Sandbagged!

Sandbagged!
Photograph by Steve Barnett

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Sixtieth Anniversary - A Quiet Celebration

Sixty years ago to this very day, your faithful blogger was taken fishing for the first time with a "proper" rod and reel, instead of a stickleback net, or a garden cane, cotton and bent pin. 

The method was float fishing and the bait was maggots and worms.  The quarry were "coarse" fish.  "Coarse" is a silly name we English give to fish without adipose fins.  There is nothing "coarse" about these fish.  They include some of the most beautiful fish on the planet.

The young tyro was being introduced to the art of angling by his paternal grandfather and the method was known in those days as "Sheffield Style".  "Sheffield Style" means fishing with very fine line, tiny hooks and floats that need very little shot to cock them.    Coarse anglers had distinguishable, regional styles of fishing in those days and you can find out more of this phenomenon by reading the book "Fishing. British Sports Past and Present" by Bernard Venables, Published by B T Batsford Ltd, in 1953.

Today I was the lucky guest of a very good friend on a private estate lake and the method used was exactly as it had been on 16th June 1956.  Grandad would have been familiar with every aspect.  He would have certainly been familiar with HIS Speedia centre pin reel that was being put to use on this special occasion...

All went well.  The first fish was a roach, the next seven were perch, the ninth was a rudd and two more perch finished the day nicely.  The landing net was needed for just one fish, exactly as it had been sixty years earlier.  The net would have been unfamiliar to Grandad as modern knitted pan bottomed nets had yet to be invented in 1956.

It was a good day, in despite of the rain, and it was a pleasant change to be watching a float instead of a dry fly.  A change is said to be as good as a rest, in this instance it was much better than a rest!



Regular Rod

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Mayfly - Time and Place









 
 
These first (poor quality) video snippets are of female adult mayflies returning to the river Lathkill (a very important tributary  of the Derbyshire Wye) to lay their eggs.  They are doing this from 4:00 pm onwards...




This second pair of (poor quality) video snippets are from the Derbyshire Wye the day after.  They are of male adult mayflies dancing to attract mates.  Most of the females are yet to have their eggs fertilised.  The main egg laying activity for the mayflies on this river begins at least an hour later.


Do you remember this post from My 2012?  http://dryflyexpert.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/happy-in-hampshire.html  On that day things started much earlier on Hampshire's river Anton...


Get to know your river and it's own timekeeping.  Over the years such knowledge will pay you back handsomely, again and again.






Regular Rod

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Duty

Arrived at the water and begun fishing, the rewards of our glorious sport soon became manifest.  The fish had taken a second remove at their dining by almost instantly changing over to snaffling newly appeared Iron Blue Dun, in preference to the Drake which were still fluttering about.  One wild brown trout had such a remarkably coloured adipose fin that a photograph just had to be made for a memento, before moving on.

Sport was brisk with a fish being caught at every station attempted.  Wondering over the little bridge that links the right bank onto Ogden Island and making for a favourite place to peep through a gap in the fleur-de-lys in the search for rising trout, something was noticed that meant fishing would have to stop for half an hour or so. 

Duty called!

Some of you may be aware that the British Isles are infested with Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS).  Among the foremost of these is Himalayan Balsam.  You may recall this previous blogpost about it. We anglers have a duty to prevent this stuff spreading.  We can do this by ensuring we don't become vectors of its seeds AND by pulling it up when and where we find it.  It is our DUTY.


Here are the plants growing.


Here they are after pulling and being left with roots exposed for the sun to kill them.

If you find Himalayan Balsam where you fish, do yourself a favour by pulling as much as you can before it flowers and starts pinging seeds all over.  One plant can have several hundred "children" so do your Duty, please...




RR