Photograph by Steve Barnett

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Another Delightful Tangle

This was a 19 second exposure so the rises in between these protective fingers of willow didn't register on the film, but I'm sure you can understand why the default decision, when a tree falls into the river, is to leave it whenever possible.

(Remember to click on the photograph for a closer look.)

Regular Rod

Sunday, 21 April 2013

A View From The Other Side...

...Of The River!

Wandered down to Duck Holds Wood on the Derbyshire Wye yesterday with you know who for company.  Only two exposures made this time and once again he matched them each time with a flotsam tennis ball.  We stayed on the right bank, taking advantage of the easy access due to low growth of vegetation so early in the season.  It was facinating to see the river from the usually unfished side and I found this scene. 

Usually I am sitting a few yards below the apex of that bend, side casting up to fish rising in the run coming down from the spot round the bend that, because you can pick and choose your fish there, I liken to an angler's version of Selfridge's Window...

Regular Rod

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tangles - I Love 'em

No not those horrid things that happen to your leader just when it is most inconvenient for you and the light is going.

I mean lovely tangles like this one here.  Such a lot is happening thanks to this example.  There is a scour forming that will create a deep hole for a big fish to live in and near.  There is a feed lane round the back of it, but how the Devil to fish it is yet to be worked out.  Trout will take station here.  Birds will nest on it.  It will maybe make a new piece of land one day - unless of course it is washed away in a brisk winter flood some dark and windy night.  In which case it will still leave a lovely deep scour in the gravel where once the water was only a few inches deep...

Regular Rod

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Beauty... in the eye of the beholder.

Severn Trent plc thinks it is okay to discharge untreated sewage into this river just a few yards to the left of the camera's viewpoint...

Regular Rod 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Yet Another Thousand...


There is something magical going on in the middle of this channel at the tail of Ogden Island.  Among the willow branches that fell here into the water, one of them has touched the river bed.  All sorts of debris has caught up on it to make a mid-stream "sieve".  After a couple of winters the floods have deposited silt into and onto this seive.  Look closely into the middle (click the picture for a closer view) and you can see that Fleur-de-Lys (Flag Iris) has taken hold and a healthy bunch of new shoots is already reaching skywards.  The shoots will put down roots (and rhizomes), which in turn will trap more silt.  This is an embryo of an island.  The currents around it will be very interesting in years to come and we can look forward to fish taking advantage of this new feature.  The woody debris will keep us honest.   Well it will at least ensure our casting is put to the test, even though the new feature will need only short casts to reach it...

Isn't Nature wonderful?   We lucky anglers get closer to it than most.

Regular Rod

Monday, 1 April 2013

All Fools' Day Antics...

Today it really was a proper All Fools' Day opening.  The windchill was supposedly minus 7˚C.  It felt colder than that to your faithful blogger...

This year is slow in getting out of winter and into spring and summer.  The snowdrops that are usually over and done with by late February are still in bloom.  The fly life cycle is like it would normally be on Christmas Day not Easter Monday.  Hands were already getting cold in the short time it takes to get tackled up,

I know most of you will be aware of this neat way to avoid the line falling back down the rod rings whilst threading your line, but I'm sure there will be one or two of you who are yet to try this easy solution, so here is a picture...

Simply fold the first inch or so of fly line back into a hairpin bend and thread it that way through the rings (guides in the USA).  If you inadvertantly let go it will jam in the ring and not slide all the way out again back down to the reel!  This can be very helpful if you are setting up in a confined space, like on a boat, where you may not have enough room to get the rod horizontal.

The only tactic that made any sense today was to go-a-searching with a bushy fly.  My choice was a Double Badger and at about 13:45 (BST) a trout grabbed it and immediately let go.  It was the first rise I'd seen and it was a tiny bit of encouragement that was just sufficient to stay motivated enough to fish on no matter what the wind was doing.

At one stage, being anxious to at least see a trout, I climbed a tree for a better view.  The gravel looking so lovely and the water with its usual gin like clarity was just too much for me to not get the camera out and take a quick snap...

Eventually, around 14:00, there were some flies on the water.  Hurray!  Now what are they? 

Large Dark Olive was the deduction and this was confirmed when I dipped my hand, palm downwards, under one as it drifted by my sitting position.  The little fly was gently snared in the hairs on the back of my hand and it lingered there long enough for me to get a clear look (and make a couple of photographs) confirming the deduction.

However, before there was time to change the fly to something more like a real Large Dark Olive, a fish rose less than three yards upstream of me.  It was too tempting...  The cast was made and Lo and Behold the first fish of the season was on and a moment or two later it was in my net!  Bless my soul!  The day is a success!

What lucky devils we are to be anglers!

Regular Rod