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 .


"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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