Sunday, 23 April 2017

River Chew 2017 home coming ,,,,

First trip back to my local River Chew after many months. Lovely day, warm with light winds. Water incredibly low after weeks of very little rain in the west country. Anticipated a tough time expecting fish low in the deep pools. Just a few Grannom coming off and lots of Hawthorn flies drifting in the verges, no discernable upwing hatch. First fish a nice Grayling and then two wild Brownies taking the dry to my amazement from a shallow riffle under the shade of trees.

I scrambled the banks of my old haunts and the fish were there in good numbers, nothing large but beautifully marked, buttery iridescent wild Brownies. After the initial few fish on the dry the majority of fish took the nymph on the drop later in the day. Lots of small shoals of Dace also tugging the Size 14.

 I really was out of condition, used to fishing the nicely kept banks of the Wiltshire chalk streams, and it showed when I lumbered back into a hole filling my waders! Really pleased the river has maintained its life despite the low water conditions. I ended up netting about twenty fish mainly wild Brownies.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Spring has sprung on the Nadder

Lovely day on Nadder today with Red. Started on nymph and it was slow going to start but once I got the fly down in the fast runs I was starting to connect. Using my 8'6" today and I'm not sure whether I was rusty but I lost several fish not hooking firmly enough. The bites were incredibly quick and were without doubt the abundant small Grayling. As the day warmed up to a balmy 20C the odd wild Brownie start to take the fly.

Lots of Grannom were coming off by the early afternoon and little patches of river began to come alive with rises, mainly from the Grayling but also the odd trout. I soon switched to the dry and had much more positive hook ups catching half a dozen fish off the top. Nice stretch of river with a variety of pools, runs and riffles although lower section had the odd paddler and dog walker.

End of day we headed to Wylye which was incredibly quiet and running quite cloudy. Dry fly only here and with hardly a rise to be seen, or Grannom for the matter, our efforts were fruitless.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Opening day on the upper Wilts Avon

Well its been a long time but worth the wait. Opening day I set out to spend quite a few hours on the upper Avon in Wiltshire on the Salisbury ticket. One of their few beats that allow the use of nymph early in the season probably when you most need it if you want to tempt a fish. Anyway it was a lovely day light breeze but relatively warm, about 15C, and the river was running well, not gin clear but pretty clear. Walking the freshly mown paths a Stoat ran across into the woodland just five yards ahead of me. The bird life was in glorious song and I watched a Sparrowhawk dash through the trees with a Blackbird precariously held in its claws. I had missed these moments of nature, almost as much as the fishing, and it was great to be back. No one on the bank except those looking for leisurely stroll round the stocked lakes.

From the bottom of the beat I made my way upstream casting the nymph at fairly close range as the river is quite confined here. the first few runs produced nothing so I downsized the fly and leader and as if by magic my first wild trout of the season came to hand. I stuck with the little brass nymph and then I hooked a solid lump. After a battle which I initially thought was a stockie I just about netted a beast of a Grayling. I estimated it at near 45cm and over 2lb. Without too much fuss I gently held it in the flow and watched him swim away all coloured up and in the throws of spawning. Needless to say I felt guilty, but privileged to have held such creature in my hands.

I went on to catch many more Grayling, some big, some small, but tried to avoid any shoals I had clocked moving upstream. I caught a handful of wild Brownies and the odd obvious stocked fish. In the moments of real warmth in the sun small upwings began to come off and the odd rise materialised. I immediately switched to the dry and although not connecting tempted several rises from small fish.



At the top end of the beat I was snapped off by a very large Rainbow and watched with curiosity the unnatural behaviour of the stockies ignoring the nymph on the dead drift but chasing competitively in shoals as soon as I imparted any movement. For one moment I tempted myself with the thought of a Damsel which would have cleaned up, luckily for them the biggest fly in my box was a Size 14 Hares Ear. Exhausted but fulfilled I return home, I know its trout season but a PB Grayling can't be ignored!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Fly fishing for Pike on the Frome

Nothing quite like a bit of piking when the pumpkins come out. Spent day guesting on Avon & Tribs on the Frome. A lot of fish about but only two coming to hand or net with Red and I catching a fish a piece. Mine just about 5lb but his probably just shy of double figures. I did connect with two other fish, one a particularly good fish which I had on for quite some time before it shook the hook. Sometimes I think the teeth just get caught up on the fly and that is why its not a solid hook up. Great day in lovely setting.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Final bash on the Teifi

Spent final weekend of Salmon season on Teifi hosted by Red and Dave. Fished a couple of beats mainly using Mepps spinners. No adult Salmon or Sea Trout but some nice little wild Brownies and the odd Salmon parr barely larger than the lure. Felt I learnt a new trade of fishing the Mepps upstream and across pretty much tempting any trout that gave itself away on the surface. I just find it unbelievable how you can cover every inch of a pool and then minutes after turning to give up a resident double figure Salmon will launch itself clear of the water just to say goodbye. Ho-hum better luck next year!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Day on Midford Brook with the ATAA

Glorious August day saw me guesting at Avon & Tributaries Angling Assoc. (ATAA) Midford Brook with Red. Started day with some kick sampling, something I have never engaged in before but quite addictive. Took me back to my pond dipping days, I was soon getting my eye in on the invertebrates that were turning up. The catch included Maylfy nymphs, Stonefly nymphs, Caseless Caddis, Cased Caddis and large amounts of Baetis together with numerous Bullheads. I have to say it made me wonder what the fish saw in my nymphs as most in the bucket would look dwarfed by my standard Size 14's. Met a good bunch of guys all keen to keep their special piece of the environment in the best possible condition not only for the fish but for all the other wildlife of the valley.

Afterwards Red took me a mile or so downstream and we made our way slowly upstream fishing likely pools and runs. Red in what seemed like his first two casts caught Grayling, one a particularly nice fish for this brook.

It took a while for me to get a fish in the net, after a few missed rises and hooks shaken, I finally broke the duck with a nice wild Brownie. From then on it was Rainbows all the way running us up and down sections of this little river. Most of my fish came to a GRHE although I had several rises and lost fish on the dry.

Great day out with some good company and good fishing.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

A few hours on the upper Wylye

Fished a few hours on the upper Wylye near Warminster which was gin clear with massive beds of Rannuculus . The fishing was tough despite seeing a lot of wild Brown Trout and Grayling. I managed a few rises to dry but did not connect. All fish in the net were caught on the nymph just sub-surface. Bank fishing only made discrete accurate casting a must. First trout looked like a Smolt with an iridescent sheen and pale/translucent fins. The fish were generally palm sized but the challenge of catching made it worthwhile.