Saturday, 3 December 2016

Floats or Fox & Hair?

The last couple of nights I've been thinking about digging out the float making gear which hasn't seen the light of day for quite a few months now but like always I get side tracked with other things which arent as intensive and time consuming and to be honest this year Im enjoying still fishing with the fly rod so got side tracked again and the float making stuff stays firmly put away.

A couple of assorted fox squirrel scruffy nymphs.

A couple of pink tagged scruffy nymphs

And finally a couple of hare's lug with partridge.

I was helping the wife out this morning with some shopping as she was out buying a few Xmas decorations for a charity which helps vulnerable people that she supports and we ended up in Poundland & I came across a few items which if bought in a tackle shop I wouldn't see any change from a tenner thats for sure.

a couple of zingers with pens attached, seen here in black, I managed only to find the red ones so  now pens are detached and the clips and zingers will be put to good for the fishing with nippers etc.

I mentioned it to a friend and he also informed me that the bulbous part of the pen is made from EVA foam and ideal for making foam beetles from, a pound well spent. Also bought a couple of double sided plastic boxes ideal for storing fly tying thread, beads etc

Managed to finally find a couple of darning needles which fitted the core of this 20lbs braided backing I had so a few spliced nymphing indicators were born this afternoon also.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

A Nice Surprise.

I had planned on getting out for the full day but after the -3c start yesterday morning I wanted an extra hour in bed so it was just before 8am I climbed out of bed and looked at the river level, It had gone up overnight, must have been some rain high up on the Dales as none was forecast.

It had looked nice for today as well with the river thinning down fine so after a nice relaxed breakfast I decided to head up the Dale nevertheless and have a few hours with the nymphs.

I got onto the river quite late as I was stuck behind a couple of farm vehicles in convoy moving a load of hay and with the roads in the Dales not leaving too much room for manoeuvre had to sit behind them for a considerable amount of time at a very impressive 15mph!

This has been the first time in a while on this part of the river so a lot has changed since my last visit and the walk through the woods is a lot clearer than normal with most of the leaves now on the ground.

The river just came into view and I could see it was higher than I would have liked but as always I knew a few places where there might be some fish sitting.

About 10 minutes later the rod was bent into the first fish of the day, a fish I thought I had foul hooked initially as it was staying deep and I wasnt making much headway with it in the current, as the usual stamp of fish isn't too big here so hence the thought of foul hooked fish, but when I got it to the surface I could see this wasnt the usual stamp of fish for here and the hook was firmly in its mouth.

A lovely Yorkshire Grayling weighing in at 2lbs 4oz and 46cm long, what a way to start the day.

Not too many fish of this stamp around on this stretch so to say I was buzzing was an understatement.

As I sat for a moment to let the run rest I glanced over and saw the remnants of the mushrooms that frequent the wood just hanging on, a bit bedraggled.

The next fish was more the usual size and also very welcome.

A couple of golden bellied trout followed shorty afterwards but with signs of spawning were released  immediately and not netted.

I took a walk downstream toying with the idea of fishing the pocket water but with the water up and no wading stick brought, thought better of it as there is some deep gullies on this particular stretch.

Walking along the boundary wall the colours of some of the trees were stunning

And just as I was taking the picture out the corner of my eye I seen a movement in the shape of a rabbit sitting at its burrow,  lets see how eagled eyed you are....

A few more mushrooms still growing in the shade of some of the fir trees.

including this large one as you can see from the scale of it beside my reel.

I got onto the bit of water I was hoping there might be a few fish sitting in and sure enough a couple of casts and the first fish was on.

I released a couple of fish at distance before I managed another to the net.

A maniac trout decided to take my nymphs and led me a merry dance with its acrobatics and lunges and the 3# was taking it well, before it finally gave up and allowed me to unhook it, I estimate it to be around the 4lbs mark and full of milk, thankfully none the worse for its ordeal and it swam away strongly.

Another Grayling followed soon afterwards

before it all went quiet so I decided to head back upstream towards the car.

Nothing else came to the net so headed back to the car very content that in 4 hours with high water conditions I had managed to do so well. Just as I was coming out the wood I could hear a pheasant calling so peered over the wall to grab a glimpse of it before it made tracks.

I headed home a very happy angler with the knowledge of the 1st Grayling over 2lbs and taken on a recently tied nymph by myself, leaving me with a warm feeling on chilly day.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Last Minute

Saturday saw my intended river I wanted to fish at still over 1m in height, so I didn't have high hopes for Sunday at all.

Sunday morning and the river was still well above what I would call fishable levels so made arrangements to take the wife out instead and off we went. On our way home for lunch we passed over the river so I decided to stop & have a peek over the bridge to see what state it was in. Still high but it was running a lot clearer than I had anticipated, so with this in mind we headed home for lunch.

After lunch I decided to throw the gear in the car and take a chance for an hour or so, so a short time later I was setting up on the side of the river, nothing like a bit of last minute fishing.

Still running high and fast but the colour was dropping out.

I decided to start a bit downstream in the slacker water with a couple of  nymphs, and it didn't take too long until the first fish was gracing the net.

It certainly wasnt the biggest fish in the river but it was a fish nevertheless.

The next 20 minutes saw me loose a couple of fish and catch a couple.

combined with a couple of out of season trout, which I have to say were in immaculate condition for this time of year, and a few chestnut leaves thrown in for good luck I didn't get much more before the winds picked up and the fishing because very quiet so I decided that enough was enough and started heading back towards the car.

With snow still on the hills and an ice cold wind blowing I had been on the river just over an hour and a half, conditions and weather I thought it was a decent hour or so and most importantly it kept the fishing demons at bay for another week. 

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Something New.

Well thats the first week of the new job and I've kept my head above the water so Im pleased at that, not so pleased about the state of the river currently, am hoping that it will drop by tomorrow and Storm Angus wont do too much damage and pass us by.

A few new things on the cards this week with the wife bringing home some embroidery thread which was put to good on the bodies of a couple of nymphs, the sparkle doesn't show up too well on the photographs but they do catch the light at all angles which should work well.

My good friend Emilia from Graylingland in Finland sent me this over, a new free online bi monthly magazine which if they get interest in and articles will make a monthly item, the first issue has just been produced

Im sure if its given the right support it will take off and be informative to all.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

All of a Sulk...

Last weekend my Wife & I decided to head back up to Scotland for a few days as I have accepted an offer to start work with another company which saw me start on Monday so I didn't want to ask for a day off to enable us to get back up before Christmas comes around so the wife being well prepared already had everyone Christmas presents, so it was just a matter of taking them up and leaving them.

I decided to top up the box with a few nymphs so with some sulky material set about making a few perdigon nymphs up and hopefully would have a chance to get them wet whilst I was in Scotland.

Scotland like everywhere else in the country last week was struggling for water, the rivers were low and gin clear with a lot of leaf debris sitting on the riverbed throughout its course.

We drove up as planned and that night the heavens opened whilst we slept, I didn't think to the extent that the rivers would take much so had planned on a few hours......how wrong I was.

On peering over the bridge I was greeted with these views.

The view downstream


so needless to say the fishing was off, I wasnt too disheartened as it gave me more time to go and visit some friends & family and spend a bit more time with them than I had planned, and most importantly time to visit my favourite butcher and stock up on traditional Square Lorne Sausage and Scotch Pies, which now adorns my freezer in considerable numbers along with some tatties scones.

I even managed to nip down onto the Clyde and join in with one of the poaching patrols which was being conducted, so spent a nice hour or so walking the banks and having a chinwag to some old friends, in the light of the moon.

A nice weekend before starting the new job and being thrown into the lions den headfirst, but thats the joys of a new job....thankfully now halfway through the week and still OK so longing for a few hours this weekend on the river, levels dependant.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Now where are those Grayling...

With it being Remembrance Sunday this weekend and myself being a veteran I always turn out to honour the fallen so no fishing then.  With this is mind and the fact that I start a new job on Monday I decided to leave the household chores I've been doing for the last week and head out today up the Dale in search of her ladyship...the Grayling.

The water is still very low despite the 5" of snow most of the Dale has had which is now melting and starting to enter the system, the river does need a good flush through and a top up.

I can certainly think of worse views to look at on a Thursday morning.

I arrived on the river just before 0930hrs  and set up a couple of nymphs with the indicator which I had been using the last outing which martin had made for me, I wanted to try it on a larger river where there was no solid structures behind to hide the glare of the river, first 20 minutes or so was quite apart from the odd broad leaf which is populating the river at present.

I moved into a pool where I've had a few Grayling from in the past and the first pass hooked a fish, and released a fish all in a matter of a few seconds...I did take that as a positive sign though that there was fish there and the nymphs I had on were indeed working so continued on, The same thing happened a further 3 times!
I just couldn't not keep the fish on the hook and in the space of 10 minutes had lost 4 fish.

After a few chosen words to myself I finally connected and landed a fish, unfortunately not the species I was after, a nice conditioned Brown Trout which  slipped straight back whilst grabbing a snap of in the process.

Shortly afterwards I finally seen the first grayling of the day slip into the net.

I had achieved what I had set out to do so was contented now.

Just at that moment a dog on the loose on the opposite bank started chasing one of the geese which had been feeding in the fields opposite and yep, you guessed it the goose which wasnt for flying and dog ended up in the river next to me, and then finally a woman appears over the top of the far bank, politely I asked her if she knew that dogs were meant to be on a leash on this stretch which she started denying so with a pointer to the close by gate with a sign mounted on it, I told her to go read the sign, which she duly did returning with apologies, but that was this stretch ruined for now.

Moving upstream I connected with another fingerling Grayling before finally getting its bigger sister a few moments later.

I gazed over the pool to the opposite bank and saw a gorse bush in full colour, a strange sight at this time of the year.

Also above in the sky in between the low flying jets which use the Dale for flying practise from time to time, a couple of Curlews flying over and calling to each other, Normally these are gone from the Dale by late October, is the mild autumn weather keeping them longer, who knows but a nice sight to see.

I moved back downstream to where the dog & goose had disturbed the water 20 minutes earlier and took another Grayling, this time with a few battle scars on it.

with nothing much more happening over the next 30 minutes I decided to call it a day and head home, back in time to make myself a late lunch just before 2pm but a nice couple of hours confirming indicators etc and ways to improve things, and a couple of Grayling to show too.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Doon the Toon

A little change for me this week instead of heading up the Dale on my regular Sunday jaunt, I had arranged to meet up again with my longtime fishing, float making & fly tying mate Martin and because I had hosted him on our last meeting he insisted he return the favour so at the risk of loosing out on said promised handmade pork pies for lunch how could I refuse.

So today we went Doon the Toon as us Scots say and fished an urban river in the centre of what used to be the centre of the Industrial revolution in this part of Yorkshire, with machine shops, chemical manufacturing and steam power all contributing towards the large textiles Industry which dominated the area, sadly all but gone nowadays and after years of the small urban rivers being polluted and lifeless, I can thankfully say that is not the case nowadays. What used to be polluted and foul smelling is now home to Trout & Grayling which thrive in the clean waters that flow between the factories and building's in the centre of the town.

I met up with Martin at our agreed spot and we walked the 10 minutes downstream past the Cafe's and factories to where he had suggested we start, we slipped into the river just before 10am.

I wanted to try an indicator system which Martin had kindly made and passed to me on our last get together and put off from using it before as I felt it was a strain on my eyes, (Not a young spring chicken nowadays).  But with the closeness of the fishing today it would be fine so after a short change over I opted for the new indicator, Martin on the other hand was off and running almost from the word go.

Due to the narrow confined river we had to follow each other up through the pools, but this in no way effected any of the fishing as Martin would pull fish from a run and move on and I would move in and seconds later....well maybe minutes later another fish would appear, thats if he was gracious enough to leave me any as Im certain he could pull fish from an empty sink!
Leaves a plenty for both of us as the riverbed lay several inches thick with them waiting to be washed downstream in the next bit of high water.

Needless to say the banter was flowing and the fish were coming plenty, with Martin soon into double figures and we had only been fishing a matter of a half hour or so.

I was slowly getting to grips with the indicator and after a few lost nymphs to the bottom I started to connect with the fish.

Im still sure this Grayling was actually laughing at me with the smirk on its face!

For such a small river it certainly produced some lovely fish.

As well as the Grayling the trout were plentiful with quite a few showing signs of being ready to spawn, all of course were returned immediately but some of the variation of colours from green's to deep brown with bright red spots was a sight to behold.

Most of the locals were friendly enough with factory workers looking over the fence and asking how we were getting on to the ducks congregating for a photo opportunity, or maybe hopeful in some feed from us.

The kingfishers and dippers whizzing past us as they went in search of food.

Both the trout & Grayling kept coming and I was amazed at some of the depths that could creep up on you quite literally, thankfully I took the time to fix my waders from my last outing and the barb wire incident.

The flat capped angler in the background blending in, just needed the whippet for the full package.

The variety of marking of each Grayling totally different to the one before, with some having more black spots along the flanks than silver to a few having a couple of dark spots along the cheeks.

Of all the fish I caught today this one for me was by far the prettiest, with the small dots just below the eyes.

I couldn't fully comprehend where Martin was pulling some of his fish from, a run which most anglers, myself included would walk by, not Martin he would flick a small nymph in and within seconds have a trout or Grayling on, needless to say the banter was flowing well.

A quick stop for lunch with a lovely handmade pork pie washed down by some piping hot coffee as we stood and watched Grayling rise to some olives that were hatching off.

As we moved upstream I had really got the hang of the indicator and was connecting with far more fish than earlier so much so that I got my revenge when Martin hooked up a big broad leaf tree, the best tree of the day for sure and we had done that a few times between us, I had 4 fish out as he fought that massive tree, which I thought wasnt a too bad seeing as he was into fish from the moment we started.

Time had marched on as we had been enjoying ourselves and it was time for us both to leave and get back to the real world, just before 3pm we climbed out...literally on my part with a helping hand from Martin and the short walk back over the bridge as we peered over before arriving back at the cars.

a thoroughly enjoyable few hours and a total change of scenery with dry trousers for me today, but the same cant be said for Martin who opted for a wet left leg due to his brand new waders leaking! 

Another enjoyable session with  good company and fish a plenty, certainly between us almost into treble figures, but not that the amount cared to either of us, good banter, good friends and great fishing what more could an angler ask for.
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