Friday 31 December 2010

New (Fishing )Years Eve

Well here we are again.  Another year has gone.  Its always been said that Britain doesnt have a climate it just has weather. Well if this year is anything to go by we now have a climate ,  Long dry summer and a very cold winter.

The dry summer suits me, in the spring the smaller becks warm up quickly and fish beautifully and then as the levels in them gos down the valley bottom rivers get a settled summer and fish well through the into the autumn. 

The only thing that did badly suffer was our local beck . It has a very ltd catchment and soon suffers in dry years, also the sea trout dont run the beck unless there is a good spate for a few days and some years like this one  they hardly make an appearance at all. 
The grayling fishing has suffered this year despite a promising start.  The Autumn descended into severe cold and ocassional spates far to quickly. So either the rivers were out of sorts or the roads were damn near impassible. 

However on balance its been a good year there have been no memorable fish in terms of size.  But the fish seem to get prettier as I get older.  Some of the little wildies I have caught this year had colours like a handful of precious stones.

As for resolutions well I dont usually go in for them.  But for a few years I have considered one and am determined this year to do it,  I want to walk and fish one of the becks / rivers I fish from its very source as a trickle on the moors top down to the point it joins the main river Derwent in the valley bottom.

Generally I shall try to improve my skills and get out fishing more . That big Grayling has eluded me this year lets hope that next year it doesnt,

Thanks for reading my Blog this year I hope that you continue to read and enjoy......


Friday 24 December 2010

Another year ends but has a silver lining...

As this year draws to a close and I reflect on the season there have been plenty of lowspots.  But there have been high spots, which include fishing related ones.  This years mayfly hatch was extraordinary in its abundance and the summer drought whilst taking some of the smaller becks I fish down to their bones allowed some of the larger streams a long settled summer and they fished superbly.  I have fished from the tiniest of becks on the top of the moors and caught trout from pools the size of a dustbin lid and have fished a large river for the first time in many years,  that beautiful river Ure in North Yorkshire.  I intend to return to it many times. 

This years pre christmas freezing weather and  heavy snow have done little to extend the grayling fishing.  At first the roads were impassable and then the rivers themselves became choked with ice.  However last weekend I was determined to have one last fish in 2010. But as the report on my previous snow bound fly fishing expedition related I think that for me it needs to warm just a little for the fly rod to return.

So I decided to get the trotting gear out of the store.  However much I love fly fishing there is still sufficient of the small boy within me to love float fishing.  There is a real satisfaction in watching a small bright float been carried along by the current . Its path relating a constant report on the river bed,  that dragging weed bed the hidden snag that sudden depth drop of.  Properly fished and interpretated watching a floats progress is an absorbing way to pass a hour or two.  The constant anticipation of the bob and slide away of a take lends that endless anticipation. 

The fishing on the day as could be expected was slow and the water oh so cold,  But after a couple of out of season small brownies the the float once again slid away , a different fight this time not a trout for sure but what a grayling? , after a short tussle the answer came, a dace.  A fish I havent caught for years.  That beautiful lttle bar of silver came to me to finish the year.  I hope that it is an omen for the year ahead...and  however next year gos that it should at least end with a silver lining....

Friday 10 December 2010

Grayling and a nativity in the snow....

Tuesday had been booked as a days holiday for some months. The intention was a day with friends on a Yorkshire chalkstream for grayling. Sadly the weather scuppered it. However I was in desperate need of a day out as the cabin fever is really starting to bite. So I chose a venue that I reckoned I could get the car to and headed of. The water levels should be ok as the freezing temps meant no meltwater was about. After negotiating a well frozen country lane I arrived at the bridge and entered a winter wonderland.

The idea was to fly fish , temperature -6 when I arrived and I am going fly fishing , the wife is right I want my head looking at. Anyway spent ten minutes forcing myself into numerous layers of clothing. During this time I ask myself why are bootfoot neoprenes nearly impossible to get your feet into when its this cold..

As I waded into the first swim I expected that cold chill that you get immediately with summer breathables but hey no chill maybe this wouldnt be to bad. Good job short casting a nymph doesnt require unrestricted movement as I was walking like a michelin man. The water was clear and only slightly higher than normal, and started to search the deeper pockets with a heavy nymph. Second cast I was in, a magnificant tree trout , a sycamore I think. After carefully releasing it and sorting out the leader I was fishing again. As I waded along the beck I had that strange sensation that your been watched I looked up and a couple with dog were watching me. The look on their face and the shake of their head said it all. Silly old sod chest deep in a freezing beck with ice on his beard they must have let him out for the day.
Hoar frost by the beck

A Beck Grayling
To say the fishing was slow is an understatement the line kept freezing in the rings and little bits of floating ice pack kept dragging the line. Eventually I did catch one fish a tiny Grayling I was pleased to have some company and it avoided the dreaded blank. Although these last few years the fear of not catching seems to have diminished and the contentment of just been out there with a rod in your hand seems to have increased. Anyway by now the feet were cold so decided to move upstream. And warm up in the process.
As I approached a favourite swim I was stopped in my tracks as I crossed a field I was faced with an early Christmas nativity scene, granted there was no crib, wise men or shepherds but there was sheep and they did look awfully like they do on the Christmas cards the little barn was even decked out with genuine icicles.
Nearly a nativity scene
I fished on for a while but eventually the cold started to get into my bones as the temperatures and snow kept falling , so back to the car and a hot drink from the flask. After warming up by going through the intense physical exercise of getting out of the neoprenes I was sweating and reflecting that however hard they are to get into they are twice as hard to get out of……

Yorkshre beck in the snow

So what is the winter equivalent to mad dogs and englishmen.....

Reasons to be cheerful part 3

One of my favourite Artists from the 70s was Ian Drury and the blockheads .And after a long driving session a few days ago when I explored m...