Monday, 19 February 2018

Simple Things

I have to regrettably say another weekend of no fishing!
High river water and domestic duties for a second weekend put paid to that, but things are marching along nicely with the house and it won't be long until those long summer nights and all the upheaval of plastering, & electricians will be but a distant speck in my memory.

It wasnt all bad news, as I came home tonight to receive a package with a postmark from Austria which meant only one thing, My old military friend Klaus had been up to his usual tricks of posting things over without notification.

As I opened the box I was greeted with a handwritten letter and a display of handmade floats which he had graciously made for me.

a lovely selection which I will put to good use at some point in the future.

I was then confronted with a leather covered box......and on opening.
a surgical set 

Something that will come in very handy not only in the fly tying & float making. Simple things that make such a difference in the pursuit of creating floats & flies for our sport.

And talking of creating, a few flies I knocked up after seeing a similar fly on the net so decided to try my hand.

#20 IOBO Humpy fly, created by Jack Tucker of Pennsylvania in the USA and modified in the UK for ease of tying.

Another couple of nymphs this time with some Nymph skin and some 20lbs nylon as legs.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Filling the Boxes Up

No fishing for me this weekend, Im on domestic assignment this week, lifting carpets, stripping out built in wardrobes in preparation for electricians and plasterers to ascend on the house.

In between all the sweaty stuff I get some relaxation with being at the vice, and preparing the boxes for the forthcoming trout season.

I always like to have a few peeping caddis in my box and two colours which have always came good for me in the past and caught me Trout & Grayling is green & orange.

and to mix it up a little this season I tied some red to have a play with.

I've been messing around with some deer hair & CDC for some Caddis patterns, and after a couple of flies that were not quite right I settled on this one, Still a bit of work to be done around the head area but a fly which holds plenty of buoyancy and will cope with a nymph being suspended under it as a searching pattern, time will tell.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Not so much Ladies of the Stream

It was with great anticipation of getting back out on the river solo again that I felt as I drove up the Dale this morning in the morning sunshine and its wasnt long until I had geared up and was walking towards the river.

The snow still on the tops of the hills surrounding the Dale.

The river looked to be at a perfect height but was gin clear which would make things a bit tougher, as I waded across the river to get downstream to my starting point I could feel how cold the river was from the splashes on my fingers, thankfully I was dressed for the occasion below my lightweight waders.

It took me almost 40 minutes of searching before I had the first fish in the net.

Nothing of any great size but it was a nice start to the day and hopefully there would be more to follow, and there was, just not in the sizes I had hoped for.

Miniature Perfection but instead of the ladies of the Stream I had found a small shoal of Girls of the Stream, a couple of casts more and their bigger sister appeared.

With nothing further coming from the run I headed upstream in search of other fish.

It was good to be back out again and great to be watching a couple of Curlews overhead calling to each other.

It was about an hour or so before my next touch from a fish came.

Again not a large fish but very welcome nevertheless on what was turning out to be a tough day indeed.

A stop for a bite to each and a coffee.

extra spicy chilli sauce & turkey on a cheese topped roll, nothing better to warm the cockles of your heart on what was becoming a cold day when the sun dipped away, & nice to just sit for a half hour and observe all the sights & sounds of the riverside.

With the recent floods all the banks have been scoured clean apart from the odd snowdrop here & there.

The storm clouds were gathering in the distance and the air had turned decisively colder, so I got on the move again hoping for another couple of fish.

It took about 30 minutes to find the fish, and although again nothing of any size they were lovely to see.

Just after I landed this fish the heavens opened, first with slight rain drops then full on hail stones, It was time to call it a day and as I walked the 10 minutes back up to the car I bumped into an old friend who was further down the river and he had done the same & was heading for home, nothing caught for him so I felt rather better that I had managed to find fish.

 Albeit Girls and not the larger Ladies of the stream but there is always next time, and it was just so nice to be back out on the river again so the fish in my eyes were just a bonus.

A couple of flies tied up since my last blog entry in preparation for the trout season,  If I had to pick only 3 dry flies to fish with all season, this would be in the list of 3.

CDC Foam Dun.

Brown with burnt orange, has taken many fish when all else has failed and when the yellow sally's are on the water there is nothing better than the CDC foam Dun in yellow.

Both tied on a #16 and the barbs will be crushed prior to entering the box.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Out of the Hat & Tying's

Sorry folks for keeping you in suspense, I know that January is over but the draw from Blog, Blog, Blogging Along was completed by my good lady Karen, but I've just not had time to get online in the last 2 days and get the blog entry written so my apologies first and foremost.

The entry Karen picked out of my trusty Boston hat was Andy from the blog Brooks and Brown Trout Congratulations Andy. If you drop me a message, (All have to be moderated so I just won't publish the message) with your address & what two leaders you want, I will get the floats & leaders sent to you next week.

Since my last blog entry I've managed to get some tying done in preparation for those long summer nights where brown trout are rising freely to dry flies.

A favourite of mine and should be in everyone's Dry Fly box the Jingler.

These ones are tied on a #16 and the barbs will be nipped before going into the box. Extremely effective in hatches of LDO.

Moving up a size to #14 another few Jinglers with over exaggerated soft hen hackle for more movement in the water,  These ones in the bigger size are really effective in a March Brown hatch.

I happened to mention a Pheasant Tail Dry pattern on social media and was asked if I would tie a few up, probably the easiest dry fly to tie, some tie with pheasant fibres for the tail but for extra durability I prefer Coq de Leon.

and finally a mixture with two sighter flies at the top to work with some nymphs suspended under them, and a couple of CDC duns and Deer hair duns.

Hopefully the weather will be kind to me this weekend and I will manage to get out on the river and have a try for the Grayling again, Tight Lines if your fishing.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

No Fishing but a Walk Instead

I had hopes of getting tho the fishing today but the recent weather fronts put a stop to that, The river was dropping nicely until yesterday's rain shot it back up well over the fishable level and combined with the high winds blowing down the Dale it wasnt a day for the rods, so leaving the rods at home I slipped on the wellies and went for a walk with the camera along the river instead.

The first snowdrops I've seen this year are now in plentiful supply all along the riverbank.

As I walked up the Dale away from the road the wildlife became more apparent with a few large Hares running at speed away from me to the safety of the opposite hedgerow, the usual geese making a racket as I approached before taking to the wing and heading away from me also.

I decided to sit below a big oak tree and see if they would come back around and sure enough 10 minutes later they had landed where they had taken off from and started feeding again.

What impressed me even more was the sound of Curlew's calling from behind me and as I turned around I saw the largest group of Curlews I've seen in a very long time, I counted 15 in total with just being able to snap the last few away at distance.

They say they are in decline in the Dales, if anything like todays sighting is to go by, I'd say they are definitely making an appearance again.

I walked another field upstream and came across a goose which had died, only a day or so by the condition of it so waste not want not the wing quills were extracted and will join the pile I already have awaiting to be turned into floats, If ever I find the inspiration again.

Another good float making material I seen in abundance was teasel, Although this stuff is still pretty fresh as t still has all the thorns attached, I did find some older stuff which I was able to harvest.

Just over an hour and a half walk seen me back at the Devil's Bridge where I had started my walk.

If ever the wife throws me out, I know where a dry hole is, however would'nt like to say it stays dry in ever flood.

A nice day for a walk, when fishing was out of the question and some more materials to sit in the float making bin if & when I get around to it again.

A photo which I took last night from my front room looking out across the Dale was quite spectacular in the colours the sky was throwing around.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Blog, Blog, Blogging Along

10th January 2010 nothing out of the ordinary to most people just another day in the past and I only just realised after looking for a specific picture that I want to have blown up into a canvas, that date was the very first entry on the Flee & Float.
8 years I've been Blog, Blog Blogging along, and enjoyed every minute of it.

A lot of water has ran under the bridge since then & quite a few Grayling caught along the way with a lot of new friends worldwide created due to it.

To celebrate the Flee & Float's birthday,  Seeing as I've concentrated more on the Flee side the last couple of years more than the Float side.

I will offer up a set of 3 floats from my own collection, made in 2016 and never used.

 and a couple of furled leaders, either dry fly or nymph indicator types as seen below.

All you have to do is leave a comment with your name below this post & I will put all the names into a hat at the end of the month and get my good lady Karen to draw out a winner.
Remember the posts are moderated so they will not appear at the time of you posting them but I will check nightly and add any for that day.
To everyone who has followed the blog over the years thank you for your continued support, and friendship.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

1st Trip Out

Thankfully I was able to get back out onto the river again today, albeit under escort of my longtime fishing friend Martin.
We normally get together a few times a year where he will come up Dale or I will go urban around his home but this time we had arranged to fish neutral ground and somewhere we have been meaning to fish together for over 10 years, so this week it was down Dale for me & Up Dale for Martin.

We had arranged to meet at the permit outlet at 0800hrs get our tickets and get out early on the river, and after squaring all the necessary tickets away we were soon walking down the bank away from where we left the cars looking both for our first grayling of 2018.

The river was low & crystal clear so finding some depth where fish might be lying was tricky at first but not before long Martin was onto his first Grayling of 2018.

It took me slightly longer, 5 minutes longer before I could lay claim to my first Grayling of 2018.

Not the larger fish we were expecting but we were both on the score sheet for 2018.

We fished on down the river without much fish success at first but plenty caddis larvae between us, with nearly every cast producing one somewhere along our team of nymphs.

Speaking to a couple of bait anglers on route they had no success at all so it was a tough day so far allround.

As Martin fished the bottom of the pool & I was at the head we simultaneously hooked up together, both landing another small Grayling each and thats how it went on for the next 10 minutes or so before the pool went dead again. I had another 3 small Grayling as did Martin.

Time for a brew as the wind was picking up, not too badly but it was bitter cold.

Now what rod & reel is your one again?

We fished on downstream without touching another fish and the presence of a couple of Canadian Kayak's making their way downstream didn't help any.

I had the sheer pleasure of watching a couple of Red Kite's hunt for food along the river high above us, with one swooping down to the other side before taking off again and heading away from us.

It was good to be back out on the river and the lack of fish did not dampen our spirits as we always have a laugh when we get together.

Smile, I'll make you famous....

For all the wrong reason!! not another tippet change... :)

Hooking into another fish and managing to loose it we decided to head back upstream

And only another small grayling for Martin before we both called it a day, I had pierced my wader on barbed wire, it will fix easily, more than I can say about Martin's as he peeled off his waders to reveal wet trousers & socks, might as well just not bothered with the waders.....a lovely piece of river with not many fish showing up for us but any day on the river is better than what I had last weekend so will not complain at all. 
Excellent company, a few small fish each and a many laughs along the way!
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