Saturday, 28 June 2008

Back To The Start

Last week I caught a Chub on the river this reminded me
of my first fishing memories . This week it was a case of
Back To The Start . Speaking to Mike he wanted to catch
a Crucian Carp he was planning a trip to his banker water
for this particular species , I told him of the water I fished
as a kid which now is WiganDAA water on our club ticket .
I spent hours sat by the side of my dad waiting and playing
while he fished for these beautiful , shy biting , hard fighting
fish and over the years have made the odd visit taking some
quality fish .
The problem as been the water as not been bailiffed for years
and a visit normally meant sitting in discarded rubbish and
being pestered by the local yobs .
Well what a pleasant surprise to turn up to a clean maintained
water ,I spoke to the Bailiff who had picked up a few small things
to remove great !!!
Mike had been fishing for a few hours he was on the bank at
5am and was busy taking Crucian Roach Rudd and Bream
I told the Mrs I was going to see Mike but sneaked the rod in
''well you have to'' so I was fishing at 9am

I fed two spots one just out at rod length at the front
with Caster and one tight to the weed in the margins to my
left which was my pellet line for bigger fish .
Almost from the moment I cast the fish took Roach and Rudd
not too big but all in good nick . Taking them on the pin makes
the experience sweeter .
After an hour or so of steadily catching almost every cast
was met with a bite I got my first Crucian , I dropped in
on the margin line and took another six up to a pound
very nice .
I left at 12.30 Mike was busy catching a nice morning
well spent .

Monday, 23 June 2008

Saturday Night At The River

The rain had fallen for the first time in over a month with
any consistency, the result an extra foot or so on the level
and the thick blanket weed now lay stuck half way up the
We managed to fish the same spot as opening day , so hopes
were high of a few fish .
The rain and colder water had knocked the Barbel off the
feed or at least for us . Mike took the first fish a nice Chub
under a pound a good sign of a healthy river. I had one next
a bit bigger but that was about it from the glide that had
brought success only a week earlier .

A move to swifter water got me quite a few fish , half a
dozen Dace another couple of Chub and a small wild

The best fish was a Chub , a fish that first captured my
imagination all those years ago and to be catching them
from the same River only a few 100 yards away from
the spot I caught my first one is always special .
Mike took this shot ,the deep Bronze and silver captured
perfectly a magical fish and treasured moments .

Monday, 16 June 2008

A Day On The Pin (The 16th)

It was the 16th of June another day for many but for me
like a second Birthday.
Phil and Mike had arranged a da off work I could hardly
miss out on the party.
The river is low at the moment , so different from last year
when she was in flood for the first 2 months of the season.
As I drove down the anticipation of running a float down the
swift glides was immense , I was planning my attack and
the spot I knew would bring fish . My hope was that no one
else thought the same . I arrived at the spot and it was free
sliding down the bank between the grass I could hardly wait
to jump in and fish but time as taught me it's not how you start
but how you finish . So with this in mind I slipped into the
water further up stream yards away from the spot I guessed
would produce.
Now I started to feed , I use a bait dropper in the fast water,
this is a weighted cage with a weight on , as the weight hits the
river bed the cage opens and releases bait into the feeding area
other wise it can be washed away and over the heads of the fish.
Again with a full day ahead patients is a virtue , taking my time
I dropped it in until I was happy. I then had a look round
up stream , the shallows alive with fry and each rock that I
turned over was a mini world of wanderfull little creatures
it's a joy to see the rive so healthy .
I now took my rod and dropped the float gently into the glide
it moved steadily away . The first few runs are made and little
alterations to depth and the shot(weights) are made .
5 minutes and the float dipped the solid resistance and heavy
thud of a large Barbbel . The big ones dont move much just
sticking to the bottom , every swoosh of the tail transmits
through the rod and into the pin resulting in a'' THUD'' that
pulsates in the grip of your hand . The line went solid and
moments later I got 2lb of weed . Neither a good or bad start
many will have fished without a bite ,at least I hooked one ,
my cup is always half full when fishing.
I reached for the bait dropper , after looking through what
seemed 100 pockets I came to the conclusion it had found
a watery grave . Next best thing throw them .
My next run and the float dipped before I could strike the
pin whizzed and a fish darted but with power .
this fish while heavy was a Chub.

I had another by which time Mike had arrived to take a snap.
Almost immediately I ran the float again the rod arched into
another fish the result a Barbel .
Fin perfect and a powerful full bodied fish over 7lb
A great feeling as she strongly swam away.
The swim was banging now with large fish , Phil had wandered
down stream but I' more than happy to share the fishing around
so I gave him a bell
I took another Chub before Phil made his first run.
The weed was a problem and we all lost fish Phil 2 or 3
but after we seemed to have removed this the fish came
steadilly . Phil above with another perfect fish over 5lb
and a PB for him .
Now it was Mikes turn he soon abliged with a PB of his own
The spot was handed back to Phil while me and Mike
walked , so Icould show him a little of the river .
The phone rang it was Phil who was playing a large fish
(or it was playing him) we made our way back and a
10lb 5oz Barbel was waiting smashing Phils best a
quality fish only out done by Phils smile.

Mike now took the next fish fully extending his arms to
match Phils efforts !! ''It was this big '' honest.

Mike had brought Neil along , we could hardly of let him miss
out , he is more rigged up for trapping , but a little work
may allow him to see the light :)
He had wanted to fish a pin and I was happy for him to use
mine . He picked it up like a duck to water ,literally because
even without waders he jumped in '' hope for the lad yet''

Like he had been doing this for years he soon was fishing
the pin I can honestly say when he hooked the fish it was
the best bit of a very memorable day for me not the biggest
but fantastic all the same '' well done ''

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Creeping Caddis

This is the scale downed pattern I have been having some
fish with . After seeing the demonstration on Oldsmugglers
Blog I decided to have a go . It's normally tied on a 10' or 12's
but in the clear water a 16's living larvae hook is the one I'm
using not easy and you loose a bit of neatness but the fish don't
seem to mind .
If you get the chance watch the Oliver Edwards DVD's
they just show what can be done on a fly hook ''fantastic''
is the only word to describe the tying . It makes a leap
from a rough imitation to a very realistic one and in clear
water with wary fish they make a difference .
The first thing is to take a cut of thin lead , he points out how
important it is to make straight cuts , I found this out myself
but it took a while .
Now take it round the hook working from bend to eye ,
make it as tight as possible !when working on smaller hooks
the lead can snap if you pull too hard . This pattern is good in
larger sizes and you can add more lead depending how deep
you want it to fish .
Tie in some yarn , keep the tying thread and yarn as close
match colour wise it makes things much neater .
Build up a nice head , it needs to be quite long so you have
room for the legs , once you are happy work back to the bend
now dub some Hares ear in back towards the eye , my version
Oliver Edwards uses Deer and trims it back but this works fine
and is easy , I use two colours natural and dark olive .

The 6 legs are Golden Pheasant Tail , I don't always get the
feet rite , this is achieved by the way you remove them from
the quill.

Now to tie them in the trick is to turn the fly over easy if
you have a rotational vice (mines on back order)not the end
the world if not . Hold the ends of the leg (foot end towards
the eye) and pull it from underneath towards yourself
catching it in against the thread ,the bobbin weight will
hold it, then another at the side , pull down tight this will
make the legs pop up in to position I give one more turn
to secure and move on to the next pair .
I add a quick half hitch knot to secure . Then turn the fly
back over .
Because the thread is the same colour mark it up with
a permanent marker to make the head .
A quick whip finish and we are nearly done , I now tease
some of the dubbing out and trim .
because my legs look a bit curly (you will be better than
me ) I trim the ends off them a little too .
I finish it off with a little head cement and drop a little on
the leg area to make them secure .
The fly is quite quick to tie and the fish love them !
I have been fishing these up stream either on their own
or with a dropper , I have took fish from slower parts of
the river with the pattern being light and fished single this
is made easy , the takes are very positive the line shooting
a foot or more .
Hope someone will try this ....good fishing Tony

Thursday, 12 June 2008

On The Brook

Phil text me today , did I want to meet up for a hour on our
local brook? Guess what of coarse I did. We have not fished
very much of the stream and decided to wander further along
her banks . It's narrow and over grown and even though my
wife only lived a mile or so away and I have passed it often
this year is the first time I have wet a line on for the Trout .

The stream gave me another chance to practice with my 6ft
rod and the technique I'm working on it's basically up stream
nymphing but scaled rite down just a 16's PTN tin head.
The water is a bit slower than what I would normally fish
the method but if you get the weight rite you can get some
great results. I had around 10 fish tonight and lost as many
(again) if the water is moving then this works a treat even if
it's real slow , slower flow and the lighter the fly then it's a case of
watching the connector for the fast takes , very addictive and
also productive such areas as these would have been ignored
by me a while ago now I'm taking fish ''great!!!''
The first pool got a double hook up two wee Brownies small
but such a good sign Phil and I hit them at the same time.
The fish came quite regularly most small but the odd 11in
one as well . The final glide we reached was deeper and longer
Phil said it may hold a big fish or two I agreed a fish over a pound
would be a monster from such a little stream . We got a few
takes and fish before my line shot forward and I tightened into
a much better fish , good sport on the 4# 6ft rod .

The fish was long but slender with a massive tail it was around
a pound a bit fuller bodied it would have been well over , still
I was well pleased a great fish . Who knows a few bigger ones may
be waiting !
We made our way back to the cars a few fish and a method I now
have a lot of confidence in '' a couple of hours well spent''.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Me and the Lad

It was a nice day today , me and Logan found we had some
free time after we had done the weekly shop. It was also
a great feeling when his Nan rang to ask if he wanted to go
to Blackpool for the day but he wanted to stay with me.
We were wandering how to spend the time . I suggested
that taking a small net and the camera out for a few hours,
His sister went to the seaside and we set off for countryside.
He took a few shots of the thistle and one was in focus.
Of coarse I packed the fly rod and some flies just in case .
Logan loves the camera and taking pictures he is quite good
he just keeps snapping . Looking at the pictures after he's
had the camera a while gives me a glimpse of the world
through his eyes and today it appeared most beautiful
After spotting the Foxglove above he ran to take a photo
what made it better a Bumble Bee was busy ,he loved it
and took a quick snap it came out well I was most impressed.
We wandered down to the river I have seen a few Bullheads
in the shallows but they are very hard to catch even after
you find one which is not easy either . While we sat and
watched a Kingfisher a Trout sipped a fly from the surface
I set up the rod Logan urged me to hurry up I told him
to have a little patience it only took one careful cast and the
fish came calmly to the fly I watched it drift a little before
nipping it from the surface , A very special fish as it was the
first on the reel of Uncle Johns that I refurbished a few months

We had several more takes and we had a few fish and lost
as many , mainly because I was showing Logan how to play
them on the rod , casting is still a little hard for him , he had
a good go though and he loved seeing the fish take the fly .
We moved to a streamier section and this brought out a new
fly, now the Trout are more settled after spawning ,more life
abounds on the river and the water is so clear I thought a more
realistic imitation would do the business, at the start of the
season the Peeping Caddis was a killer with most fish falling to
it if it was on point or dropper . I was interested to see how the
new version being more realistic worked and it did a treat , we
continued to catch some great fish we only had one that I would
class as small . After a few I gave Logan the rod he landed one
even though he thought it would break the line .
A nice photo a look of satisfaction and happiness .
The crawling Caddis(above) this fly or more accurately
Larvae is again a Oliver Edwards designed Pattern, after
Mike lent me the DVD of him tying I was inspired , I will
be whipping up my version which I have changed a little .
Today I fished it up stream on it's own , the takes were
very confident ,my hopes are high for this fly and method
it just needs a little tweaking and I have already a few ideas
for making the job easier .
Another nice fish Logan obliged with the Photo (below),
again I was impressed , he is very good at this and enjoys it
maybe a 7 year old with a camera near water seems a
a little stupid but what the ''Eck'' the smile on his face
when we looked back at the day was something you could
not put a price on.

The last fish slipped back and we made our return home.
I have looked back over old posts recently and have
enjoyed reading them I'm sure this one will bring a smile
on a winters day in the future .

Friday, 6 June 2008

A Quick Dip

Found myself with a couple of spare hours so I nipped down
to the river for a quick dip of the fly.
It has been quite dry lately and the water was low and clear.
A few fish rose to flies but I started in fast water
on nymphs . After a few casts the first fish was on, it gave a good
account of itself and it was around a pound in top nick .

Fished through the fast pools with little else to show for my
efforts. As the Sun set a few fish rose and one took my connector
so a quick change to a dry brought a few more takes and another
Brownie slightly smaller but in top nick .
The last fish was only half a pound and the light had all but
gone . It was a quiet night not one sound of a voice and I
fished without a jacket until after 10pm the weather is
good at the moment ,although the rivers need a flush
of fresh water .
The other thing is I need a tripod for the camera it's hard
taking a shot with it balancing on a rock ! !


"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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