Saturday 31 December 2011

Blowing the Cobwebs away

I think I am getting old,  today after a fishing trip the process of getting out of the neoprenes resulted in me breaking out in what can best be described as a muck sweat, if I was so foolish to engage in a post christmas weight loss routine then my exercise routine is sorted.  Whoever created neoprenes clearly intended them to be a fiendish torture tool for the overweight and underfit.

The day started well the wind had dropped the weather whilst been cold had been settled long enough for the rivers to settle and fine down.  Fishing trips at the moment are at the mercy of the shorter days and wayward river levels so the opportunity was siezed, I fished czech nymphs, a method that I can use but one that doesnt give me the pleasure of other methods , three hours of concentration and repeated casting resulted in one sprat sized grayling and a potential case of repetitive strain injury.   For the last half hour the sight of a rising fish inspired me to revert to a klinkhammer. There is something uplifting to the spirit to see that surface fly drifting with the current.  As I have posted before I am a slave to the method and know  its a habit i need to to kick but a depressing december afternoon wasnt the time to go cold turkey.

The rivers are curious this year.  The cold water has dropped clear and the water reveals that the summer weed beds are still intact.  We have had no really cold temperatures and no large spates to rip out the summer weed beds,  it will be interesting to see what effect this will have on the river next year if the weather pattern remains.  Even the sheep are still out on the bankside pastures , which are still displaying an unusual degree of fresh growth.

Anyway tomorrow brings a new year,  I wish you all tight lines for it.  My fly tying starts in earnest now to fill those boxes ready for the new year . First will be my new found delight . North Country spiders. Watch this space.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

In the ring of the rise

This time of year is when I tend to do a bit more reading.  Vincent Marinaro   "In the ring of the rise" is my current interest  its a title I have meant to read for a considerable period.  I apologise in advance to those of you that have already absorbed the book and are aware of its contents.

What fish actually see is of supreme importance to the fly angler,  the book explores brilliantly what the fish see and the effect it has on their feeding behaviour and how the evidence of such behaviour can be seen in the resultant rise form the fish leaves.  It also explores how fish see and react to the fly in, on or below the surface film.

When you consider how important the understanding of what fish see is its surprising that so little is written in the angling books, magazines and these days online.  I guess the easier approach is to concentrate on fly dressings , patterns and presentation.   I am not suggesting that people have not discussed the issue. Over the years many a diagram has been drawn .  Skues and Halford both discussed rise forms and spoke on the subject in loose terms.  Mottram in Fly Fishing some new arts and mysteries explores the problem draws diagrams and endeavours to reach some conclusions.  But I cant recall the last time I read a magazine article discussing the ideas the book contains.  

During my reading of In the ring of the rise,  one light switched on my brain which to me which partially explains the startling effectiveness of the klinkhammer to bring up Grayling from depth.  Again many of you may have already made this link and although I guess it should be obvious its still worth stating .  Fish are limited to a very small advance vision window as the surface film acts as a mirror from below until the fly is quite near, the emerger style of fly surely will be visible for a much longer period as it approaches a fish.  To those of us that have fished a klink style fly it is astonishing the way a grayling can intercept a fly.  

Also I listened to a talk recently by a fly fishing guide who stated that he liked to cut a V in the underside of a dry fly hackle , he beleives that the balanced footprint of the fly in the surface film gives the trout better advance warning of a fly approaching its feeding window.  The indentations of the trimmed hackle acting as a triggor point,  Same principle ? yes and something I will be trying in the forthcoming season.  If you havent read the book then get hold of a copy It may just open your eyes a little, it has mine.

Sunday 4 December 2011

A Fly tyers christmas

Shooting season is in full swing around here , when passing the local butcher and game dealer the hooks above the window displayed a fly tyers delight.  Pheasants, French Partridge and Red Grouse.  A pair of each for the pricely sum of £12 .  Now one pair of the Pheasants looked very nice, long tails and lovely church window hackles ,  thoughts of PTN and bracken clock.  The Red Grouse lots of flies here those lovely mottled feathers look very spiderish. Those Grouse series of sea trout flies.  The French Partridge not as good as the english but I am sure they will have their uses those nice barred feathers look good so do the little dark neck hackles...So money changed hands.....

Next the birds were skinned and left to dry a while.  Then the skins will be frozen for a few days before been trimmed and cleaned up then treated witha little borax, 

Of course you cant waste what comes inside the beautiful feather wrapping so the pheasant legs will be added to a yuletide casserole and the breast meat from all the birds will go into a christmas game pie.  Best £12 I have spent all year...

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...