Photograph by Steve Barnett

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Work in Progress?

It's still early in the season.  The cream of the dry fly fishing is yet to come.  Our evening rises at present remain perfunctory and the Sherry Spinner is definitely not the cause of any festivities by trout, or angler, just yet.  Nevertheless, this year has been remarkable in that, at certain places on your correspondent's Mother river, there have been very busy evening rises!

The flies being taken with alacrity by the trout are definitely midges, creamy bodied midges...

No problem!  Surely just put on a suitably coloured Aphid pattern or a traditional midge like a Sturdy's Fancy of appropriate size?  Maybe and then again, maybe not.

That pink thing is your faithful blogger's little finger nail to give you some idea of the fly's size

The label on the net is 1⅞ inches wide
This evening the American expression "skunked" sprang to mind.  Not a complete disaster, five fish, like the beauty above, were tricked into eating the tiny Sturdy's Fancy but hundreds refused it!

Some years ago similar happenings used to occur with returns of Sherry Spinners.  Yes some would fall for the well known spinner patterns but hundreds would NOT!  Over time a pattern was devised that turned the tables and is now virtually infallible during any spinner return involving small spinners (14 down to 18).  This is the PPS and the improved variant of it.

It looks like a fresh pattern is needed for these early season evenings after midge eating trout.

So, work will be soon be in progress as a fresh attempt is made to arrive at a midge pattern that will turn the tables again and make evenings like this evening less of a lottery where luck is more important than any other attribute.

Regular Rod

Friday, 10 April 2015

"A Couple of Hours"

Ten years ago we moved house to live by the river.  This evening's happenings illustrate why it was a good idea.

After a day spent in the home office, with telephone pressed to the ear for most of the time, a complete change was very much needed to maintain sanity.

Living by the river meant it was just a few minutes of preparation and a brisk saunter about a mile from the garden door to put your faithful correspondent and his faithful companion amongst a favourite, evening-time haunt.  This section of the river is currently devoid of cover.  The sedges, fleur-de-lis, willow herb, meadow sweet, red campion and other marginal plants, which we usually hide behind are still only inches from the ground, if even showing at all yet.  Low sunshine meant that, before crawling into casting position, observation had to be carried out from afar.  Well afar enough to prevent a big fat shadow scaring all the fish away.  It also meant that there would have to be some whistling to get Henry to turn back and not cast his shadow on the water either...

The first wild rainbow trout of the season was tricked by a size 14 Double Badger and a hurried photograph was made using the mobile phone as the camera proper had been forgotten (should have used the check list).  Please accept the humblest of apologies for the blurry image but a snap seemed only proper for the first of the season and rushing led to incompetence!

Double Badger may have worked but the treat this evening was seeing the several Grannom flies coming off the water.  One or two slower examples were being snaffled by the fish, so a Non-Descript Sedge made with pale buff deer hair wing and similar coloured hackle, instead of the usual darker wing and red hackle, was swapped for the Double Badger.  Bingo! 

So, whilst his pal was occupied watching, waiting and occasionally catching, Henry went off working on his own behalf.  He just wants to please and so he set about searching for quarry in the flotsam on winter's high water mark.  Here he is with his haul of three tennis balls...

The summer is coming fast now.  It will not be long before the evening sport will last until nearly midnight.  Tonight it was not easy but it was a great way to spend "A Couple of Hours".

Regular Rod

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Opening Day 2015 was Wet and Windy

Some days it does us good to find things are not dead easy.  Today your blogger had the benefit of such a day and it is true the spirits are heightened.  The river is over its banks and in one or two places Henry ended up swimming where he and his pal usually walk dry foot.  His enthusiasm was undiminished and when the first (tiny) fish was caught he quickly resumed his policy of trying to help...

Wading is NOT Allowed!
Glides that are normally smooth were raging torrents today.  Places where fish hold station during summer water levels were empty.  It was more important than ever to find the fish before it would be possible to fish where the fish are so careful observation was paramount.  Being stealthy may not have been quite so vital today but keeping low and hidden was still worthwhile, as the fish are still there and fear is still easily spread by any fish under the bank to the others, so the usual efforts were made to avoid letting the fish know of the angler's presence.

Tread Carefully!
In between rain and hail showers there were brief periods of bright, warm sunshine and it was in those spells that the flies arrived at the surface and the rise forms gave the fish away.  These being fish that had been invisible until they took flies.  The flies were guessed as Large Dark Olives so a biggish (14) Double Badger was deployed, which proved acceptable to the fish that did rise and visible to the angler.

Macro setting on the camera for such a little fish.  Small maybe but very welcome and my word!  How beautiful it is..

It's good to be back...

Regular Rod