Thursday, 8 November 2012

Lucky Sod!!

Reet it's been a while the blogs been quiet..... same old..... same old you may say, well enough of the "I'm busy" and so on. I will try to keep this quick, maybe it will help me get on here more often! More than likely though this will end up in a long winded story akin to war and peace. About twenty years back my Mam n Dad gave me a rod for my birthday, that rod was perfect in my eyes, it had a spliced tip spot on for silvers on the river, and enough back bone lower down to tame bigger fish. After some years and some great days, I managed to break the tip on a branch as I made a strike. After an attempt to mend the rod and a few pounds spent on subsitutes, my mind was made up. Now I have had hit outs with some good rods Normark, Greys, Shimano the list goes on and on. I kept browsing the web, e-bay got some hammer!! So when a mint Diawa matchlite stick rod came up I made the move. Rod on the way, the normal worries take over, will it be ok? are my recolections like some fishermans tale? the rod was not really all that!! Well it turned up, it was just well "perfect". Now would it perform? Work had dropped off weather was not bad...... errrrm new rod "Day off!!" So off to the river, some mashed bread and a few bits n bobs, just fish needed. They had other ideas. An hour past, not a touch, then a good take the rod was.... perfect like an old friend, not seen it for a while but comfotable within seconds. Blast a Trout, a few months earlier and on the fly this would have been so welcome not now though. Another hour without a touch and a move. Now Im not bothered with cows normally but these cows had bollocks and when one lowered it's head grunted and pawed the turf, I made a quick return to the water, waded past them not worth the risk I thought. The next swim had a little more depth, a little less flow and I soon had my first Roach. Not a monster but very welcome another half dozen followed before my next strike saw the rod arch over. When the red fin broke the surface my heart quickened it was a better fish. It looked big, my mind went back to a fish I lost some years back, the spliced tip soft middle section of the rod eased my fears and when the fish went nice and safe into the net I was sure the rod was as good as I thought. For a moment I thought could it make the 2lb mark, not quite my scales are a bit funny they dont do oz so the 1.7 made the fish go about 1lb 12oz I think. It was under two but I'm getting there!
So a perfect new but old rod, a nice day and my favourite fish. "Im a lucky sod no doubts!"

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Monday, 16 April 2012

No Trout

After last week I could not wait to get
back on the river. The previous weeks visit
had inspired me. So much so that I even found
myself finding time at the vice.

I did manage a Brown on the dry the
week before, and when my first view of
the river brought me the sight of
rising fish, I was hoping for a few
more. The first fish where all
Grayling. Two on the dry for me
and one for Jeff. A change to spiders
and yet another Grayling trout!

I found another nice drop off and
put the old peeping caddis on first
run through and a little jab on the line
my stance and attitude switched to Herron
mode and when the next short run met with the
line stopping mid stream I lifted and a heavy
bang...... bang on the rod let me know this was
a more serious fish. The large fin broke the
surface of the smooth glide, even though out of
season I could only marvel at another Grayling
in great condition, shy of two pound at a guess.
I would take another nice fish but no Trout!!

I did manage a little parr but the lack of
Trout is a both a mystery and worry, the
grayling is most welcome though I just hope it
continues into the future.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

It's The Way You Hold Your Mouth!

The start of the Trout season is well under
way and with quite a dry warm start to the
season the fishings been a bit of a mix.
The fish are about, laying up in their
normal streamy feeding spots quite early.
The dry weather and clear water makes hooking
them a little tricky.
I would say we are now blessed a lot
of our local streams and rivers hold
the odd fish, infact our urban trout
that are on the door steps seem to grow
quite large. It's not quite how you
would imagine it, a free urban stream or
a prime stretch of rural water costing
a arm and a leg to fish, which brings
the chance of the better fish?
A fish may lay behind a old tyre or disgarded
home appliance but if you can see behond the
ignorance of man nature as found a way.....
or has it? These fish have found a place
to live without the predatory threat ok
the chance of polution is a constant concern
but the once dirty streams seem devoid of
over predation, pressure may change this
but for the moment certain waterways alow
the Trout to grow and grow. Already though
some are changing and the signs are plain to
see, big fish yes but the numbers of smaller
parr has and is falling.

So the first visit a few fish could be seen
and after some hard work Phil took a nice
fish on his new coiled leader. My first clumsy
attempts lacked any hook ups, a few plucks and
the odd flash was as close as I got.
I worked my way down river trying every
pot and fihy looking spot, now it may be
early season but the numbers of small
fish are just not like a few years back.
When the line darted and a good fish
broke the surface I was not surprised.
You always got these fish, normally you
would have had a dozen 5inch to 10inch fish
first, these fish are not around or at least
dont seem to be.
Well my peeping caddis, when all else fails
I turn to this fished upstream on a short line
the takes are hard and fast. It's now been refined
a little, I lose a few so quick and easy to to tie
is a must for me I can wip one up in two minutes
which is about it for me.

I'm not sure if this bug is the reason
I catch many fish on it. Let me explain
I soon turn to this fly so it spends more
time passing fish. I also know how to fish
it........practice makes perfect!!
Last my concentration picks up as I expect
to catch on it. So I may well catch on
other flies just as often if I only gave
them a chance. I do think it's a good mix
it looks buggy, the dubbing, tungsten gold
bead are all tried and tested fish takers
the grub part is easy and looks good.
All you need is some wool knot it and burn
the loose end down to the knot and thats
it tied in with some phesant tail legs
dub and done!

So on to the rural setting and I expected....
well nothing to be honest! Nice surroundings
and a nagging wandering of how such water
is so devoid of fish??Well what a plesant
surprise the river was low, clear and beautiful
as normal. Aftera good walk I saw a fish rise,
a short wait eyes searching and again.
At least one in the river at least one!!
Now for my I'm not quite sure what to use fly.
I'm on new water here, nothing much to
see and so I cover a few bases. From
being a bit of a mix this fly can be fished
in all manner of ways it's a good size to
cover several things it's a good weight
not to heavy but by lowering and raising my
rod I can get it to search if needed. Oh
and the most important thing I catch fish on
it and so it spends plenty of time wet!

After a bit of searching and wading I found
some water, you know the kind, all your senses
intensify you expect a fish... my first run.
Now even though this water must have fish
Im still saying looks good but "Nah" I can see
the drop off, the water looks spot on. I leave the
rod high and then lower it, Im seeing the fly
in my mind and how it travels along, now I lift
the rod again watching the tip of the line and
trying to keep in contact without efecting the
flys path in too much of a dramatic way, just
as I imagine the fly is lifting the line darts
a little and the thud of a fish!! It's on long
enough but off again to soon,I feel like I may
have missed the chance but next run and again
as I let the fly lift a fish is on I can see it's
not a trout but a grayling a good one, again the hook
looses it's grip.... &*%£ !
So I let the fly wander it's way dwn again and
this time a little perfect grayling
comes to hand. I had lost another and caught
one more before Phil made his way down. We had
a chat and rested the water a little.

After my succsess I was keen to find more
and on my way down stream I came across
not one but two rising fish the dry F-Fly
was nipped on and moments later my first Trout
lay in the net.
So not the Trout we set out for but a
good few out of saeson Grayling which
is good to see two happy fishermen made
our way back home.
Now it could be luck maybe a tiny bit
of skill or and most likley
"it's the way you hold your mouth"

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Upper Crust

Well I managed to snatch a few hours at
weekend. The normal story of a busy morning,
a quick phone call, chuck some stuff in the
boot and a dash down the motorway followed.
Arriving with limited time but the hope of
at least watching until the float disapears
once or twice. Even better that the thing
making that little red tip vanish is a fishy
critter helps me through the week.
The thing is I often reguard the lower river
as well...... not really a river. It's slower
deaper, wider and more populated banks are in
the main avoided by me. You may say it's a bit
snobby, but I like to escape from people when
I get the chance. Not the ones who have the same
thoughts on angling as I do, as I now often fish
in company. We often talk all the way to the river,
then a hour or two can pass without a word. The odd
decent fish, a bit of advice or a quick bite and drink
is the other time for words until the journey home.

The journey to the river is often spent talking fish.
"Oh you should have seen the amount of Dace,
Chub and Roach on the Ribble when I was a kid"
is my normal line.
" Not many 4lb Chub then
but you could catch one after another".
Now the thing is the lower river is now
just like the old days... Full of fish!!
So even though my "upper crust" fishing
ways are part of my ethos the chance to run
a float down stream and that run often ends in a
fish is just to good to miss!

So to the fishing, I now have a constant supply
of dried out bread, as the Mrs would tell you
"It's hung up in bags all over" It works and like
all things with a bit of practice and advise I now
have a good set up. The best place to get advice is
other anglers, now you may like all, some or none of
what they say but the thing is with the blogs that
people keep it's easy and free. One bit of advice on
bread from I think idlers quest? was all about punched
bread, well it works for me its quick, easy, cheap
and doesall I need it to..... catches fish!! I would
suggest you take a look. I had maggots and started off
with them but after ten minutes of no bites I switched
to bread........ good move every run seemed to result
in a fish, nothing big most Chub from a 1.5lb to 2lb
enough to get mewanting more...... Oh and that 2lb

Pete did catch a few fat Dace, once it
had gone dark!!
This is my favourite picture of Pete for
obvious reasons.

Sunday, 8 January 2012


Well happy new year.. 2012 and my first trip
out on the river. It's taken a while after
what seems to have been a month of non stop
rain!!! I did try to get out before 2011 drew
to an end, but we got rained off. A nice gammon
made up for it in the Aspinall Arms at the side
of the Ribble. Think the gammon was on my mind
today as a back up, in case the river was too
high again. Has we made our way out for a spot
of long trotting on the Ribble.
We looked off the bridge and even though still
up a little the river could offer a chance of sport,
gammon would have to wait a much more pressing matter
was at hand.
In fact the unseasonal warm weather after such a heavy
spate filled me full of confidence, not to much, the
fish sometimes, even when everything looks good can
be of a different mind.
So with a few layers to keep out the cold, a warm flask
and with the hat I pinched off Logan I made my way along
the bank with Pete.Looking more like a Russian sniper than
fisherman. The first spot I picked looked as though
it would offer the fish some rest from the strong flow.
Back in fish stalker mode I made my normal approach, a
little feed, then set the rod up, a little more feed,
put the line through the rings "cold fingers already"
feed, float on ..... little more feed and so on. By the
time Im ready to make that first run down the glide the
fish have had twenty to half an hour feeding on freebies.
Those first few runs find you the depth, if a bite
is not forthcoming I play around with the shots
it can just change the way the bait presents itself
to the fish. Not too much needed on this occasion
the float in that special moment burried, without
even the need of thought my hand covers the line
trapping it and the rod is raised with a fick, I should
be able to this, I have practised it so many times in the
flesh but also in dreams and every time I see a river the
thought runs in my head.
The line draws tight the rod arches and the solid but electric
feeling of a hooked fish runs up my fingers... it's good to be
After a good scrap a old freind reveals itself and a decent one.
a quick trophy shot and it tips the scales at 4.15lb. I love
Chub not that they are the best fish on the end of a line
but they are crafty and a worthy quarry.

This was a good start, a few more runs and away again this
fish twisted and glided across the swim....
"it's a Grayling"
was the shout to Pete, by this time I had mannaged to get my
line on a branch Pete waded and got it in the net,
"I would have lost that" I said
"I have been helpful then" was his reply.
"well it's once more than last year then" which got
a smile. this one went 1.5lb a few trout out of season
and a couple more lost Grayling before Pete landed
a few.

We moved down stream and Pete found some fish
this looks like it could be a good year even
Pete's catching!!
Pete with one of his brace of Chub.
So a great start to the new year lets hope it's a
good un!! All the very best Tony.


"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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