Monday, 26 September 2011

The end of another season and another another lesson learnt




Sunday was the last day I will get out out trout fishing for this year.  The occasion was marked by a trip to the Ure with a guest. We both had a good day.  The weather whilst not been perfect was as good as you can reasonably expect with Autumn nearly upon us.  Fish were caught but as is usually the case wth rivers it had to be worked at and the fish earnt.  On the day small size 16 cdc emergers were the flies that worked for me.  Fished in the faster runs for the Grayling and in the tails of the pools and the eddies for the trout.  In the early afternoon they both rose freely anough. The best of the fish were the two I picture here the grayling was a very long fish that seemed thin for its length and came to the net without  to much fuss the brownie was different it fought like something twice its size. 

later on in the afternoon between five and six.  The grayling had long since finished their activity but I fancied the last hour in a large pool on the river.  There would be trout rising there I was sure.  The pool has a large gravel bar down the middle of it and I was stood on there which gives you command of most of the water.  I was aware of fish rising to my left towards the bank but casts towards them were into the setting sun and after wasting about 20 minutes without a single response and not willing to wade back down and across the pool due to the small time left I decided I should move as I had agreed a finish time with my fishing companion. 



Reeling in the fly came skittering back across the surface a bow wave followed it and a splashy rise failed to produce a hook up.  A light switched on in my brain and I worked my way back down the pool .
As I reached the bank I spotted them , sedges dozens of them . The sun had stopped me seeing them. I had been to complacent and missed a golden opportunity.



I had about 10 minutes so I waded back in and put on a sedge pattern,  in a rush I foolishly didnt swap the 3lb tippet for something stronger,  I think you can guess the rest . Second retreive and a big bow wave followed by a savage take.  The tippet parted and a large brown jumped and swam free.  I should have known better.  .

It was almost as if the river was leaving me with a rap across the knuckles and leaving me with a hundred lines for the close season . 
Dont stop thinking and concentrating
Dont stop thinking and concentrating
Dont stop thinking and concentrating
Dont stop.........

Friday, 16 September 2011

Late Summer grayling on the Ure,,,

At this time of year I I think that a good few hours out on the river is especially precious .  Days are shorter now and short days mean the end of my preferred evening fishing.  So when I saw the weather forecast this week and it was predicting Thursday to be a day when the recent winds will reduce and the days leading up to it been dry a half day was booked at work and after lunch I headed to the river





The river surprised me when I got there.  There was about a foot more water in it than I was expecting but it was running pretty clear .  Very coloured as usual but clean.  It was also colder than expected, I made a mental note that next time it will be the neoprene waders and not the lightweight breathables.



After starting of with  tan and then olive and brown coloured klinks and not getting a sniff of a fish.  I swapped to a black klink. Actually I had a few that I had bought as my fly box was very thin and tying time has been sadly lacking As I prepared to lengthen line to cast again I dumped a few feet of line on the water surface and had a take almost at my feet , a tiny grayling showed me I had found the right fly.

I had about 8 or 9 nice Grayling of a respectable size in about 90 minutes of activity in three different runs.  Nice fish including this one with a most unusual scale pattern.

The water was pefect for the dry fly .  It has better clarity than the pictures would suggest and the extra foot of water put some real pace into the runs.  I am gratefull that the grayling will rise for a fly well into the autumn. I will fish with a nymph for them but I love fishing dry fly.  Saying that one of my aims this year is to increase my knwledge and capability of fishing the deep nymph , czech style.  I am particulaly interested in the use of braid long leaders to aid bite detection, a method that is been discussed on various forums at the moment.  I will be reporting through the winter on how my efforts are rewarded.



The Grayling were of a nice size and offer much optimism for future years .  The fish were in fine condition , they are my favourite game fish. With the  benefit to us of extending the fly fishing season well into the winter months.


This is the black klinkhammer that did the trick,  I have carefully retained one and my fly tying will in future include this variation , they look to be about a 16 with a thread body although I find klink hooks a mystery as the sizes from different manufacturers to vary by an enormous amount.  I have also purchased some aerowing material to start using for posts.  I reckon I can tie a reasonable klink but not a really good one.. That is work in progress..

After a couple of hours the grayling ceased activity but odd trout were rising in the slower back eddies , I ended up with three , a daddy long legs accounted for this beautifully coloured fish.  Although the daddies seem to have been thin on the ground this year I wouldnt venture on to an autumn river without some in my fly box




Monday, 12 September 2011

Scottish Spate rivers


Following on from my last post there is a small spate river that offers a bit of sea trout fishing if water levels are up to scratch.  Sadly once again the rain gods failed to smile,  but been an eternal optimist which is surely an anglers greatest gift , that and just been do damned stubborn to give up.  I decided that one morning I would take advantage of the very hight tides and fish at the mouth of the river and sea if anything could be picked up in the salt water.



As I got down to the river mouth I wondered what the sheep were fussing about and realised that they had ended up marooned on a new island the high tide had created , they soon settled down and just watched me. I bet the lamb has a lovely flavour with them eating all the salt covered grass.

It was interesting wading out along the river bank that was now covered by a foot or two of sea water . There was some sign of activity there were a few small silver fish jumping where the sea water was meeting the fresh water. I kept a careful eye on the river bank position a wrong step and I would be in pretty deep.



 Despite a couple of hours of effort I couldnt raise anything , however I did nearly give my wife a heart attack as she said when she looked out of the window I seemed to be wading in the middle of the sea as the tide was in so far.  There was one accomplished fisher that was doing better than me on the sea loch banks.  I saw it with two fish one looked like a decent pollack the other an eel. 


The day after I had an exploratory up the river to see if there were any little native brownies.  The local scenery here is stunning with some really inviting pools. But wet flies and dries alike failed to raise any enthusiasm.


The damp climate makes for abundant growth funghi are growing everwhere . Wonder if they are edible

on the last full day of my holiday the rains at last came and an early morning session saw the river about 2ft up ,  In a few hours fishing I hooked into one decent sea trout ,  sadly as I drew it to the net I could see it was hooked right on the neb.  and sure enough it detatched itself pretty quickly.  The river lost that two foot of water in about three hours,  The speed of run of is incredible.

This is the pool below the road bridge I hooked that solitary fish just infront of the scaffolding.  Sadly The fish is still in the river.  The place is beautiful we watched Ospreys hunting on the river and the sea loch from the lounge window and had buzzards over the garden. 

The Cottage we rented is on this estate anyone wanting a holiday for the family combined with the chance for a bit of fishing wont be dissapointed. We rented the Old Kirk...

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Loch trout in Scotland

Loch Charn


last week I enjoyed a relaxing week away North of the border in Scotland south of Oban at kilninver.  Readers of my blog may have noted we stopped there last year .  Anyway for various reasons we ended up back there this year.   We stayed in a converted Kirk, It wasnt a fishing holiday but rather a holiday with the opportunity to do a little fishing ,  We visited the same place last year I can recomend it. 

As we were on holiday heres a tourist type photo to prove it. This is Inveraray Castle. Whilst the family enjoyed the Castle, myself and my labrador explored the estate and particularly the view of the estate river I still dont know its name ,  I am a habitual bridge leaner how many of you anglers can cross a bridge without a gaze into the depths below .  There were trout there after a few minutes watching its strange how they suddenly become visible.  Its also strange how they remain invisible to non angling companions. 




This year I fished the Little loch Charn which is about a half hour walk up into the hills behind the house we were stopping in its a delightful place and the walk up to it is accompanied by The attention of the resident hoodies, not the inner city type but the crows that seem to follow you up the path... The heather lines the route and the buzzards circle in the sky. The lichen grown thickly on everything and in close up its like a miniature forest.

Loch Charn is a pretty little hill loch that remains invisible till you are pretty much on top of it.  It didnt disspoint though,  its clear peaty waters looked very trouty and I soon found the dinghy which was handily moored in a little cut away section of bank.




This hill loch proved to have nice shallow margins but shelved away very quickly as the short anchor rope in the dinghy proved...  The fish were small but well marked .  They were among the edges of the reed and water lily beds.  They came to the top dropper it needed a small black bushy fly. No doubt taken for a terrestrial .


The fish are dark and very hard fighting for their size. The takes were never shy and the fight was acrobatic.   Its a very different type of fishing for me,  I am used to small rivers and fast water.  At least since I have been fishing this year with spiders I can knot a decent dropper and am now have had a few trips loch fishing , but I am not yet an expert on this style of fishing I also doubt I ever will become one. I visited this loch a couple of times. Once the kids walked up to it with me , my ever faithfull labrador just about went into meltdown at the sight of me rowing out into the lake .


 A few of the fish that were caught over a couple of trips ,  there were many but these few are a fair sample all similer sizes the only difference was the colours, strange how these loch fish vary so much even within a real small area.