28 June 2011

My New Addiction!

Sun was out today, had to satisfy my new addiction. Some wee size 18 kamasan B410 arrived in the mail, so I tied up some tiny nymphs. They did work but not on the big fish, i don't think the slow descent attracts them like the size 14 turkey biot nymph. So ive decided this is going to be my go to fly despite the lack of hook-ups with smaller fish, in anycase i'm not really interested in catching the wee roach, if i wanted to do that i'd just fish with a waggler float and some bait. For me this is becoming a selective method, a way to get the better fish, and how satisfying it is when all go's to plan!

26 June 2011

On the Cut

As luck would have it i had the afternoon to myself. So i decided to go and See if the roach were up for it. It was a overcast day with occasional light showers and occasionally the sun would come out. The sun  is useful for spotting the shoals, the cloudier it gets the deeper the shoals seem to go.
Theres plenty perch amongst the shoals they behave exactly like the roach until the nymph is presented and on the retrieve they have a go.
Jack pike
I had plenty roach most took on the descent of the nymph missed a big one, in fact when a decent roach shoal came into view it was exciting these roach seem to take a nymph fairly confidently, i did manage to get a substantial roach plus a few good quality ones and a few wee ones. It's a very selective and effective way of fishing , cant wait to get up there again. Some pics:
wee fellae
fin perfect (looking at the anal fin looks like it has a bit of bream in it)
specimen roach
A wee handful

The Crystal River


Today me and Brian fished one of my favourite rivers, it's a river with two different characters , a typical lowland river in it's lower reaches and in it's upper reaches very rugged ,and boulder strewn . Described by some as one of the most challenging trout rivers waters in Scotland. I don't think it's the case at all , nothing a long leaders and long casting , does not sort out , the fish are spooky but they are in reasonably good numbers . We fished the usual NZ set-up a big size 10 klink and a wire nymph did the trick , in a few shallow runs we fished the klink on it's own and in the faster runs we fished stimulator's, the takes to the dries on occasions were explosive!. We had around 30 fish in all 8-9of them over the pound mark a couple going 1 1/4lb, but the big fellaes proved elusive , one thing about the fish we caught though is they fight well above there weight , probably  some of the hardest fighting fish Ive ever caught ! It had been a grand day in great scenery.    Must return before the seasons out!

1 1/4lb
flower power

fat trout
rocky section

23 June 2011

A change of Coarse

I walked the dog along the canal today, where i spotted a few shoals of roach here and there ,a  few perch amongst them and the usual jack pike in the margins. Was thinking about going for the pike but decided it would be a nice change to target the roach.  So at 2:30pm i grabbed the gear and had a go. I tried the dries, first  a shuttlecock buzzer i briefly hooked into one, but they quickly sussed it out. so tried a few various dries , including a size 14 black klink but they weren't fooled, so into the fly box and i selected a small size 16 brown turkey biot nymph with a black(actually called gunmetal) 2.4mm bead. With instant results.

Shoals that seemed to be sleeping suddenly woke up there was a good mix of sizes with a few big ones amongst them. The important thing was seeing the fish take the fly so Polaroids were essential , this would be either by seeing a flash of the flank or one in the shoal shooting forward out of suit with the rest of the shoal. I'm convinced the plop of the fly was a trigger as was the decent as i further experimented hanging the fly off a large klink , the minute the decent stopped the fish lost interest  the , klink you might think would be good for showing takes but if i was looking at the klink i would have missed fish it never moved though a few fish did show interest to the klink , they did not take it properly a bit like mullet mouthing bread, a better presentation was a single nymph, takes were within seconds of it hitting the water.

A few fish. I reckon fly fishing is a good way of getting the better roach . Or atleast it was the case today. 

A good one!

Mains burn

22nd June
With the main rivers in spate, few options were available locally. The mains though was carrying more water but it didnt look that dirty, so i decided to take the dog and wee burn  rod out for a wander tonight . There is'nt much of the burn thats accessible at this time of year most is very overgrown with fronds of grass breaching the stream . But there are a few pools, one in particular , where ive had loads of fish his season , produced this fat wee trout, on a glister nymph a cracker for the burn.

 That was my lot on a nymph tried the bugger but nothing then i put on a big turk variant, and got a offer, but nothing else took in that wee pool. So i headed downstream , to a few other bit's i know. Alfie was finding it difficult to keep his paws dry.
I stuck with the dry and got another and missed another two.  And that was it i'd ran out of fishable water, a good way to spend a hour.

19 June 2011

In the Glen of Troutquility

Saturday 19th

Nothing was planned for the weekend until, Brian phoned me at about 9:30am , he was planning a day on a highland stream , quickly ok'ing it with the wife she allowed me to go! Result! Another visit to the Glen, it was dry when we left so i didn't bother with the jacket, half way down the road though it started pouring down, then thankfully by the time we arrived it was all but a spit or two. We walked  downstream to our starting point, the river very low and crystal clear ,It was about 1pm before we  started fishing. the typical NZ style is good here, it's not the sort of river that you see a lot of rising fish , tends to be a bring'em up or nymph'em type river.

Theres a pool where we have never caught trout , it looks great, always does . Today was the day.
First cast to the very last signs of the bubble line produced a nice pounder to the nymph, they don't half fight hard!

 Further up the pool i missed a take to the klink then i broke off in another, then at the very head of the pool i stuck on a g and h sedge to try and "stimulate" a fish in to taking in the fast water., Another pounder obliged.
We kind of started to get a feel for it and although we felt the trout were not really on , we were doing not bad. Fast water was a place for the big dries, and although many pockets were empty.
G&H sedge
A big pool that's been good to us in the past , produced a fish for Brian 1lb 6oz,here's a video of the action.

A fine fish . This next one took a nymph in a turbulent lie hung under   a big stimulator. One of the rivers  signature brownies beautifully marked . 

Loads of water to cover yet before we got to the car, so we were optimistic. A heavy shower came on, i was beginning to regret not bringing the jacket   , but the wet was quickly forgotten when i hooked into a nice trout.
The fight was short lived as he did what many better trout do , he'd wrapped himself. A long trout that went 1 lb 120z.

Still a few pools to go we missed out some water, we hadn't the time, another banker pool, Brian took one wee fish from a spot, then almost whipped one of the smallest trouts in the river into another stream whilst striking. Then he got another good fish! Seems birds of a feather don't always flock together.

1 1/4 lb

One last pool to fish , a good one at that ! But only produced the one fish to Brian's mammoth stimulator.

We finished up at 6:30 pm , it had been a grand day fishing.

17 June 2011

Summertime..........And the Living is Easy

I was considering  going to the lower reaches of a river but with the sun splitting the sky decided against it, seems it's best in the evening . So i headed to my local and fished a wooded stretch that has produced a lot of small fish  , better fish have been largely absent today proved no different , the water for once though had good clarity and was low . A good number of flies hatched , mainly yellow may duns and olive uprights and bwo's. so there were plenty fish to aim at , first fell for a curved hook flexi- CDC.
 About 30 fish fell mostly to dries best was a size 12 dirty Polly a  few on a bugger fished in the pockets in a almost Czech style controlling the retrieve with a high rod rather than by hand.
  A few fell to nymphs too in the deeper runs.

14 June 2011

In the Land of the Big Skies

Saturday 11th

Brian picked me and Garry up at 4:45am , we were bound for Caithness, are plan was to concentrate on dry fly fishing ! We stopped at Golspie for some sausage and bacon rolls , and arrived in Wick to collect our permits from Hugo Ross, for two days fishing on a choice 6 lochs was only  £10 !

wee pair of waders

The first loch we went to had been drained many years ago and refilled only twenty or so years ago, quite a wee peaty loch with reeds in the edge.
Whilst setting up our gear we viewed a interconnecting burn which flowed down to the second loch we fished and you would swear it was running uphill, but it's just the lie of the land, an electric burn!

It didn't take long for Gary to hook a trout on his olive Turks tarantula . A nice one too!
 Brian was doing well with a black dirty Polly corrie killer  hybrid . Including missing a fish around a pound. It took me a while to get into my stride , but i eventually managed a few, my  best fly being a claret hopper fished on the edge of the reeds. We had some lunch at the back of  1pm , scotch eggs, pork pies , chicken drumsticks and wings washed down with some iron brew, then we headed for loch number 2.

Loch number 2 was no distance away at all, just over the brae. Setting eyes on this loch showed lots of character , big sheltered  bays with cliff faces , infact me and Brian seemed drawn by these bays and headed over to explore whilst Gary fished the near shore. We were ushered by a herd of coo's . on the way , running over the hill top.

We decided to put on a wee competitive match which was quickly forgotten as wee extracted fish after fish from the bays, black flies were being blown off the surrounding vegetation , and the troots were going daft for them . Great fun for a few hours each trout a heavily spotted beauty.

We then headed for some dinner before heading onto the main event, Brian definitely looked like he'd chosen well with his steak pie,my Cajun chicken looked a bit like a mackerel, but the chips were good, Gary settled for the scampi!

We were on the "main event" for a bit after 6pm. When we walked around swathes off buzzers that had hatched off through the day took off. Hardly a fin broke the surface though , infact it was quite dour, this loch is known as an evening water. Gary lost a fish he reckons was between 2-3 pound  whilst starting a retrieve his dries. Brian was doing OK too with a couple of fish too the corrie killer fished static.
I was toiling. Gary cursed , a few times through the night at missed fish , but was rewarded with what must have been the fish of the trip a fat fish , in and around 2lb mark.
As the night drew on these thing s started to emerge , the nymphs crawling up my waders at first they were one or two but with ten minutes i was covered in them from head to toe, the dreaded caenis, or anglers curse!
At his point the trout didn't seem to be interested but as the night went on the spinners fell on to the water and that's when the trout started sipping them in , it was amazing to watch fish cruising under water surfacing yards from the last rise , and it was also fascinating too see how fast they moved it gave the illusion that there were loads of fish feeding but  it would be the same fish moving fast, some of them were big fish too! There window of vision must be tiny so you've got to try and intercept them almost to the inch , on top of that they have to like the look of your fly. I read years ago that a hatch on Corrib you were best if you could see your fly a clipped Adams was one reccomended fly, the closest thing i had in my box was a simarly coloured dirty polly, the important bit i think about seeing the fly is because you must actually see the fish take it   otherwise you could be constantly striking into thin air as i did  a few times that night  ,  spooking them on the surface in doing so.  I did manage to intercept a couple though, the first took a corrie killer , just yards from me , shot off into the loch like a steam train ripping line off the reel then stuck the fly into the weed!
The one that got away
 The corrie killer was missing when i took it in. the next fish i hooked up i landed , he took a size 12 dirty polly and went 1.5lb.
I had a few really small trout as i made my way back to the car as low  mist started to form , the trout calling it a night.

Back to the hotel for a few pints and a blether before , getting our heads down for some kip.

Sunday 12th
Was up for breakfast at 8am , breakfast was OK , the sausages were crap the bacon greasy the eggs under done , we sort of forced ourselves to eat it.  Payed the hotel and were back on the "main event" . Not known as a daytime loch we didn't know how it would fish. When we arrived the weather looked great cloudy with a light breeze , but with obvious rain approaching . And that was the way it was 2 short showers were the worst the weather gods threw at us. I didn't even bother with the jacket. I put on a size 10 CDC and elk on the point and a corrie killer on the dropper , as did Brian and we had  some sport from the bank pulling up fish to the CDC and elk. Brian got a nice fish of 1 3/4lb , we lost a few good ones too. 
Brian's best 1 3/4lb

Brian in his tube
As the day went on the sun came out , me and Brian decided to pump up the tubes and go afloat for the last hour, where we took a few fish , then at 2pm we called it a day the loch seemed dead , so we headed home all content , it had been a great trip , looking back it might have been worthwhile doing a bit more tubing as there were a lot of fish out of range , but thats for next time,  i can't wait to return,  in the future !
The Heron (Gary)