Sunday, 20 January 2019

First signs ...


It is mid winter , cold and misty the river is carrying colour and the days are short but today was a good day .  We are told that bad weather is on the way snow wind and rain.  The white frost is hanging in the shade of the trees and hills are shrouded and white .But the river is so close.  The winter storm is not yet here the river was fishable and it was an opportunity not to be missed.





The day didnt get away to a great start the little chap below was the first fish to come to hand but then before to long several of his larger brothers turned up.   The fish taking a black beaded caddis .  It looked to be carrying the scars of an earlier bird attack.  You will notice the gloves ,  its not very often I have to resort to them but it was pretty thin...to use a local expression.


The colours on Grayling are superb these and are superb for banning the shack nasties in the middle of winter .  they scrap well in the faster water , especially on the soft action 3 weight I use .  The fish are still in the faster water they havent shoaled up in the deep slacks just yet .



This year seems to be showing more Grayling than we have had for a few years , with Good numbers of various sizes of fish which bodes well for the future.  I even had my first minnow sized fish a week or so back.



 These were not the only sign of things changing these snowdrops are starting to show in the sheltered corners .  Such delicate flowers and yet the first things that is tough enough to brave the winter cold



Back at the car  the tups were been taken back to their spring paddock .  Either they were preparing for their duties or had just done them.  Perhaps spring really is just around the corner.










Friday, 4 January 2019

So that was the year that was....


So 2018 all done and dusted ,  fishing wise a pretty indifferent year , Rivers were desperately low due to a long summer drought .  This was a season with no real noteworthy fish .  In fact it is a year that is only memorable because of the opportunities it offers for the future ,  2018 saw me gain access to a small fairly local fishing association that offers a few miles of beautiful wild river that is brimming with fine wild fish. It is as unspoilt a place as you can find in this overcrowded island .  Indeed I suspect that I will subconsciously limited myself to the times I visit .  Natural rivers with quality fishing are by their nature vulnerable because of their own qualities . 



I have visited my local river twice in that last few days .  Firstly on the day before New Years Eve and then again new years day  after returning from a New Years eve party on board a cross channel ferry.  The first fishing trip was only notable for a couple of Grayling the best and the last fish of 2018 is shown above.  The fish has a damaged mouth ,  Hypocritical? I guess. I know but I hate to see fish with damaged mouths .  I have this naive delight in catching a pristine wild fish such damage just highlights that it has been caught before and apparently by someone who perhaps did not handle it as gently as he should.



My local stream is well known to me I have fished it regularly for the last 20 plus years ,  and yet as today it gives surprises ,  today I waded a stretch I have waded many times before to find that although looking similar a familiar bank side tree has keeled over and gone and a stretch of river 100 yards long has changed completely new deep holes and fast runs created like magic. For the last few years I have been a member of a local syndicate offering salmon and sea trout fishing.   I have tried very hard to love it, much as I have tried to bond with the chalk streams.  But there is to much of the rough stream brown trout fisherman in me.  I think I have it out of my system now.  





January the first gave me another surprise was the sight of a single cherry tree throwing out blossom on the first of January .   Made even more un seasonal by the fact that today the wind has changed and that bright sunny day that you look at through the windows is in fact one with a lazy NE wind, lazy as it goes straight through you rather than going around. February and March are not my favourite months.  They are to cold and to dark.  Its a time for a break from fishing and concentrate on fly tying and heightened anticipation for the approaching spring.