Saturday 27 July 2013

Making the most of it.

It was only a few days ago that I wrote about the evening rise .  Yet already I have creeping into my mind an increasing urgency to take every opportunity for an evening session . Time has taught me that when you hit August the evening light disappears all to fast .  So this last week has seen me fit a couple of evening hours on both the Rye and the Dove.

Have you ever seen such a pretty stream as this.  The trout below was the best of several I had in a short session.  lean but scrapped like a tiger.  The fish actually started rising earlier than usual but all were tucked into fast streamy water under trees.  

The Dove smaller and shallower but an excellent stream that has a good head of wild browns and grayling Dead low at the moment but fish still rising in the streamy water. 

A typical Dove brownie.  Fish were hard to find .  the river is well below summer normal level and very clear. Despite stealth the fish were incredibly spooky and just getting within  casting range was in its way a small victory.  

At the end of the evening a few raindrops appeared but not the decent rain we need to freshen up the rivers.  

Monday 15 July 2013

Summer time...." The evening rise"

There is a special sense of anticipation around a hot summers day , there is the knowledge that with luck that dog day of summer will as the light fades and as the evening cools  come alive and "the evening rise" will start. That phrase has almost magical properties for a fly fisherman.  It represents a special time that may well last hours or even minutes but is always worth the wait.  Temperatures here for the last two weeks have been high, with no rain and lots of sunshine both not helpful to the river angler.  One stretch I fish though continues to flow well even in the driest spell , freshwater springs keep the levels decent.

 The thick weed gives cover for fish and insects alike.  Laying on the bank looking through the polaroids an odd fish or fin will betray the fish hiding under the weed ,

A recent after work spell was such an evening .  Arriving at the river well after six, there was no rush not till between seven and eight or even later will the fun start, I inspected the catch returns in the box , no fish reports for the last three days meant a nice undisturbed stretch the last few reports were patchy a few good ones and one reporting no fish but three otters. I walked to the bottom of the fishery noting the clarity and lack of rising fish.  But I was not down beat that magical last hour of light was still a way of.  As I walked I noticed a recent otter kill and lots of tracks.  A kingfisher and a stoat making its way along the path all were welcome distractions.  The river looked stunning .

At about 8 the first riser was spotted but I botched the cast and put it down.  But fish were starting to feed and about half a dozen followed in the next hour or so no big fish but all wildies and of a good size great fun on a little three weight.  My usual stripped quill cdc was ignored and I took a flier on a larger hackled version as there were larger olives and medium sized sedges hatching .  The fly did the trick and as the light faded and temp dropped the river came alive . Then at about 9.30 it was as if someone flicked a switch and not a rise was to be seen.  I sat on a seat and watched the river for 10 minutes before packing up . Only the kingfishers were still busy flying back and forth .  "The evening rise" is indeed a special time a gift of summer not to be missed.

Friday 5 July 2013

Ure brown trout and fishing fine and far of....

I reckon as fly anglers go I am not to prone to impulse buys.  Although I must confess that when faced with a rack full of fly tying products I usually buy at least a couple of things that dont seem to get used quickly. A week or two ago I did however give in and buy a little Vision cult , an 8ft 2 wt with free line at a very tempting price.

A typical river Ure Brown Trout 

Rods in the 7ft to 8wt are the perfect range for me for the local streams and already have a fair collection but these days I do seem to be fishing with lighter gear and it looked like a nice addition  to the armoury. Incidentally moving to lighter set ups over the last few years has not been all about lighter lines but longer leaders and finer tippets .  Even toying with french leaders and leader to hand which both have been great on their day.

The Cult

Anyway the rod arrived and paired with a little Orvis BBS2 and the supplied cortland line I wanted to give it a try.  As it happened we had seen some rain over the last couple of days and the rivers were mostly up and coloured,  so the only place fishable with dries was the little section of the Dove.  A 8ft is a bit tight on there but just about manageable .  

The rod was a delight it really impressed as my first venture in to 2 wt territory.  The action I would describe as an easy middle tip, not as all through as my Hardy featherweight but a lovely action for a small stream rod.  
It had enough flex to work with virtually no line out and yet could cast surprisingly tight loops .  Yes the liitle cult impressed me it has won a permanent place in the rack  and two weight?  well on a summers evening on a tight stream it will be great fun.

The recent largely dry spell has lead to many rivers running very low, that was how I found the Ure one evening after work.  It was very low perhaps half of normal levels.   When rivers are like this not only tactics need to change but in a sense the river has changed to.  Normal holding places are empty and the fish are holed up in new pots and runs you have to find them . But low levels can work to your advantage too.  Runs to deep to wade can now be approached and lies fished that perhaps are normally out of reach.  A couple of stretches normally full of fish.  Are totally empty when the river is this low.

This run up the side of the trees is usually almost impossible to fish due to the depth for wading but when the river is this low its perfect, the deeper water can be waded but still offers fish overhanging trees for shade and  protection.  Today this run of about 70m offered me two hours of slow wading and fishing and accounted for    eight or ten fish both Grayling and Trout. 

A few of these came from the run.  All on the little CDC .  The longer rod allowed me to roll cast and control the fly nicely.  

I was intending to fish leader to hand as it has proved its worth as a tactic when water levels have been very low. Today the stiff breeze seemed to always be blowing in my face so I swapped pretty quick and fished my 10ft 3 wt with a long leader.   Just a plug here for Barrio fly lines ,  I have tried a few of these now and have found the DT Mallard and the GT90 both to be superb lines and equal to lines of two and three times the price.

Later on I headed of to a river section that I have found produces in all water levels,  Several Grayling came first then a smaller trout .   The last fish of the day is pictured below .  I cast to it thinking it was a small fish it seemed to be sipping flies of the surface.  Under a overhanging branch.  A gentle rise and a tightening of the rod lead to all hell breaking loose,  

it launched itself from the water and momentarily the line was in the branches amazingly it came loose and the fish shot right across the river luckily the long light rod and line allowed my to hold the rod high and keep the line of the water and after a bit of time playing chase around boulders and tree roots the fish and I decided I was the winner.  The fish looked like a stockie but the big full tail told me it had been in the river a long time.  It was released to play with another angler. 

One for Hippo

 A blog I have followed for years is a Hippo on the lawn a recent comment on my blog shows two things , First it tells me Tom the writer was...