weather doesn't spoil some of my plans.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Canal Streamer fishing

Had another short after work fishing session today and back out with the #6 fly rod and a box of streamers for the perch, i tied up a natural looking bait fish last night especially and trimmed it so it was very slim, Ive noticed from watching flies in the water that they puff out more and take on a different appearance so to get a really natural fry profile they need to be trimmed very slim when dry so when in the water they puff out to just the right amount and shape.

I caught a load of small perch, a couple of perch over 2lb and another bream, the bream and the two decent perch put up a really good scrap. Not allot else to say really other than I'm really enjoying the change and looking forward to getting better materials to make more bait fish streamers.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

A story of First and Last casts

 My Last couple of sessions of sessions have been one of despair with a final last cast and the other of elation from the very first cast.
Ive had a few short sessions recently catching a few coarse fish on the fly rod on the canal, i was mainly trying for fishing rising but ended each session with a short spell for the perch on little streamers. On Friday i thought I'd go all out for the perch on fly so took my #6 fly rod which would be better suited for casting the streamers than the #3 id been using previously. As luck would have it i had all the right gear and the perch were not playing ball at all, typical! I managed to scrape a few smaller ones by adding a split shot in front of my fly to get it down deeper, maybe they were down deep away from the hot glare of the sun?
I was coming to the end of my session and had to be back to pick the kids up from school and i was already pushing my luck. As a last ditched to catch something a bit better i thought id try some different so ripped the fly back just a foot or so deep and what happened next will stay with me forever. As the fly was getting close i noticed a shape shoot up behind it and the fly disappeared, thinking what i saw was a decent perch i struck but pulled fly out. The fish then turned on its side and flashed side to side behind the fly still chasing it, what i thought was a big perch was actually just the pointy head of a much bigger fish! WTF? I noticed an adipose straight away, coupled with the fins and the pointy nose this could only be a huge trout or a salmon, Remember I'm fishing a canal here so was a bit shocked. I know they get caught in canals that join rivers when fish have somehow got lost and Ive even caught a couple of small ones from this canal before. This fish was a big fish easily 7lb+ which left me wondered if it was a trout or salmon. I'll never know because no matter how frantically i fan casted the area, it never came back. Such a shame it didn't hook up and i went home devastated.

After my miss of a big fish i wanted to put things right so today i chose to go target some big brown trout and really wanted one on the fly rod. I knew I'd not catch many but if i did they could be big but after Fridays despair that's what i wanted to do come what may.

As a complete polar opposite to Friday, on my very first cast i was bringing my streamer back through some fast water into a seam of slower water when i saw a trout flash out of the fast water and take my fly. An amazing fight ensued with the fish tearing off stripping loads of line from the fly reel, the thing with a fly line is the line is very visible and i could see the line getting longer out of my rod tip as the fish was going on a run. This was one of the biggest trout id had on fly rod and it was a fit fast water fish so it was strong and the fight was fantastic. I was pleased as punch with that and felt I'd made up for Fridays disappointment straight away. Not only a decent sized fish but a stunner as well.

The fly that did the business was one inspired by a design my mate Mart came up with, aptly named 'Marts Minnow'. I didn't have all the right materials to make the best job of it so just knocked one up last night to use today using what materials i had that suited. Marts fly has done really well catching people lots of decent fish and it even featured in this month Total Fly Fisher magazine. Was great to see a mates handy work in such a main stream magazine. 
After today's result i will be buying more materials and tying myself some for my box. I lost the one i had tied not long after the fish by pushing my luck on the back cast and it ended up in a tree.

I didn't get anymore fish as it turns out just the beauty on my very first cast which was enough to make it worthwhile and i was riding on that result for the rest of the session. 
I did hook another fish but sadly it was in the belly and it was a fantastically coloured minnow in all its spawning glory, I'm assuming it tried to mate with my fly because there was hundreds of minnows about they kept chasing the fly in throwing themselves at it, maybe trying to mate with it? I always take photos for reference for when building lures or flies. This minnow had allot of jet black on it with a very vivid metallic emerald green stripe down its flanks and allot of red around its underside, a lovely little fish and not the colouration i am used to seeing. Maybe Mart should come up with a spawning version of his fly.... Mart?

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

PB bream on fly

I could not resist dashing out after work today for a couple of hours as it was nice warm sunshine and not even a light breeze. My first thoughts was that it was going to be fantastic conditions to get some coarse fish on dry flies so i grabbed the #3 fly rod and a box of flies.
I started off with a small hawthorn imitation which is one of my favourites for coarse species as its small and black and covers most fly life. There wasn't actually that much rising only really small fish and just as i found some nice bleak i noticed underneath them something bigger lurking, i was thinking roach. I switched to a small bead head nymph and had a cast around with that but nothing took and now the fish had disappeared from sight. I thought I'd try going deeper to see what i could find inching nearer to the bottom so i added a dropper and put a slightly heavier bead head nymph lower down on the point.
This seemed to do the trick and i started to get a few plucks before everything tightened up and i had a decent fish on. I knew it was a perch and I'm really enjoying them on the fly rod, they hang deeper for longer and just plod away, a decent fish over a pound puts up a good scrap on a 6' 3# fly rod you can even get them on the reel and they pull line off, more so with the fish over 2 pound!
I enjoyed a few nice perch and contemplated switching to a better fly for the perch but still thought i stood a chance of a different species with the nymphs and they were catching the perch so no real need to change.

No sooner had i cast out again and let the nymphs sink right down and started to slowly inch them back, i noticed the line stop dead so i lifted into the fish. This felt different and it was hanging deep but zipping from left to right and no head shakes. Eventually i saw a shape and it wasn't a small one! I didn't realise at first that it was a bream, I was chuffed to bits when i realised because I'd actually been hoping for one. Ive caught them before on the fly but not at this size and its great catching something different on the fly, that's the whole point in targeting coarse species.
It didn't fight anything like your typical bream and it was actually good fun on the fly rod.

I hoped for some more but didn't get any so continued to enjoy the great sport the perch were supplying along with the odd roach here and there. A great little session and i got exactly out of it what i had hoped for, a few different species and a few fish that actually put up a great scrap. I love my fishing when it has some variety, i chop and change my methods, set ups, tactics and species though out the year and everything has its best time and place.

Friday, 9 May 2014

The rain starts play

Its been quite dry for awhile now with no significant rain so when it forecast rain for yesterday I was still pretty confident of the rivers not taking on too much colour.
I wasn't planning on fishing until the Mrs dropped the news that she was having a rare day off work so I checked with Paul if he was free as we had discussed a new river to try for some trout. we had also talked about going in an evening for change thinking that the trout might be feeding more, so after work i had a quick change and jumped into the car and was off to meet Paul. 
it wasn't long after we had started that Paul was latched into a nice trout that gave him a good scrap, yet another decent sized trout, we just can't seem to get away from them!!

Next up it was my turn and another decent trout was in the net, they were really buttery yellow here. So far it was two takes and two fish landed so it looked like they were feeding confidently.

Another good take from Paul and this time a bigger fish was on, it gave a really good fight and just wouldn't give in, the fish was allot bigger than the photo suggests. We have found trout to be as difficult as perch to get a good scale on photos, often you can have fish that differ in pounds, yet they look quite similar on photos. We never bother weighing trout, they are a precious resource with wild fish of this size so any extra messing about out of water is not something we want to do. As always we much prefer a quick snap or two than to know what it weighed, the weight is just insignificant.
Its fantastic to see all these big wild brown trout from lots of different venues and in such good condition. Wildlife in general seems to be doing rather well of late, Ive seen so many things that Ive not seen for years and lots of species making a good come back. Not the best example but Ive seen allot of badgers recently dead on the road, they are very elusive so the only time most people will ever see one is dead on a road. The fact Ive seen so many suggests there numbers are increasing.

The next take came to me and yet another fine fish was on, Paul threw his rod up on the bank while taking a photo and as he did something ran through the undergrowth. He didn't realise until he went to pick his rod up that he was inches away from it landing onto a birds nest.  

The rain was pretty persistent all the time we was fishing and i knew it would had some colour to the water but as i said originally i didn't think it would add enough to make a difference. Well it did in fact make a difference but that of a good one, there was just enough colour so that any deeper pool was coloured enough so you couldn't see to the bottom. This must have given the trout some confidence as we could not see them and they could not see us so we could stand right next to the pools and drop a small soft plastic to the bottom and they were going nuts for them. We caught quite a number of fish, often getting 5 or more from each little pool, the average size went down quite abit and we were even catching tiny trout that we don't usually see. It was really good fun but sadly it always comes to an end, its funny really, even on a really good day you always want more!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Having a kick about with a team of giant trout

Recently I had finnished a batch of new ultra light lures ready for some more trout fishing, so I got together with Neil and Paul for a days fishing and took along a load of my new lures to fish with. It was going to be an early one as we had decided to trip off for the day and our desination was a few hours drive. I get up for work every morning at 4:20 am so i really do appreciate a sleep in on a weekend but when its fishing related i'll quite happily skip a sleep in, so like a work day i was up at 4:20 and on the road in no time.
We wadered up and worked a distance downstream to start with so we could wade back up, right where we started we missed a couple of takes so it seemed the over night frost had not bothered the trout and we could be on for a good day. We fished on without any more interest for about half an hour untill we reached a really pacey riffle. I cast straight across the main riffle hitting the slightly slower water on the opposite side, the lure swung round into the main flow and i was hit by a fish, my drag was ringing and the rod was thumping away as the fish used the pace of the water to go on a good run. the fish came into sight and it was a good one, probably the biggest i've had this year so it was very welcome and we was off the mark.

I was happy to have caught such a decent fish early on so i had a little rest and let the other lads fish more for a better chance of getting off the mark which between them they soon got the first ones in and both more decent fish. We were all happy now and it was job done so we could now settle in to it.

We started to pick the odd the fish up here and there along with the usual lost fish, usually from jumping. We had some smaller fish along the way but most were of a very good average size, these fish usually came from the edge of the really fast rapids and we soon noticed this and took advantage by targetting these areas specifically.

A few fish was caught in this one fast run when it was my turn to lead. To avoid getting in each others way we was taking it in turn to lead the way wading, the person at the front was the first to fish the water infront of us so had a slightly higher chance of catching so as soon as the lead person caught they would drop to the back and the other two step up. it was a bonus though when it was'nt your turn to lead and you still caught fish. Anyway our system was working great and we were all catching and enjoying it, it came round to my turn again and the others had just caught in this particular swim so i cast ahead again and had a fish hit but miss. I noticed it following in at speed, Neil and Paul were stood directly behind me at this point and i swung round with the following fish to gain some more water, the fish shot past my lure but swung round behind it to face back up stream. The water was very fast here so you could only just make the fish out, i saw it right behind my lure and it was literally a metere infron of both neil and Paul, we all stodd and watched as right infront o us the fish hit my lure and it was on! We didnt realise at first how big it was, we got an idea but when Paul netted it and then lifted the net we realised it was a bit of a beast. The fish sit in this fast water so to live in this pacey water they have to be be quite strong fish and you could see this i the fish, much more muscular than the fish you would get in miandering streams. A cracking fish and the biggest ive caught to date, what a day this was turning into.
We kept on catching but the size slightly went down in average for awhile with just the odd better one thrown in

Allthough this next fish was'nt my biggest it was kind of my favorite of the day as it was just so beautifully marked with big bold spots.


So the day was a great success and we all had a good day with plenty of nice fish between us, the sun even got out late morning and we were glad to get some clothes off as it was hard tiring work wading the fast water with all the gear.