Monday, 25 February 2008

Looking back (old photo's)Happy Birthday!

The Ribble in the 70's a boot lace ,We all have to start somewhere .
A little river in Scotland produced a lovely Trout (no sheep this trip)
A couple of Chub from the Ribble in the 80's the M6 bridge can just be seen
(nice T-shirt)
A typical day on the Dane for my dad ,with his old Mitchel reel
Me and Len set out for a day at stocks late 80's
A river somewhere and below three generations

It was my dads Birthday today so I took the kids to see their Grandad and wish him a Happy Birthday, while I was their we got talking and we got some old pictures out (all pre digital) The picture above was my Dads best Barbel a good double . I will try and upload some more in the future . The pictures bring back memories the trout (A little river in Scotland )was a hot topic 20 odd years ago I was sure it was a wild Brownie Len who basically taught me to fly fish thought it was a Sea Trout to be honest I'm not sure to this day I do know it was a lovely fish . I scoured for decent photo's the ones I found are not great a real shame because we have had some good fish , I hope my Dad can get a few days this year he seems to have spent his well earned retirement preparing or recovering from operations , any way here's to the future .....Happy Birthday Dad .

Sunday, 24 February 2008

A nice day on the River (part 2 Grayling)

Grayling are a true sign that water quality is good , and the River Dane now as a very healthy population which is fantastic , this was an end to a lovely day this fish on it's own would have sent me home happy , the top photo is one of the best Iv'e took with my new camera and I think it captures what a truly beautiful fish the Grayling is .
After catching a good number of Chub the mist started to fall with it the temperature dropped and ice started to form on puddles . I made my way to my favorite Grayling glide , this fast swim seems a favorite and it's the spot I caught my first Dane Grayling some 20 years ago .
Grayling and ice seem to go together and as my float drifted down the glide and then darted under I almost new the the fish that thudded away at the end of my line was the Lady of the Stream even before she broke the surface .
Some people can't understand why we fish and then let go what we catch , well as I knelt in the shallows releasing the fish she seemed to wait I don't know how long I watched her but I was lost it may of been seconds it could have been 10 minutes I really don't know but for those moments I could not have been more at peace . What price can you put on that ?
This was a day to remember just good to be able to enjoy the river all her wildness away from any troubles and worries , thats what angling as given me an escape and today was as good as it gets .

A nice day on the River (part 1 Chub)

Well what a nice day on the river . I was woke up by the kids at 7.30am and the first thing I did was to look outside it was a bit bleak . The weather had been milder than for the last 2 weeks but this had brought a touch of rain . I was unsure if it had put enough down to effect the river levels but with the coarse season on the rivers coming to an end I thought it would be worth a ride whatever .
I had text Phil but he was making an early start , he has the fly fishing bug , this is really good for me I have had the same bug for many years and I can see some good days over the next few months .
Saturday afternoon I mentioned going fishing too the Mrs she said ok dinner time would be good! so that put an early start out but at least I knew come dinner time I could be on the road .
It rained most of the morning and at one point I thought I may miss out completely .
So a bit late about 1pm off I went , just as a precaution my tip rod and a couple of feeders was took out but as always I hoped for conditions to allow me to use the center pin and float . The roads where clear and the trip took me 25 mins ,your first glimpse of the Dane is as you approach off the motorway bridge ''it looked spot on'' .
Making my way across the field I spoke to a fisherman coming off ''very quiet'' we had a quick chat and he had been fishing the pin with out a bite , after the Gowy last week I knew how he felt but a change to the tip had brought him a Barbel . This was encouraging if the Barbel are feeding then it's normally a good sign that the water temp is up a bit .
I now made my way to a spot at the far end of the club length . This area has brought me some good fish over the years but it's a bit of a tricky swim , not to fish but to get down to the water , it involves scaling down a wall a job that was very easy a few years ago but not so easy now ! Halfway down and I thought it was not such a good idea but seeing the slight ledge I was on was slippery going back up was out of the question as well ''I was stuck'' after what seemed an age I finally got down and started to fish .
When I arrive the first thing is to feed , this is before I set up my rod ,normally 5 mins of a steady trickle of bait , Maggots on this occasion , in the summer you get plagued by Minnows in all but the swiftest of swims , no such problems in the colder months . This steady feed gets the fish on the feed and I walk a bit upstream so they are going down into the area I know holds the fish , this carries on as I set my rod up and also I have another couple of minutes before I start to fish . I often feed while I'm playing a fish and after it's landed I rest the swim a little just feeding , on a mall river like the Dane I have found this is the best way especially with Chub which can be spooked .
On this occasion it worked, second run down and my float slipped away a nice 3lb Chub came to the net''good start'' , this continued several more around 2lb but also two over 4lb and a nice fat one which pushed just over 5lb (on my dodgy scales ) I lost a couple with hook pulls and I also lost a Barbell it looked around 5lb to 6lb it unfortunately found a snag my own fault took the pressure off a bad mistake on this little river . I finished with 11 Chub from the swim and decided a move was in order as the bites dried up .
Now getting up the wall , the better part of valor decided to wade down stream an option that could now be used as disturbing the swim didn't matter .
I had to make do with taking the photos my self my photographer had gone fly fishing , my next purchase will be a tripod , balancing the camera on my bag is not the best .

Monday, 18 February 2008

Angling Times

Over the weekend I was contacted by the Angling Times ,they had seen a photo of Logan with a Chub I posted on here a few weeks back . Any way at a very young age it seems he has achieved
getting his picture in the paper something I have failed to do after 30 years of angling . I will take a little credit , Logan has had a good teacher where as I had my Dad ( when he reads this it will bring a wry smile) .
Joking apart my Dad gave me the greatest gift when I was young ''his time'' ok he will admit back then he loved fishing but was way from being an expert , what he did do was make every trip enjoyable and a lesson not only fishing but in the country side, he lit a candle in me that still burns very bright inside me today. I always count myself as very lucky ,I can call him Dad but my best best friend as well .
If Logan enjoys his time half as much with me has I did with my Dad I will be more than happy and I'm sure so will Logan .

The River Gowy (spring)

We spent a few hours on the River Gowy , a new river it was the first time I had seen it and although it looked quite good it was a fish less day for me.
Phil had a couple of Roach but try as I may I went without so much as a bite , when you try somewhere new you hope to catch it encourages you to try it again , this little stream is further away than our other haunts and it may be a while before I make the trip again. Having a young family means time is not easy to find and when we do get out it's nice to be in with a chance of a few bites . So summer may be my next time to visit .
On a plus the weather was fantastic for the time of year, the plants and trees seem to think spring is here and I would agree . The clear skies that brought an early morning hard frost may have made the fish hard to catch , but at least the bright sunshine made the bank side warm by mid day , that in turn made fishing a little more comfortable than it has other the winter months .

Saturday, 16 February 2008

A new river

It looks like I will be trying a new river tomorrow , we will fish what seems no more than a stream , in an area well known in the not to distant past for being badly polluted, a lot of hard work as been done on our waterways .
The EA (environment agency) have done and are doing a good job of reintroducing fish to the rivers , not just by the introduction of fry but by keeping and in some cases creating better and safer areas for fish to breed ,this river management is the way forward .
For years large amounts of fry where introduced to our rivers to bulk up numbers of fish, the fact is if the water and river is maintained and protected then the fish will be their naturally this now thankfully seems to have become the accepted view .
The other people involved in this are anglers and their affiliated clubs , Bay of Malton seem to be doing the rite thing and are involved in making the river I will fish tomorrow a better place in conjunction with the EA and local authorities for fish to thrive . This as loads of benefits(on all rivers ) ,of coarse as an angler I love to see our rivers full of fish but I also love to see the wildlife on her banks flourish in the process .
We as anglers take a lot of stick about being cruel but most of us have a deep love of wildlife and a lot of the pluses of our pastime are ignored in certain circles , for instance I once arrived on the Ribble I was around 20 years of age , something had got in the water dead fish lay all along the bank for as far as I walked , this as an angler was the last thing I would want to see happen , many people love nature but the ones who see fish kills and are both most effected and disturbed by this are anglers. Its the same when we see a Swan on TV or in the newspaper with line or hooks wrapped round it , I have waded in more ponds lakes and rivers than most to save all kinds of birds , I would venture to say on the whole decent anglers save more birds than the few idiots who leave discarded tackle kill .
Don't get me wrong not all are the above and like in all walks of life we have a fair amount that do more harm than good but a large majority are a sort of water ways home watch.
We are the first line of defense on rivers re pollution and often are the first to raise the alarm if somebody poisons the water , this defends all wildlife on our rivers not just the fish ,after all the river is a finally balanced eco system if one inhabitant suffers this as a knock on effect both ways on the ladder from the smallest invertebrate or insect to the larger mammals and birds .
Hopefully I will report back on here tomorrow that I have caught a few fish .
I believe that without angling this process of reclaiming the rivers would take a lot longer . I'm happy in the fact that the money I pay to fish some of these once dead rivers and the time I spend walking and wading them helps in some small way to put the waterways back how nature intended.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

A Day on the Dane

A day on the Dane, after a break of three weeks or so I got back on the river , the sky was clear and the river was at it's normal winter level although it was more like spring , the only down side the clear sky that now brought a bright sunny day had also meant the previous nights temperatures had made the river cold not the best combination of conditions but oh well not to worry . I was taking a picture of Phil trotting a float when I had a visit from a little Robin it came up close, it's reward a few maggots and for me a photo , amazing how after a few minutes it was within arms length .
Further down steam and only my second run down saw the float dip ,the fish was on unfortunately moments later it wasn't , nether the less it was a good sign a few moments later and I was into another this came to the net a nice Chub only a few more followed but it was great to be out on such a lovely day.

Rigs (floats all ready)

When I go out fishing I normally carry an assortment of rigs , basically floats all ready tied up and ready on winders . The ready tied rigs have different floats , depths , line and hook sizes this saves me time and means i can maximize my time on the bank , it also means I can travel lite and can tackle any swim with just a quick change .
My main line on the reel is around 8lb this is then attached to one of the rigs loop to loop . Having a heavy main line allows me to fish up to just short of it's breaking strain , on most occasions I fish a good deal liter . The float is normally on 8lb as well this is stepped down at the hook length which is about the last 12 inch or so , the rig above as a hook length of 3.9lb of Fluro Carbon. I mainly use this as it is nearly invisible in water something to do with its reflecting values being almost the same as water . The rig is then finished with a barb less hook these are in many sizes and vary from wire to forged I use a knot less knot , sounds stupid but thats what it' called ,the reason is that any knot weakens the line strength so you maintain it's highest strength using this one and it never lets me down .

Feeling Better (a bit)

After what seems like an age I'm feeling better , for the last few weeks I have not been my self , so the blog and my outside activity's had been put on hold . Sunday morning and after the first dry week for a month meant the rivers would be running at normal level . This was all the incentive I needed , I had spoke to Phil and we decided to fish the river Dane in Cheshire. Filled with the joys of spring as the weather certainly had the first int of her in its early morning breath I decided to make up some rigs and get my gear together .


"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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