Thursday 24 May 2012

The return of the evening rise…

A strange orange disc has appeared in the sky over the last few days . I had almost forgotten its existence. The ever present clouds, cold winds and high waters had become a permanent fixture spreading a gloomy and depressing mood for fly fishermen everywhere. Yesterday the temperature was high the rivers were fining down and I was sure flies would be hatching. I managed to steal away from work bang on time and headed for a favourite beck that is well away from the valley bottom rivers which are still recovering.

I have visited this beck a lot this season as its been just about the only one fishable. Now it was not only fishable it was quite simply wonderful. I could get all poetic when I think about the sparkling water and the columns of spinners dancing in the evening sunshine, but as I can`t write poetry I will simply say that there was loads of fly and there were rising fish, lots of them. Those beautiful swirls, boils and dimples that signal that everything is right with the world again. Slipping down into the water hidden beneath the deep banks and tree canopies a delicate three weight carbon wand in my hand, I am once again in my chosen element. With clear waters, and the gentle warmth of a sinking sun all the frustration and denied opportunities of the previous two months are erased from my memory with just one well placed fly and the swirl of a fish.

So summer is here the Mayfly arrive anytime . The evenings are long and the rivers are running fresh and clean , I can`t understand why I have been so depressed . Life is good .

The mundane facts were fished two and a half hours , caught 8 fish and scared a few more the fish coming to a size 16 natural stripped quill cdc emerger with a small  thorax, but that does not in any way describe what the evening meant…

Sunday 13 May 2012

That was the week that was

Its been a strange old week .  I should have been fishing the Usk and the Monnow with friends at the weekend but sad circumstances and this never ending rain meant this wasnt going to happen. I promise I will never pray for rain again as since I did it hasnt bleeding stopped .  Rivers are  either full or full to overflowing.  I guess calling on him upstairs is a risky strategy and is something I will be more wary about in the future.  I certainly didnt realise I had so much influence in high places .

 All April and now into May things have been difficult . But then today I have  managed to get a few hours on the Dove a friend came along too, the fishing wasnt easy the water was high and the wind too strong and too cold but we both caught a fish or two.  I guess in a normal year when warm evenings and rising fish had satisfied that early season hunger we would have stayed at home.  But at the moment an opportunity to get onto the river has to be seized.

The hawthorn flies were on the wing today , and you would have thought that enough were getting blown onto the river to raise an interest.  But no, only a brief hatch of olives produced anything like a sustained rise and then only for a few minutes  Otherwise It was a case of covering the water with a speculative cast to likely lies and for this my choice of flies is a small black klinkhammer.

My guest showing fine style covering a rising fish, just a shame that there werent more rising fish to be seen.  Lets hope that the weather takes a turn for the better those nice neat rows of mayflies I have tied need to be used this year not next.

It was great to be out on the river today and proves the benefit of having a few waters at your disposal this stretch of river is high up the catchment and high water runs of quickly compared with the valley bottom streams that can take a week or more to shed heavy spates .  

Monday 7 May 2012

My Weekend

April was a complete washout,  I suppose in the great scheme of things the rain that we all had in spades has to be viewed as a good thing given that were in the middle of a drought....but I hope this weather changes soon I have always considered the month of May as a sort of new dawn,  It marks the transition from the cold, dark and wet months and welcomes in warm evenings and fish rising to hatches of upwing flies.  At the moment the water still carries a real winter chill with it and the fly life is sadly lacking.  The cold winds are a real bind and evening fishing really isnt a prospect at the moment.

This weekend I have managed to get on the rivers twice to fish, Once on the Dove and once on my local beck both times the one common factor was a dearth of rising fish .  We need warmth and settled river levels to get things moving .  I did notice unusually  large numbers of cased caddis in the back eddies I think the big spates have washed them out of the normal runs and left them in great banks in the back waters I spent a few minutes turning stones to see what nymphs were about  I was surprised to see nearly every baetis nymph I found showed the dark wing buds of nymphs ready to take to the wing.  I could almost hear them saying if you think I am flying about in this cold you can naff of I am stopping here.  The only thing on the wing was a few hawthorn flies but the fish werent showing any interest in them.

The rivers look great at the moment decent levels and water clearing nicely but I sense everything is still in shock only a week ago this little pool had nearly a metre of extra water in it and was the colour of chocolate.

Both trips this weekend did result in fish coming to hand but it was hard work and it had the feel of a river in early March , cold water, fining down levels and the lack of insect life seemed strange for May.  Even the tactics were early season I resorted to a klinkhammer to bring up a few fish to the surface , I could have resorted to a nymph and probably caught more but its May for goodness sake its dry fly time and I was going to fish it...

I also did a kick sampling session at the weekend the first I have been able to do for weeks, strange results and as I suspected following my fishing trip the cased caddis were virtually non existent and other numbers were way down I guess a month of settled water levels will help things to return to normal.  One of my sampling sites looked like a bulldozer had been through it with great banks of gravel moved around  its amazing there was anything at all to be found.

Now according to the dates next week there should be Mayfly hatching,  It should be warm evenings with duns adorning the bankside plants and columns of spinners dancing in the soft evening light and fish lazily slurping the fat mayflies from the warm water.  At least thats what the books say I have a feeling it may not be quite like that....


Tuesday 1 May 2012

A new online magazine

There is a new online fly fishing magazine on the interweb well actually issue five has just been published .  Check it out , some good stuff in it and its free.....


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...