Friday 17 June 2011

No water in the river but showers a plenty

Its been a week a good week since my last update,  I have had a few great trips but due to circumstances not as many as I would have liked. I had a day on the Ure with Peter ( he of the walks and fishes blog) We both caught fish and the weather was kind to us,  There was even a chance to sample some of Theakstons finest...

Peter left before the evening rise but in that time demonstrated to me that I really must start to fish the Duo .   So when I had the kelly kettle brewing a cuppa and was eating my butties I set up the 4 wt and thought I would give the duo rig a blast... So a tiny size 18 PTN on the point and a size 14 klink on a dropper .  Second cast with the rig and a take.  My goodness this is easy me thinks only to reel in a Tommy Ruffe. It had taken the Nymph. It escaped from my hand before the photo opportunity.... It must be 25 years since I have caught one of those cheeky little blighters,  The river was again very low but still great fishing with plenty of fish rising,

In the evening the breeze dropped and the river was flat , but there are plenty of streamy areas for the fish to rise in,
The evening progressed well though and I ended with some good fish that were rising to the blackest little sedges I have ever seen.. Must make up a better pattern for them.

I have visited my local rivers in the past week and once again been blessed with heavy showers I got rained of the river and driven back to my car by one so I sat it out whilst reading one of my favourite mags which luckily I had bought that day.  As is often the case when the rivers are low afterwards the shower breathed a little welcome life into the stream and magically fish started to rise in the streamy water. Although concentration was needed to identify rises in amongst the raindrops. 

The fish are still being fooled by the mayfly pattern but after the rain I fished with an Erics beetle fished damp. That is floating but in the surface not on it, fished like that it can be deadly,its a fly I find great after a rainstorm as it could represent just about any drowned bug that gets knocked into the river.  I fished one shallow run under the trees and although I was only 6 yds downstream and the water was clear and 12 inches deep I could only see the rises the fish remained invisible , it makes you wonder how often you walk past fish even when you have polaroids on. 

I had a fish straighten the hook out on me as well that night in a corner that I would normally pass by It would seem that there are still some very good fish lurking in the out of the way places,  that place has been noted and will get more attention in future.  Again the river had not been visited that day I think the showers kept people away.  But because of the days rest or because of the rain the fish certainly were more willing to participate.  Certainly another reason to go when the weather aint the best.

I have visited the beck near my house a few times this week whilst exercising my dog.  The drought has really taken its toll. In places it has all but dissapeared You can walk across the river bed now in shoes and the water hardly comes above the soles. Normally its knee deep.  If serious rain doesnt come soon real long term damage will be done,anywaye are over due a good spate now and when one comes this time of year the Sea trout may come with it,  lets hope.

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Best fish of the season

Went for a short session on a local river Yesterday .  Nearly didnt go as the weather was very changeable.  In fact I spent half an hour parked at the river bank listening to the cricket test match on radio as the rain beat down on the car.  After it faired up I went of to the bottom of the fishery by now it was blazing sunshine . This was the view of the river .  Such a pretty view just a shame swans are such unfriendly buggers.  Anyway fished for a while and had two fish to a  mayfly . 

They were not huge but nice enough, then worked upstream avoiding the swans and just got into a deep corner pool and the heavens opened again.  Now how you are supposed to fish a dry fly when its pelting down, but I did although I didnt catch anything. Though I just got wet and tried to shelter from the worst of it under a tree...Anyway I nearly went home but as I walked back to the car the sun came out again and the sky cleared, no wonder people say Britain doesnt have a climate it just has weather.  Anyway the rest of the evening turned out to be beautiful and the showers had maybe kept other anglers away as I didnt see another angler all day. 

 I worked upstream past the big pool.  I picked up one more fish that was rising tight under the bank and then wasted the best part of an hour trying to get a rise from a small pod of rising fish that were in the most infuriating of places. It didnt seem to matter how well that fly landed drag set in straight away.  During that time I saw smoke out of the corner of my eye quickly turning around I realised it wasnt smoke it was the steam coming of my back as the hot sun dried me out. What we do for fun eh?

After returning to the car for a coffee break I headed back to the river.  A few fish were rising there were  enough to keep you going but they werent rising with the abandon that can happen when the mayfly are on the water . This year the hatch has been very poor and the fish havent really switched on to them.  I worked my way up a stretch of water casting not to rising fish but to where they should be.  After standing for a while and tying on a new tippet and fresh fly my first cast brought a gentle rise , I tightened and the rod hooped over and a powerful fish dived for cover . 
Trout perfection

A fin thats never seen a hatchery

After a hell of a scrap on the little 7ft6inch 4wt St Croix Avid , which I must say handled the fish superbly . I landed the best wild brownie that I have had for many years.  In this part of the world a 1 lb wildie is a good one . I didnt weigh this but it was over 18 inches and was in superb condition. Anyway after ringing to share my good fortune  with the fishery manager I fished for the last hour and had a few more but my mind was still on my best fish of the season... I am pleased to say that the trout swam away strongly and  hopefully we will meet again one day...
Till the next time......

That was the week that was

I guess a few of you may remember that the post title was also the title of a TV prog many years ago that looked back on the weekand at politics through a humerous perspective .Well this week has made me look at this strange way of life we pursue , Calling it a sport really doesnt do it justice.  Obsession and passion are words which seem to fit the bill better.  

As you will have seen from the posts among others I fish the Ure , a largish rocky bottomed river in the Yorkshire dales , a river that isnt supposed to have much of a mayfly hatch well when I fished it the other day there was thousands of big mayflies and the fish were rising beautifully to them.  That was on an afternoon when I nearly didnt travel to the river because of lack of time and the wind that was blowing pretty well. In the end I had the best few hours fishing I have had for some time.

I also fished on a couple of local rivers with the two gents who bid generously for a days fishing with me on my local rivers. That was in Aid of cancer charities. The prospects were good for that day.  Good forecast, the best date for a chance of the mayfly but in the end it was a a real hard day . Low water and bright sunshine meant that the fish sulked and hardly a rise was seen all day.

One thing became apparant to me that day, and that is that it doesnt matter what age you become infected by this obsession it takes hold just as hard...  I think he will read this and hope he doesnt mind me saying but One of the guys was  past retirement age and a bad back was giving him grief and was new to the sport but oh what enthusiasm . It will remain as one of the season highlights seeing his face when he held the trout for the camera. Anyone who wants to fish that much will become a  good angler because he will go when the weather isnt perfect or the water levels wrong. He was eager to learn too.

The other guy was a good angler and was happy to be pointed in the right direction and left to fish. I hope he didnt mind been abandoned for so much of the day.  A shame the fish werent more cooperative.

So remember just go fishing , sod the weather if you can go just go. Some of my best days have been on occasions when I nearly didnt go. Days like the day on the Ure just reinforce that.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Mayfly on the Ure

I am told that the Ure doesnt have much of a mayfly hatch,, Well I beg to differ.  There is a cracking hatch going on at the moment.  Due to various reasons my fishing activities have been curtailed this week due to dodgy health .  But the significant other half gave me permission to venture forth today well she did drive.  God bless those fishermans wives out there,.. Anyway I went to the Ure today and even though it was blowing fairly briskly today the river was at her magnificent best.  The kingfishers and wagtails were out in force and I was serenaded by a curlew, surely there is no more plaintiff sound than its call. 

Best fish of the day

A typical Ure brownie

After parking and having a cuppa I inspected  the river it looked beautiful with an abundant mayfly hatch in progress.   I fished for about 5 hours and landed many fish .  They were rising to the mayfly and seemed to be taking anything. There were fish leaping out of the river taking the spinners and others were just lazily mopping up the spent fly in the back eddies,  The mayfly hatch is well under way now and now the wind has dropped the fish are taking them instead of them been blown across the fields.

The river is at its summer level now

It was a day when bad anglers become good and good anglers can get bored ,  perhaps thats a little harsh but it does make one ask yourself what exactly is a good days fishing.
Surely it is simply not measured by the size of the bag?,  There are days when I hanker for the free rising fish that the mayfly brings but to have such abundance all the time? I think it would ruin us.  To me a good day is a few fish , but the fish must have come from endeavour and outwitting them.. Perhaps that is why I Love the challenge that river fishing for wild trout gives us..  Anyway it was a beautiful day and it gave me some lovely fish ,  Lets hope my next trip out is as good.

The fly that did the deed looking well chewed

Most of the fish that I caught were taking spinners , however the big battle scarred fish was taking spent flies tight under the bank.  Its fascinating studying the rise forms of feeding fish.  Its something that I have taken much more notice of in the last few years.  Well the big brownie in the top picture was positioned in a little back eddy tight under the bank and he was taking spent flies that were drifting into the eddy.  The disturbance he made was very small but you could definately see his big old neb just breaking the surface.   A book I picked up a while ago has been a fascinating read on this very subject and can recomend it. " in the ring of the rise " by Marinaro.. 

Today was a day when everyone wanted a bit of action

Mill pool,,,,

Constable Wallop Brook

 I picked this rod up at the Grayling Society Auction at the last Symposium. What a cracking little rod !!! . I am getting increasingly fond...