31 October 2012

tinsel traditionals

With the darker nights kicking in ive had a wee inclination to tie up some tinsel bodied traditionals in the way of a change, there not flies I'll use very often although a couple of lochs have been on my mind whilst tying them.
The loch of Stenness in Orkney with the stones of Stenness in the background

this loch is brackish and garish patterns are recommended for the resident browns and the sea trout which enter the loch. Ive only caught a few wee sea trout on the handful of times Ive fished here, but its one of those lochs where the next cast could be to a monster,  i look forward to fishing there again next year, so a good reason to tie up some tinsel traditionals.  
silver cardinal

Stenness stinger

bloody butcher

Ive also tied a couple of gold bodied patterns which are probably more at home on the next door neighbour of Stenness, the loch of Harray.

Harray is on the left, Stenness on the right

the Dunkeld
Cinnamon and gold

 the trout are more numerous in Harray compared to Stenness, and lightning quick on the take!

last season i never fished any lochs for trout,  next season i intend to put that right.   

28 October 2012

a dreich afternoon

Today we had an afternoon on the grayling burn, although slightly milder than yesterday the weather was dreich, water clarity looked ok... ish despite the rain so we were hopeful of a grayling or two.
Col got of to the best possible start with a nice grayling on the cdc/elk

i got a trout before spending ages covering a grayling which was rising on the far bank of this pool, i missed him several times on different dries before putting him down, frustrating!

col got in on the act too, missing a couple in this pool!

as the afternoon wore on the water clarity seemed to deteriorate making it pretty much unfishable so we headed home after flogging a few pools, its a tricky wee burn to get just right.  

27 October 2012

cdc & elk saves the day

With a touch of overnight frost the leaves are falling fast, this morning i found the grayling burn choked full of them.

 I worked my way upstream fishing some nice pools without a touch except for an out of season trout on the glister bug. There was no surface activity which wasn't a surprise with it being so cold, but i hoped that i might have picked up a grayling or two on the nymph, never mind!

 a fine morning
then in a favourite pool  a nice grayling came up out of the blue for the cdc & elk
 i was pleased as i gazed at my prize in the October sunshine, despite my best efforts this turned out to be my only grayling of the day. Back on the vice tonight to replace some lost nymphs for tomorrow!


26 October 2012

Half an Hour at the Basin

It feels  really cold today , snow doesnt seem far away! Don't know what sort of winter we are in for but being this cold so early on makes me think we are not going to get away lightly.

Ive got predators on the brain at the moment, coppery/ bronze ones that live off deep rock ledges , the accomodation is booked, the OS map ordered ,  even looking into back up tackle. But for now it is a distant fantasy, so with the dogs eyes  begging for a walk , I  decided to kill two birds with one stone and go and feed my addiction. Grabbing the rod, reel  a few flies forceps  scissors wire etc,it wasnt long before i was  setting up on the canal bank at my favourite basin.
 I started with a pink fly, had a follow from a curious jack pike which shadowed the fly then had a look at me and dissapeared. A few more casts covering the entirety of the basin  proved fruitless , i then changed to a flash fly , but , in my eyes they were a bit small as they had lost a few fibres from previous encounters, so it was on with a chartreuse fly and first cast i was into a small jack . Feeling the cold i decided to call it a day there and then. Must stop being lazy and fantasising about distant trips. I really need to tie for whats required now!  

22 October 2012

Back on Talking Terms

I knocked my pan in yesterday putting up a fence, sore and knackered after weilding a sledge hammer i took the day off, with a relaxing bit of fishing in mind. With Brian finding his rare "window of opportunity" being productive i decided to try the same burn . I must confess i had almost given up on this water of recent and was already for abandoning any ties i have with it , as the last few times I've went to fish it has been too coloured , it seems it such a lottery .I think it actually runs clearer when it's carrying extra water.
Perenial Aster

It was a pretty dull day , made me think maybe the glister nymphs wont work.  but i tackled up with a klink and a size 12 glister nymph hung underneath . First few pools nothing , not even a riser , then i came to a big pool. A wee dimple rise suggested a  smutting grayling  i cast something took the nymph and instantly through the hook, then a fish rose again i replaced the nymph with a size 16 black klink and was rewarded with my first grayling of the new season a wee beauty a real delight to see.

For some reason there and then i decided to change flies, resorting to old tried and tested for this burn , on went a size 14 glister nymph and on a dropper (not the usual NZ tied to the bend method) i fished a size 12 CDC and elk. Instantly my fortunes had changed as i struck into a good fish on the nymph , i thought it might be a trout as it was scrapping but no turned out to be a fine grayling of 1 1/4lb.
That's kind of the way the rest of the day went, the grayling were right in the mood , Some good ones too 4 of which went over the pound, interestingly all the better fish took the nymph , where as the smaller ones seemed to prefer  the dry.

Back on talking terms again with this burn, as moody as it can be it has it's good days and today was one of these. 

21 October 2012

a window of opportunity

I finally got around to cutting my mother in law's conifer hedge this afternoon, but  as well as loading a hedge cutter into the car,  my wee Norwich and a pair of waders seemed to find their way into the boot too! with the hedge cut and cleaned up i made the short journey to the grayling burn, in the hope that it was running clear enough to fish.

 By this time it was quarter to three so time was limited, but my first impression was that clarity looked ok. In the first pool i hooked a fish momentarily on a glister nymph, don't know if it was a Grayling or a trout, but it was encouraging anyway. Next up in a favourite pool i spotted the unmistakable rise of a smutting Grayling which obliged by taking a wee klink.

and another, like peas in a pod
this pool had smutting grayling too but i missed them all!
one more on the glister nymph
there was still lots of good water to fish but i had to leave with the light begining to fade,looking forward to the next time.

beach bums

With all the rain during the week there was no chance of  any Grayling fishing yesterday so we were back on the beach  yet again  more flounder fishing! unlike last weekend there wasn't a big surf so ounce and a half leads was all that was required, we fished with two hook flappers and i had one rod set up with a flowing trace in the hope of a decent Turbot.
Viper's Bugloss grows on the salt marsh next to the beach

there's something addictive about watching the rod tips for bites

Col was doing well, it seemed like every time i looked round he was into yet another flounder
i was struggling on the other hand, only managing the odd flounder, but did get a nice one on the flowing trace
later in the afternoon i had a wee move up the beach to a bit of rippled sand  and started to pick up a few more flounder. Unfortunately no sign of  any Turbot today,big or small, we'll just have to keep trying until we get a good one.

the beach did throw up one surprise at the days end, a fine sea trout

i wish i had caught it on the fly rod rather than a  2-4 oz bass rod! still nice to see though.

18 October 2012

The Seaside Town that they Forgot to Close Down.

The title comes from the Morrissey track "everyday is like Sunday" . But when i hear that song it always reminds me of Portobello. i'm not saying for a minute Portobello is a dump, but it definitely feels like it's stuck in a time warp i remeber it 20 years ago when i first arrived and a lot of it hasnt really  changed , particularly the tacky amusement arcade , you could imagine in time of the "Great British Holiday" that this place would be packed. It's got character and i do like it in a funny sort of way.

 So it was Portobello today for another spot of flounder fishing. Admitedly Flounder fishing was not going to be my first choice, but the rain over the last few days has been relentless,scuppering plans for any hopes of a grayling. Still , i'm glad i did have a option. I arrived just before lowtide and was setup and fishing before it turned.
As it shows in the photo above it was a lovely day , and i was overdressed . One rod i setup with a 2oz lead and the other a 3oz , i would have setup both with 2oz leads , but i didnt pack any , kind of caught unaware that the sea was going to be so flat , a wee note to myself for next time. More 2oz  leads! The sport was good from the off with some good sized chunky flounders.
Then after the first hour i couldnt get a bite. I moved a few times . Then saw  a few gullys that looked like they would produce when the tide comes in , noting there position with the buildings behind. And sure enough the sport came good again.
 The bites were quite noticeable today and i only deep hooked one flounder out of the nine i caught. Returned them all , had a steak pie in the fridge for dinner. another beach ticked off the list , it's a good one and i'll return soon.

13 October 2012

The Early Riser gets the Flounder (chinese proverb)

Thursday/ Friday brought persistant rain, that promptly  killed  any plans of fishing a grayling stream .  That was one of our plans for the weekend but also , we planned to hit the beach we fished last weekend, and it was a go'er cause low tide  was  early but during day-time hours at  7:30 am so we had to be out our beds kind of sharp ,  we were fishing  by 7:20 am just as the sun was coming up.
For bait today we had a few blueys and a few mackeral , the blueys though were crap for staying on the hook , awful soft and maybe could have been better salted a few days before use to toughen them up, so the mackeral was the go too. There was a  fair surf on the water and our tripods had to be placed a good distance from the tide line. I had two rods set up with 2 hook flappers and 3oz leads, Brian had the same on one rod but a running ledger setup on his other. I was first to land  a flounder, a decent one and a keeper. Then it was Brian who took the next few fish , his running ledger took this cracking flounder of 1 1/2lb
then had a few more flounder, then a turbot!

I managed afew more flounder, then it went a bit quiet, and al the time the surf seemed to be getting bigger and bigger , a change to 4oz grippers on one rod though i kept with the 3oz flattened lead on the other and just as we were contemplating a move to the nearby estuary my rod loaded with the 3oz lead registered a bite, it was a good fish too, it came in on the tide , and between waves lay on the sand where the hook popped out , a bit wresting and a bit of a soaking for us , and it was safely landed.
It went 2lb on the dot (42cm) a new PB.
That seemed to trigger a really good spell as i had a wee run of fish including a wee turbot.
Brian finished the morning session with another couple of flatties to 1 1/4lb .

At 12:30pm we decided to go for a bite to eat just as the tide was nearing it's highest point filling the sea with weed.
After that we decided to return and try the ebb, the sea was still wild and casting our rods they were imediately hauled by a weed filled sea. So we made a move for the estuary. I took one more fish but that was our lot for the day , it had been a great day, rewarding , and the flounder tasted great too!


10 October 2012

some simple grayling flies

With some grayling fishing on the cards soon I've been stocking up the box with a few of my favourite flies for this time of year, like most of my fly tying these days i tend to keep it as simple as possible.

It's not unusual to find Grayling smutting on small black flies at this time of year so a suitable imitation in black such as a klink is a useful pattern to have in the box

the grayling were smutting in this pool on a very low and clear river

rather than the heavy bugging associated with grayling fishing in the depths of winter, a nz set up with a wire nymph suspended below a big klink can be good, pink or plain tungsten beads have their day.

 Ive started using coq de leon for the tail rather than pheasant tail as its more durable

a nice autumn grayling

a simple shrimp pattern  in grey with a wee bit of glister is another one for the box

a  fine October day on a grayling stream