Wednesday, 31 December 2008

It was that cold my ring froze

I had arranged to fish over the Christmas break
with Phil , I have fished in extreme weather but
today was as cold as I can remember .
It was that cold my ring froze on the rod every
second cast even a couple of times on the retrieve
I even struck once !!
We decided to visit Mere Beck a mixed fly fishery , by
mixed it's a still water with flowing sections and I was
quite impressed even the odd nip from the hip flask that
melanie got me for Christmas could not keep JackFrost at bay .
Even tying on the flies was a task , hands numb
eyes watering making the simplest task hard.

I had sort info from a fellow blogger and got to
meet him and his Grandad on the bank.
Phil struck first , we started off with small natural
presentation a move to a big pink lure did the trick
for Phil ,he the went on to tell me how only skilled
anglers could catch on such a hard day.
I switched to a lure, a ''Cat's whiskery thingy''
and was soon into a nice Blue Trout I lost it under
the rod tip but it warmed me a little .
A little Brownie followed before I finished the day
with two Rudd .
The Cats thingymebobs can be seen on the
second one , quite a mouthful for a small fish.
The two Rudd got me thinking on Friday I'm
off to the upper Ribble , I have said for a while
I may fish a team of nymphs on the pin below
a stick float so thats my aim , hope to post
a good result if I survive the Arctic like
conditions .

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

The Day Before Christmas

The day before Christmas is normally busy
for me , two young kids and the familly
round for Christmas day means a long
list of jobs .
So when everything falls into place
leaving me a free few hours guess
where I spent them ?
The weather was mild infact
quite warm , a quick call to mike
and although he was working he was
soon saying he was finishing up and
would have a ride to see how I was
doing . I aslo rang Pete he only lives
a few miles away but he seemed to
be in the position I find myself only
too often......................
I was setting up when Mike wandered down,
the first half hour in a new spot brought little
luck although fish rose further down stream.
We moved down and finally made contact
with the first fish a nice plump Roach.
Several more followed on maggot but
the killer blow was a switch to caster being
able to hide the hook nside the shell brought
a Roach on nearly every run and every fish
was prime upto a pound in weight .
Unfortunatly the bateries failed in the camera
on what turned into a top few hours Roach
fishing .
Mike joked it was the same fish but these fish
almost all have a black spot (like below) on
the gill cover.

This was a great morning we lost count of the
quality fish and from such a little brook it
was amazing . I would travel a long way
to catch such fish and think the journey
worthwhile for this to be on my door
step I'm a lucky man.
My blogs a year old and I have met
a few people who I can class as freinds
because of it , also contacts around
the fishing world ...too eveyone
''merry Christmas and god bless''

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Two Hours Later

All morning part of me had wanted to nip
off to Pennine fisheries , today was a forum
match . I imagined it would be a day of
a job and with Christmas now only just
over a week away I thought it a bit much
to ask .
At 10.30am the kids were off with Melanie
to a party it's a works organised thing
this gave me until dinner ''be back for
one'' was the last words as she left !!
so as long as I was back before two I'd
not be in for much earache.
My mind was still thinking of how Phil
and Mike were faring as I walked down to
the brook but I was soon fishing ...... the
first cast brought me a little Roach ,this
continued and the float dipped and the rod
arched at a steady rate .
Before long I was into a better fish
well over a pound and with the river
pushing through it fought well , with
them being out of season I play them
as quick as I can and take a quick
picture , it was cold putting them
back I like holding them in the current
until I feel them kick and swim off .

The next Trout was a good one again
it was lean but a good length , on closer
inspection it had been marked looked like
it may have had an encounter with a Heron.
(I hope)
What do you think......Heron ?
The float dipped again just as I was
talking to a bloke who informed me
of how polluted the water was 40years
back . It felt solid another trout?

A red fin broke the surface and I was
rewarded with a perfect winter Roach
this was the sort of fish I Was after !!
Pristine is the only word to describe
a fish like that and from such a little
Brook .
The fishing was good Trout , Roach and so on
The Trout were taking the bait so
much so that the Roach got pushed
My hand was now numb with returning Trout
and with the Roach drying up I decided to
pack up .
Two things the Chub... have they gone?
and on a more positive note the little
closed face reel works a treat it was
for this kind of ware I got it and was
worth every penny.
On my return just after one it was hard
to believe some two hours later I had caught
so many fish ...... and I wasn't late ahhhhhhhh

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Loafing Around

I had a feeling I may not even get a few casts
this week . The cold snap gave us snow early
in the week , chaos followed , the roads
came to a stand still and with the thaw came
the prospect of cold rising water on the rivers.
I spent most of Saturday in Manchester , Judo
in the morning and out around town for a few
drinks in the evening . I also got to watch Tom
who's band had a gig at the Academy .
Mike was out after some Roach and I knew
my best chance would be a snatched hour or
two on the local brook.
Mid way through my third pint ; and that's
about my limit these days ; I had a text from
Pete he had the same idea ''Great'' another
plus he had some bait .
Sunday was again a deep frosty day ,
afternoon came and I Was all at 2.00
it's dark at 4 so time was at a premium.
Pete was delayed at work so it gave me
an excuse to use some bread , mashed
for feed and a little flake on the hook
results where instant and a succession
of prime winter Roach followed all on
flake it also gave me a chance to use
the closed face reel ....... spot on for
the speed of water and light tactics.

Basically I take a slice of bread add some water
and mash it with my fingers until no big lumps
are left , little is fed, the fish are not as active in
such cold water .
I fished the flake held back it rises and falls in
the current and Roach love it .
It was nice to fish this way on moving water
it was a favourite years ago on the Ribble and
Dane ,but the unfortunate decline in Roach
and Dace numbers along with the head of
smaller Chub being much smaller made it
redundant . I was most entertained and
even when Pete turned up with Maggots
I found it was getting me more bites.
The only reason I stopped was the cold
got so bad I could not feel my fingers to
put the bread on the hook .
I had more Roach on the Ribble this
year than for some time who knows
the practice may come in useful.
Pete had quite a few Trout and Roach
his set up was the same as me but with
maggot . He sent me the pictures but
my lack of brain power makes uploading
them to a decent size hard .. well most
things are on a computer for me.
Night was soon on us , we stood on
a fantastic frosty evening talking about
fish and the small northwest rivers .
The Chub from this brook have all but
gone how can we make it better or help
the fish stocks . Making river habitat
seems to be the way , you can stock
fish but if the water life and food chain is
not abundant or the river has no retreats
for fish in flood the numbers wont last .
It's a long term thing and again I think
angling makes these things happen more
than anything else .
I saw two Kingfisher in the mile or
so of river with improvements to
the river this will increase and all
the nature on these little streams
will benefit , it makes true fishermen
content to see such things we go to fish
and occasionally catch but so much more
many magical moments .
I feel sad not that everyone has seen
the little miracles that are common to
us who spend time in gods good air .

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Jack Frost

What a change a few degree's can make
all the swims and glides of the river are
the same , but seeing them coated in frost
makes them different and quite beautiful .
I fished the river a few weeks back on quite
a warm day but the rain had been falling
most of the week and the river was a few
feet up this made for a hard day . It was
the first time Pete had fished the beat and
he was rewarded with a little Grayling .

Today was different I opened the curtains and Scarlett
said it had snowed ? Logan ran to the window I told
them Jack Frost had been out and it looked cold ,
would it be too cold to stop two mad men fishing
Mike soon rested any fears that he is not less
bonkers than me when he rang to say he was on his
way .
A quick cupper and we were off for some bait .
We finally arrived at the river after a few traffic
problems of one kind or another.
Mike said he would not be wading much!!
We stopped at the first glide and and two
minutes later Mike was half way across the
river , you just have too it sort of draws you
in the river , even if your freezing .
I got the first couple of bites but they dropped
off a small Grayling followed and Mike had a decent
out of season Trout . We split up for the next few
hours both of us having little luck.

A new pool which I have walked past a few times
brought me a couple of very cold Trout.
It was now getting really cold the frost was deepening
and I decided to have another move to deeper water.
Looking through another blog it seems the
spiders are as cold as I was !!
The deeper water brought me a few fish a
couple of Chub and a Grayling to finish ,
Mike packed up his line froze to his
rod rings . At this point my line was froze my
centrepin seized and I lost a better fish which I think
was a Grayling .
I like to think the river does the ''lose a decent
fish thing'' to bring me back and keep me keen
although it may be wishful thinking it makes
me happy.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Bloom-in Freezing

I'm sat here now just writing up the days events
and I've just about thawed out ! To say the day
was wet and cold would not do it credit ........... was much worse .
The rain last night had me wandering if our trip
to the Dane would go ahead ? Although a
small river she rises quick but the water can
run off even quicker . The trick seems to have
been over the years to catch the water thinning
down , this means that both the fresh water and
sediment that it carries are settling down ,the
little colour seems to disguise the line and the
fish are on the look out for food after fighting
the colder fast water . I think this was starting
to happen but then the rain came and the river
started to rise not very good .
I lost a couple of fish from a swim last visit and
with the water slightly up I knew the spot would
have some fish waiting for me today .
A change in tactics , I normally scale down
the wall and fish past a large tree which
is partly in the water . The good points
; the tree is a good hiding place for
both Chub and Barbel also even though
a good strong glide runs past for some
20m or so just in behind lies some slower
water ,this is a ideal place for Roach
and for all fish to retreat to in flood .
Bad points ; as you hook any fish it as to
come back past the snagy roots you can
guess the rest ! also that wall is not very
high but slippy when wet .
So today I stayed on top my idea to run
down stream and pull the fish away from
any underwater dangers .
I was soon into small Chub and then a
better one slipped the hook.
Finally I was into a large fish or it was
into me after going up and down the glide
several times it decided to run downstream
50 yards later I past Phil with the fish taking
me for a walk deeper water lay ahead so
something had to give the hooked pinged!
I took several Chub on a hard day when
most seemed to struggle ,the photo
at the top being around the best
(thanks to Phil) a in depth Chub
artical can be found on his blog
Well worth a look and a good read
We made an early return home both very
wet and cold a good dry week is needed
before my next outing , a bit of fly tying
will make the time pass easier .

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Cold Day Warm Glow

Well winter arrived this week , the clocks moved
and the days became short and cold even a bit of
But you cant not go on the river can you?
So Phil , Mike and myself decided the
Ribble would be worth a cast or two.

Even in the cold a Grayling is always willing
to feed and this was very much on our minds
As we arrived the weather was milder than on
the previous few days even so I put two pair of
waders on and wrapped up warm.
The first place we tried did not bring much
Phil taking a little Grayling on his new Hardy

I fancied a glide and mentioned to Phil on our way
past we should give it a try ,I had a few fish
mostly Trout out of season but a nice Grayling
just over a pound was a good result.

Phil moved to his favourite spot taking a few Trout
and a lovly grayling pictured below .

It's unavoidable catching the odd Trout a
quick snap and return .

While Phil was having fun with his new rod I
took Mike to a spot Ilike for Chub , he was
soon trotting the float and into a fish and just
as predicted a Chub of around 2lb was soon in
the net . Almost imedeatly he was in again
this one better over 3lb it slipped back before
we got it's picture .
One last cast in Phils glide saw Mike finish with
a lovly little SeaTrout .

Another ver nice day on the river with
good company a cold day that left me
with a warm glow !

Saturday, 25 October 2008

A few hours

We have neglected the Dane a little this year
the Ribble and fly fishing responsible for
taking up much of our fishing time, also
Mike is not a member of the water on the Dane
we fish , I've fished quite a lot with him , we have
tended to fish where we can all enjoy the day
and enjoy we have looking back what a good
laugh we've had and also caught a lot of fish
along the way.

So with Mikes time for Salmon running down
he was out on his ''quest'' for old Salmo .
Phil and I decided to try for a few Grayling long
trotting .
We tried first spots at the top of the water
I hooked into two very good fish both
found snags think they were Barbel or
large Chub. Phil meanwhile was into
a shoal of Chub and managed a
Grayling .
We moved to the glide I fished last week
again I was left to regret not bringing
a net , that's two weeks running must
be my age . Hooked into another
good Grayling a lovely cock fish
over a pound . Brought it to hand
a few times before the hook slipped!
phil had another couple and I wandered
down stream to my next swim.
Second cast and as the float trundled
down the glide the float dipped the rod
was pulled round ''more like it'' few moments
later the fish was at my feet still deep
must be a ''Chub? no a Grayling!!!''
now I've been here before and guess what
hook pulled this seems to have been a big
problem last couple of months ,it's got me
questioning hooks , rod too strong and
of coarse technique it may be luck or lack
of it but I cant help but wander ?

I was now intent on just landing one I got a few small
Dace and Chub also a very small Grayling .
Phil came up he was having a move to the fast swim
we had luck with a few weeks back, he was soon
into another fish . I stuck it out and hooked a fish around
a pound and landed it ''HALLELUJAH'' I noticed at this
point a few Grayling drifting up stream past me , it
struck me that while I took the snap with the camera
I had stopped feeding, I think these fish had come up
looking for the source of feed ? I fed and watched a
dozen or so fish feed in a foot or so of water , a quick
call to Phil who I knew would be as interested as me
we took five fish from the shoal all around a pound
taking it in turn .
I spotted a much larger fish lurking at the back of the
hungry pack not sure it was a Grayling but if it was
it could be around the two pound mark , something
to dream about !! a return is now very much in my
mind sooner rather than later.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Put To The Test

I'm no kid but today was a little like a Christmas morning
the chance to try the new rod !! The rain had held off
and the weather turning cold now means you can
fish the River Dane without the plague of Minnows
attacking every run of the float . A little late ''traffic''
I arrived and made my way to a area that produces
a good amount of Grayling . On the way it was
Mushroom city all types and hundreds lined the
The tension mounted and I could hardly wait to set up
and run the the float. The water was up but no colour
and quite cold ,I tried my banker glide for Grayling nothing!
gutted I just wanted a fish. I then hooked one in my second
swim ,at this point I realized my net was in the car
anyway the hook slipped as I brought it to hand, a nice one
over a pound but no photo .
Not to worry I have spent a lot of time on the Dane so I changed
swim again and had quite a few Grayling I then bumped a much
better one .
The rod is nice and I could tell it had a good bit of power
lower down but with a fine enough top action to make the Grayling
and Dace good fun in the fast water .
First photo of fish and rod ...... It felt good !
A typical glide on the Dane , at around 3ft deep ,always
look for a gravel bed with a swift flow if you are after
Grayling , normally you get a couple of small ones
the bigger specimens hang off the back .
If you rest the swim and feed a little between
fish you can take quite a few fish from a glide
rush and they spook I got eight from the spot.
Tried a new swim first cast a Dace quite a good
one not quite a pound but after a brief juggle dropped
it before a picture ''oops'' not going to plan .
Next cast and bang !! a great big solid lump was not
expecting a Chub in the fast water after a great fight
landed what was my best from the Dane in over
20 years of fishing her! well over 5lb plus my guess,
not very long but deep thought it was a Carp as it
turned , got a picture need some scales .
It was getting late so thought I would try a spot near
the car, I got a cracking Grayling, I put it down next
to the rod for a nice photo blumin thing jumped in!
Ended as I started but what a lovely day the Chub
put the rod to the test................''Quality''.


"Life is but a dream?"

"... on a good day of fishing, the job, the noise and clutter ... fade away until there is only water and the rhythm of the rod and, now and then, a fish."

-Random Phrump

''A Thought''

A simple philosophy I have adopted over the years has been tested and re-enforced in the past few weeks. It is to celebrate those good and pleasing things encountered in daily life, no matter how small, with at least the same vigour as I bemoan the bad or merely vexing.
-Steve Dobson

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