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?


  1. Always enjoy reading your reports Matt and photography is brilliant bud.

    Never knew Minnows went that dark. Wow!

  2. Cheers Glen, i enjoy taking photographs and would like a much better camera but would not want to carry anything bulky. The quality you get from little compacts these days is quite surprising all i do is point and shoot. :-)