Sunday, 28 August 2016

Best part of the day


This weekend was the annual August bank holiday.  Which living in a tourist town is a real double edged sword.  The town needs the money the visitors bring .  The crowds, litter, traffic jams and campfires and rubbish up the beck are the flip side of the equation.  Also the weather usually manages to behave in a proper bank holiday manner.  Heavy rain and strong winds are the usual and sure enough in the run up to the weekend we had seen havy rain which had put all the local rivers up which meant any fly fishing was scuppered .  My only chance of any fishing was on my local beck where the recent overnight spate and suitable high tide late at night gave a chance that an early sea trout would nose up the beck. Saturday early weather forecast  promised a window of opportunity, to be honest all in all a pretty remote chance but just realistic enough to make an early morning trip up the beck more than just a folly.



The morning was perfection , the north sea was like a mill pond allowing the castle to cast its shadow on the sea .  Only a few hours later thick clouds had blown in bringing a heavy swell and rain.  Sheltering visitors arriving mid morning missing the early morning splendour.  Oblivious to having missed the "best part of the day"


Climbing up from the sea front and looking down into the valley gives a glimpse of the beck hidden in the valley bottom.  Clambering down to the first pool its hard to realise that the high tide line is only about 70ds below this first pool.  The fishing is about searching the sea pools with a spinner , usually a mepps, chucking metal as the unkind call it. 



Another two hundred yards up stream the bankside is covered like a cottage garden border. I love this stretch of the beck , Wild orchids compete with basking slow worms to grab your attention.  This deep slow pool has delivered up some fine fish in the past.  Truth is there probably hadnt been enough of a rise in water to make running fish very likely neither was it late enough in the year to make running sea trout very likely.  



Heres a pic you wont see very often on my blog my old faithful shakey spinning rod and ABU cardinel reel.  A combo that Ive had for probably ten years and gets used about twice a year.   Truth is I am not a great fan of spinning after a couple of hours Im bored. It just doesnt float my boat .  I am not saying its unskilled because in its way it isnt .  Fishing the spinner well is indeed very skilled and we have a few guys in the club who are damn good at it . But I aint one of them . 




I have caught sea trout in the beck on them but the big deal for me was catching one on the fly years ago.  But this morning ended up been a walk by the beck with a rod for company but without a sniff of a fish.



Tuesday, 9 August 2016

River swale with a fly rod


I have just returned from a week in the Yorkshire dales , a lovely area to visit . Especially for me as it doesn't seem to matter which part you stay in you are never far away from one of the beautiful Dales rivers .  This time we were in Richmond and the local river is the Swale , in fact the river flows right through the town. Apparently the Swale can be the fastest rising river in England .  Due to its extensive high ground catchment catchment and steep valleys .  When we arrived it was dead low due to the last few weeks lack of rain. 



Despite the idyllic scene above its sad to report the litter  muppets still manage to spoil things , the shingle bank showing was liberally scattered with dozens of broken bottles and the remains of a good few bonfires .   Sadly it's an all to common story of many people's lack of respect for the countryside.  


I managed a few early morning sessions on here , not an ideal time to fish but under dead low summer conditions it has a good few things going for it.   The river has been un disturbed for a few hours and water temperatures will have dropped slightly .  Also the procession of dog walkers , fire lighters, bottle smashers and other bank side dwellers has been absent for a few hours .  The river is as quiet then as at any time of day. Swale dale certainly  is a very handsome place . The first fish of the day and in fact all he fish I caught came from Runs less than a foot deep fast broken water ,  "skinny water"




The river was a cracking place to be early morning ,  I shared it with Buzzards, Kingfishers , Dippers a couple of foxes and butterflies in abundance ,  should know more about butterflies but it's something I have never got to grip with , not sure what these are but there sure were a lot .




The run below was pretty typical of where fish came from fast, and generally less that a foot deep with a few pockets a bit deeper , a size 16 Klink with a nice visible post was the best on the day. Rises were sometimes amazingly small given the speed of the water often the fly just seemed to sucked through the film. A highly visible fly was essential.  Its also worth mentioning that not one fish was targetted as a riser.  All fish were taken by casting to likely lies and holding spots.  Fish that were visibly rising were small fish splashing in the dead slow pools.



I caught a lot of the size below and a few better fish , my best of the trip was about a pound and a half   But stupidly allowed it to flip out of the net after carrying it to the edge of the current .  Barbless hook came out and the fish bid me farewell before the camera could be deployed 




The run below was where I had my best success between one and two feet deep of very clear  fast water over a very rocky bed in a 100yds I had five fish , one released at the net as stated above and four to hand , the best photogenic one is below.  They put up a tremendous scrap in the fast current , great fun on a 10ft four weight .




Just as an aside , I like a lot of anglers can be guilty of indulging in expensive posh label gear , I do love Winstons and have several , but last year needing a 10ft 4 wt for exactly this kind of occasional use I took a risk on a cheap ebay Trabucco 4 pce.  Quite a sweet rod think it was about £75 quid. Just shows whats out there in the marketplace.




My few days in the dales were delightful , The rivers although low and full of spoooky fish were great fun. 


Until the last couple of days when overnight rain demonstrated why this river is known as the fatest rising in England.  From dead low to bank high in just a few hours..