Sunday, 23 October 2016

Shaky start but finally got there.

This morning I was hunted out the house by the wife so she could get the rest of the holiday washing mountain completed, so I headed up the Dale for a couple of hours. I didn't fancy venturing far as the weather had predicted showers and strong easterly winds, but we all know what the BBC weather predictions are like! The river looked in fine fettle and it was only slightly raining but the wind was not present as predicted.

It  wasnt too long until the line went taught and the first fish of the day was on, however not the species I had come for but a lovely trout from this part of the river so a quick picture with the new camera and released without harm to go about its business.

I was hoping not to get amongst the trout and had purposely come to this part of the river to try & stay away from them but it seems they weren't told as the next 3 fish were trout.

Nothing of any size and no indication of them spawning yet. A couple of small stockies from this year and this wild fish which had no red spots apart from two on its tail the remainder simply plain black.

Moving away from the trout the rain started to die off and low and behold the sun came out and the view upstream with the autumn colours was quite impressive.

As I made my way upstream the fungi stood proud in the morning sunlight.

And the last of the wild flowers took advantage of the autumn heat.

I stopped at a place where I had hoped I might get the first Grayling of the day and sure enough around 5 minutes or so after arriving the first Grayling was safely in the net.

After 20 minutes or so and no more fish I decided to keep on moving and headed downstream in search of the Grayling, it didn't take too much searching before the next fish graced the landing net.

The fish clearly are well spread out and I never touched another fish so continually moving was the key to finding them.

A quick breather and rid myself of the wet-proof jacket.

As I said earlier I had a new camera on the bank with me today, whilst in Shanghai I seen it in a shop at a reduced price to what I would have paid in the UK so decided it would be the next fishing camera with the added bonus that its waterproof and shockproof so it wont mind if I accidentally let it slip into the water.

 I have to say Im quite impressed with the picture quality on the close up shots, the other pictures I feel are slightly dark but I've yet to properly play with it to get it set the way I want.

I moved from run to run taking more small Grayling as I went.

I got to the point in the river where I said I would stop and head back downstream, this part of the river is quite remote and a bit off the beaten path but it seems somebody has been there recently, leaving a few small artworks, either  a very bored fisherman or somebody with too much time on their hands.

The rain had started again and the forecast winds were now blowing in which made the temperature drop by a few degrees.

It didn't deter the grayling as a few more were caught on the journey back downstream towards the car.

As I was crossing over the river for the final time I seen something I haven't seen in years, somebody had lost a remote control speedboat which was now making its way downstream with the current.

I have to say I enjoyed seeing the kingfishers and dippers shooting back & forth up the river but this has to take the best of the day as its not everyday you see one of these float past you whilst fishing.

It was great to be back out on the bank after a few weeks away even if only for a couple of hours and Im really looking forward to the crisp winter mornings on the river in search of the Grayling.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Break over, Its time to fish.

A lot has happened since my last blog entry, and together with my good lady we have both been to far flung places on our holidays for 3 weeks.

We started off in Shanghai China for a few days enjoying the sights.

Where as you can see fishing was still on my mind, but I didn't fancy being arrested so let them be after feeding them.

where we then joined our cruise ship on the Yangtze river and headed for Okinawa in Japan.

after Okinawa we headed to Hong Kong

then onto Danang in Vietnam where I put my life into the hands of a Vietnamese pedal cab driver....now that was an experience.

Ho Chi Mihn in Vietnam followed before finally ending up in Singapore for another few day stop over, where we left the tea & tiffin to the people appropriately dressed at the Raffles Hotel and partook in a drink in the famous long bar at the hotel, home of the infamous Singapore sling.

Whilst in Singapore I was getting itchy fishing hands so tracked down the only fly fishing & fly tying shop in Singapore.

Coho Fishing tackle 

I had a cracking few hours in the company of Michael the owner who really made me welcome and went away with a quite a few goodies thanks to him. If your ever in Singapore please do look him up and visit the shop he will look after you and he stocks very good fly tying materials and equipment at reasonable prices.

Now its back home and time for the season I look forward to all year, The Grayling season so before heading back to work on Monday I plan to start the season off up the Dale tomorrow in search of the lady of the Stream.

Friday, 30 September 2016

They think its all over......

Now the proper fishing begins.
With today being the last day of the trout season here, the season I prefer is now upon us, however I always like to give it a few weeks so a slight fishing break before I enjoy this years Grayling season, the clear crisp frosty mornings on the river, you cant beat it!

Last couple of days has seen me tying up a few nymphs in preparation as I plan to fish the nymph a lot more this year than I normally do.

A couple of rainbow perdigons which worked well last year.

A few bugs which I always have in my box and has caught me many Grayling over the years, the one on the far left has been wetted to show the colour difference from the remaining dry ones, some with ribs some without.

And a few quill nymphs I seen online so decided to tie a few and see how they go.

Today I made up the first Bottle of this years Sloe Whisky, 250 grams of sugar, 1 Litre of Whisky and 2 lbs of sloes, now its all down to time, this will sit for 3 months or more in a dark cupboard as it takes on the taste and colour of the sloes, Ready just in time for the 2017 Trout season.

To all my fellow Grayling anglers world wide I hope you have a rod bending season and enjoy these wonderful fish...Tight Lines.

Monday, 26 September 2016

All too Sloe

This weekend was sloe collecting time, so to tie in both my fishing and sloe collecting I decided to split the day yesterday, morning too fishing and afternoon to collecting sloe's.

The river looked spot on when I arrived but I knew it wouldn't last long as the overnight heavy rain would filter into the system as the morning drew on. I sat and watched the first set of runs for any movement as I had seen a few small hatching duns coming off in the early morning sunshine, so was hoping the fish might react to them but alas nothing did so it was to be a start on the nymphs to see if I could tempt anything.

It didn't take long to the Par intervened with both trout & grayling coming to the nymphs.

What they lack in size is made up in beauty.

after capturing almost a dozen of these small fish I finally got into a better grayling

I was hoping more for trout but I wasnt turning my nose up at grayling, as this will probably be the last time Im out this trout season, not that Im complaining as the trout season for me in just a filler in until the next grayling season comes around, as grayling fishing is my passion, and always has been since the very first time I caught one all those years ago.

20 minutes or so went by with nothing moving at all and just as I was about to head up to the next pool the line went taught again, another grayling.

The water was starting to colour over & I knew it wouldn't be long until it started rising so I headed up to fish the final pool before calling it a day and heading out for the sloes.

The damp weather suiting the fungi growing off the trees on the riverbank.

As I rounded the bend a heron took off and headed upstream and as I approached where it had been standing the place was littered with crayfish shells obviously a delicacy for the bird and very welcome to know that its eating them but I fear not it the numbers we would like.

The last pool produced nothing and the river was coming down at a rate of knots now with branches and other debris that it had picked up off the banks so I decided to call it a day and sure enough when I seen the river levels on my return home it had risen from 0.32 to 0.66 in less that 30 minutes.

It was also nice to receive a message from a friend who is a fly tying instructor further down the Dales and he had picked up on the Supa Pupa pattern I learned from John Roberts and wrote about in an earlier blog entry. He had taught his students how to tie it and this was the message....

 I've go to smile George. Just had a phone call from a very excited student of mine. He has just caught a 1.5lb grayling on one of your Supa Pupa I taught him to tie. He is still stood in the middle of the river too.

Lovely to see that the knowledge is being passed on and people are using the fly to their advantage. Long may it continue.

The walk back to the car gave me time to try out some of the settings on the new replacement camera on the old buildings.

A short drive took me to my happy hunting ground for my sloes and I have to say the bushes this year were absolutely dripping with sloes.

A quick bite to eat then I started the picking. About an hour or so later and a few cut fingers from the thorns, but all worth it, I walked away with my plastic bucket full.

Now the fun really begins with washing them off, and the time consuming job of removing the small wooden stem on every sloe. A few cups of coffee and a stiff back later, I had 17lbs of sloes bagged up ready for the freezer.

I like to add 2 lbs of sloes per litre of whisky so this will see me through 7 litres and I have a 3lbs bag as spare  or if I see more sloes in the next few weeks I can collect a few and make them up to another 2 x 2 lbs bags.

If you want to try sloe gin or whisky making for yourself now is the time to get out and get them picked, I can honestly say you wont regret it if you do.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Taking you on a journey....

Firstly I would like to inform the readers, the camera never made it, after a week on the window it didn't come back to life and I had to send it to the big camera in the sky.

So I had to resort to my final spare I had tucked away in my desk drawer, I just hope it lasts as long as this one has.

Today I decided to head far up the Dale with two motives, 1. To see how the sloes are coming on at one of my locations I frequent and 2. To see if I could tempt a couple of wild trout before the season closes as I will only have probably one more trip out before I call it a day for this years Brown Trout season.

Arriving at the river just after 10am I decided to head off down through the wood as the sun was strong and nothing was moving on the upper reaches and unfortunately where located the motorcycles were racing up & down the road as they always do when the good weather is upon us, making my head throb with the noise.

Walking down the overgrown path showed the signs of an autumnal day with the leaves starting to turn and drop to the floor.

Fishing isn't all about catching fish as some of my close friends know, its about everything around us from the kingfishers darting up the river with a flash of blue as they go to the small things most people dont even see, the amount of Fungi today was quite overwhelming in the matter of a 200m walk to where I wanted to start, most people would walk right over them but close up they all have an individual beauty.

Finally the hole in the wall and the river

I sat up on the vantage point on the edge of the wood and looked down on the particular pool and saw that a couple of fish were rising at the back end of the fast paced water, so decided to target the one at the very bottom of the pool and it didn't take long till he came up and took my dry fly I offered him.

almost invisible back in his home

The next few casts resulted in a couple of long range releases of small trout doing acrobatic's before I hooked into the first Grayling of the day.

The sun was so strong, combined with the reflection off the surface that my face was burning so taking a break to sit in the shade for a while and it gave me an opportunity to grab something to eat, and I had a chuckle to myself as I opened the small lunch bag my wife put together for me.....

All caught on a size 20 dry fly and scoffed straight away!

Fed & watered I headed off upstream back towards the car, releasing a further 3 Grayling as I went 2 long range and 1 at the net.

The countryside at the moment is full of colour from the leaves turning and the amount of wild berries ripening, just one of the many I passed today.

and still in flower the Montbretia

As I went picking & eating the ripened wild black berries which reminded me of the days we all went as a family to Cairnryan, before it became a ferry terminal to Ireland where we stayed on a small caravan site for the weekend with the sole purpose of picking the fruit so my granny could make jam from it, I do love this time of year.

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