Sunday, 19 May 2019

Walking the Rod

Another weekend and a million & one things on my list to get done, teak oil all the garden furniture was the top of my list this weekend and after almost a full day of it yesterday I was glad to head out last night to stretch my legs and walk the bank looking for fish.

I simply threw a box of dry flies in my wader pocket and headed out after tea last night. I knew the river was low and clear & was hoping that I might at least see a rising fish or two.

Sitting at the top of the beat scanning for almost 30 minutes saw no fish moving at all, no fly life nothing moving at all! heading down the beat was much the same I would walk 200m or so then stop and scan where I had come from and where I was heading but all with the same results...No movement at all.

My mind started to wander and I was amazed at the amount of debris the last big water had brought downstream & actually how high it had accumulated.

The picture does this no justice but the height of the wooden crate at the top of the pile is about 13ft high in the air.

The amount of colour on the bank at the moment was something else that caught my eye with the yellow's of the marsh marigolds and the pinks of the red campion.

I had walked the full beat and I saw one rise right at the bottom which I knew was only a small par, but nevertheless I decided to wet the flies and give it a cast before heading back to the car & sure enough up it came first time over, so not a totally fruitless walk, it was good to be on the bank just for the exercise and stretch my legs off after the day spent with the teak oil & furniture.

Its been a week where I've been getting used to the new camera I bought myself, as I felt that it was time to upgrade from the 2nd hand DLSR that I bought myself 2 years ago so after saving  I purchased a new Canon 77D.

This is a view I took on the way home from work the other day & to think I get the pleasure of seeing this most days on my way to work.

then the very same night I had the pleasure of this moon.

And finally on Thursday night nature showed me again how beautiful it can be with this sunset, taken from the upstairs window of the house. 

Nature is a wonderful thing without a doubt!

Sunday, 12 May 2019

River Magic

With the river being at a lovely height after all the rain we had during the week it seemed right to have a day on the dry flies with nothing else to worry about, so just after 10am I made the short trip to the particular part of the river I had in mind as it involved a nice walk through some woods which am sure would be full of colour and I wasnt disappointed.

The woods were carpeted in colour with the bluebells dominant.

The walk through the wood was enlightening with the smells of wild garlic, and the sounds of curlews overheard, it all made for a very peaceful place to be.

The ferns are just starting to unravel.

Sitting by the river's edge I was able to see what was moving and the first thing that caught my eye was the few yellow mayflies which were flying around, the first I've seen this year not in any numbers yet but I counted 6 in the space of 10 minutes which is a good sign of them continuing to hatch over the next few days with temperatures set to rise. Some after work fishing may be called for!

A couple of fish were rising under the cover of the overhanging branches so with my flies picked and attached to my cast I set about covering them & it didn't take to long until the first brown trout was in the net.

A lovely small heavily spotted fish. I was happy, everything else was a bonus.

Making my way slowly upstream it was mostly very small trout that were breaking the surface but from time to time something bigger showed themselves.

Smaller fish continued to take the dry & I lost count the amount of par that rose to take the fly but they were rising & it was showing that the river hadn't suffered too badly for now with the cormorants & other predators on the prowl.

A few Grayling were rising in the slower glides and I was interested to see what sort of condition they were in & it didn't take too long to find out, with the first fish I covered coming up on the first pass over its head.

This one took line and made off downstream, and from what I could see was totally fit & recovered from spawning, but none the less a quick photograph and time to recover before it swam off strongly

I sat on the bank & looked out over the field behind me....a flock of sheep, geese, Oyster catchers, pheasants & a couple of hares all within one field. The sun was out & it was just nice to chill out watching everything that was going on.

The flowers around me caught my eye & I decided to have a play with the camera.

Dandelions in the millions covered the field.

with the odd cowslip scattered around.

Heading back upstream my next fish had a tail like a paddle & used it to good effect going off like a rocket after taking my artificial.

still the smaller fish kept the sport going and it really was nice to see how healthy the river was.

I had a couple of onlookers watching my antics.

The trout continued to rise & I continued to cover them.

A nice mix of sizes with most on the smaller side but great sport and I decided to leave the river just after 3pm a very happy & contented angler with over 50 fish accounted for to the dry fly. The walk back through the woods was just that little bitter sweeter on the return trip.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Nice Finish.

Happy belated Easter to everyone, Karen & myself departed UK for warmer climates just before Easter & only returned home Saturday after a cruise around the Red Sea & transiting the Suez Canal, we both managed to tick off a few things on our bucket lists.

  • See the ancient site of Petra in Jordan.
  • Transit the length of the Suez Canal. 
  • Visit Israel & see Jerusalem & Bethlehem.

Indiana Jones move over.

Waiting at Anchor to form a convoy up through the canal.

Transiting the Suez canal

The Western Wall (Wailing Wall) in Jerusalem.

A lovely time spent away but I did miss my fishing fix, which thankfully I managed to scratch yesterday afternoon for a few hours.

The temperatures were vastly different to what I was used to recently, but it was just nice to get out with rod in hand again and see what was moving.

There was a cold northerly wind blowing and it was keeping the vast number of fish down but in sheltered areas of the river I did manage to find a few fish rising to a mix of olives and the occasional march brown that was hatching off in the sheltered areas.

a couple of grayling to start off with and they were in mint condition and fought well, clearly the spawning period never done them any harm. It wasnt too long until the brown trout started to appear & take notice of the hatch albeit it a small one, tucked in behind an overhanging tree which broke the wind the trout were feasting on the insect life hatching off.

A nice small wild brown to start off with, followed by a few smaller sized fish.

Quite different next in colorization, not 100% sure whether a trout or small salmon.

Another few smaller fish taking the dry off the surface, but getting bigger again

It started to get really cold and the hatch died off so I decided to sit under the cover of a willow tree for a few moments to see if the wind dies away.
Thankfully after round 10 minutes the wind eased & a single fish started rising again. First cast & up it came & took the imitation.

 A nice finish to a few hours on the river scratching the itch, but boy it was definitely cold and I would quite gladly take the temperatures of the last few weeks that I was getting on my far off travels

Sunday, 7 April 2019

River Robbery

With The Northern Fly Fishing Qualifiers happening on my local river today I knew there would have been a stampede of practising anglers on the bank probably since friday so decided to give it a wide berth today, instead I headed slightly north to a favourite river of mine.

I was slightly caught out with the amount of water the river was carrying especially as all the other rivers were quite low, the river was very peaty in colour and was a couple of foot up on normal levels but still very much fishable & actually worked in my favour.

I had purposely left the weighted nymphs at home as Im quite fed up now of trundling tungsten along the bottom of the river in search of fish so during the week I had made my eyes hurt with tying some #18 spiders just to freshen up the spider box, what happened to the days where I could whip up these without my eyes watering...

An old classic & very much a fish taker a
#18 Partridge & Orange.

another classic #18 Snipe & Purple

a few others were tied up last night which I didn't get time to take a photograph of but comprised of a few Greenwells Spiders & a couple of Black Magic Spiders.

My plan was to fish a team of spiders until I started to see any signs of a hatch and swap across to dry fly to see if I could tempt any rising fish.

Starting off heading upstream it wasnt too long until I felt the first fish and soon a Grayling was at my feet being unhooked an sent on its merry way, taken on the partridge & orange.

Continuing to fish upstream it was nice to see that nobody was around as far as my eyes could see, I had the whole river to myself except for the Oyster catchers, Geese & the Dippers which were keeping me company and watching my every move.

I decided to have a short break and reminisce on the last hour or so, another 4 Grayling had come to my spiders since I started and although I love Grayling I wanted to try & keep clear of them whilst they are spawning.

I was sitting leaning against an old log when I heard all the commotion behind me and something had startled a couple of Geese so I went over to investigate and found a mink sniffing around what I found to be a nesting pair of geese.

From what I could see no harm had been done to the nest & she had been sitting on a clutch of 8 large eggs, so I made a retreat to allow her to get back to the nest.

Looking upstream I started to see a couple of olives trickling down but as yet nothing was looking up at them so fished the spiders on upstream away from the geese.

I didn't get far before I was startled by a goose that almost took my head off as she flew out of the top of a log jam on the bank, I hadn't even seen her to the very last minute, I suspect in there another nest so had a quick look  and sure enough propped on top of all the tangled wood and other debris including this bright yellow canoe paddle which I propped up so any passing canoeist can see it as I know these things arent exactly cheap to buy being an ex canoeist in my younger years.

Another nest with a clutch of 3 eggs.

Moving on upstream I left them to it and decided to have a break and sit & observe the shallows to see if anything was making a break for the surface. It was about 30 minutes before I started noticing a hatch starting to form so decided to take the time to swap over to dry fly in preparation for some rising fish.

Then as if by magic a load of March Browns were riding the downstream currents before lifting off.

There wasnt many fish rising so picking my way through the shallows I started to cast to the ones I could see rising and it didn't take long before the line went tight.
I cast to a rising fish slightly upstream of me and the water erupted as a large fish moved the water to get to my artificial and I merely nicked it, it wouldn't be back anytime soon. A few choice words to myself and I moved on upstream.

A further couple of brownies came to my artificial before the hatch died off as quickly as it had appeared, roughly 20 minutes in total from start to finish.

Deciding to sit for a few moments and see if anything else would come on, after 20 minutes of nothing  I swapped over from my March Brown artificial to an Olive Jingler pattern as a searching pattern on my way back downstream.

I had gone about 100 metres and was fishing the tail end of a pool when another big trout took a liking to my artificial and the line went tight, it was soon making off at speed on its way upstream and I had to follow the best I could.

I was starting to get the better of it when all of a sudden the line went slack, it had slipped the hook, The air turned blue for a few moments then when I seen the state of the hook I could see why it had slipped.

Deciding not to bother re tying a new artificial I headed back downstream towards the car, I had just got my waders off & into the boot of the car when the heavens opened and a torrential downpour started which lasted for the next 2 hours, so the trout even though it had got off had saved me from a soaking & there is always next time. 

A great relaxing day on the river which I had completely to myself and some lovely fish as a bonus, you cannot get much better than that even though I was robbed of 2 large brownies, there is always next time.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Waiting on the Hatch

I decided today I was travelling light with only one small box of dry flies and headed up the Dale in search of a hatch. The wind was cold when I reached my destination and Im glad I took my jacket along for good measure.

Walking downstream observing as I went there was no surface movement at all, The Oystercatchers were making a racket so I suspected that I was close to their nest which I discovered last year on the same stretch of shingle, I didn't want to disturb them anymore than necessary so moved on downstream past them.

The water was lower than I had expected and some of the deeper holes I could peer straight down into as the water clarity was almost crystal clear.

I sat in the fir wood which broke the wind on the river and observed the surface for any hatch and sure enough after a few moments seen a couple of small midges hatching off, opting to sit here for a wee while I decided to get the kettle on and have a few moments watching the surface so might as well have a brew whilst Im waiting.

As I sat drinking my coffee I seen the first of the olives to hatch only the odd one or two but then more and more started floating on past me.

It was time to move into a position where I thought a few fish might be taking up the offer of some surface food and sure enough a few fish were rising. I sat & watched what I suspected to be Grayling rising so with a few casts I had the first fish of the day, a small Grayling about a half pound. After it was slipped back I caught movement out the side of my eye, and thought it might be a trout rising but alas after a few casts over its head it turned out to be another Grayling as it rose & took my artificial. I slipped my hand under it and slipped the hook out of its mouth as a few eggs excreted from its body. Time to move on and leave the ladies to it.

Walking downstream past the blossom on the blackthorn bushes I came to another pool and sat & watched,  again only small Grayling moving to the olives.

I didn't find it befitting casting to fish that are out of season so let them be & headed back upstream in the direction of the car.

With nothing further observed moving to any surface movement I walked through the back of the woods and headed to the car.

New buds are appearing everywhere you look and its really a colorful time of year to be on the riverbank, even the bluebells are starting to poke their heads out on the banks.

The daffodils starting to get past their best as I arrived back at the car.

Maybe no trout today but a good chilled out session on the river.