27 April 2013

the last chance saloon

Another couple of weeks on since our last visit to this lovely stream, we were full of optimism that there might be a trout or two on the fin this time around, after picking up our permits we walked down to the bottom of the stretch and waited for a hatch to get underway hopefully!

  a few olives were sailing down and the odd march brown too but we only saw a once riser in the pool so time for a move upstream to try and find a steady rising fish. We split up for a while and met up again at the top of the beat to compare notes, pretty grim I'm afraid, Col had seen another once riser and I had spent most of my time chatting to another angler but hadn't seen anything when I was paying attention!  by now it was close to 3pm so we parted company again, Col headed back downstream and I continued on upstream on to the association water.

not even a flower to take a picture of

 I was hoping to take a look at one of my favourite pools further up but as I got closer I spotted another angler in the distance, oh well another blank I thought as I trudged back downstream towards the car dejected,  It was then when walking past a nice slow pool that I saw a riser at last on the near bank, I positioned myself downstream of him and another fish rose on the far bank, I put on a shuck cdc and made my first cast of the day in the general direction of the far bank trout! much to my surprise he took and despite me being about half an hour to late on the strike I found myself connected to a good trout at last.

he put up a good fight in the shallow water heading for some cover and I was pleased to finally get him in the net

I joined up with Col again who hadn't seen anything to go for since I last saw him.Rather than throwing in the towel just yet I suggested that we go up and see if the other fish that I saw rise might be on the fin again since the pool had time to settle down. Sure enough there was a couple of intermittent  risers on the go, they never seemed to stay put either making them very difficult to cover

col and a ewe wait patiently for the fish to rise again

 it seemed though that his chance had gone, so a switch from the cdc to a klink/nymph duo as a last resort and on que a fish rose on the far bank, slightly downstream from his position, from my vantage point I could see his klink drift down and disappear and col struck into a good fish on the nymph.

 a fine reward 

a hard days fishing on a river that is never easy at the best of times, driving home tonight along a daffodil fringed road we both knew we had been through the doors of the last chance saloon today.

26 April 2013

Hail Hail the trouts are here!

Ive been looking forward to a trip to one of the local rivers for a few days now, i picked Brians local today and i think it may have been the wrong choice as where my local was running clear his was pretty murky.
Any way one of the benefits of doing a blog is you can see what you did in similar conditions in previous seasons so i kind of reffered to that . While i was tackling up a heavy hail storm occurred.

i waited for it to go off before going to a suitable pool there i sat and waited for a hatch to occur and while i did that another heavy hailstorm came down. eventually the odd  fly hatched  during the storms  just upstream a riser rose just the once , i covered the water and on my third cast he took, jump promptly throwing the hook. Looked a decent fish too.

Heading upstream i felt the hail had coloured the water further and the hatch had come to nothing  , so was feeling a little hard done by.

A few short pools up though is my favourite coloured water pool a fish was rising under a tree and then another started rising and another,this was the hatch starting proper and  it was just a matter of picking them off with a shucked cdc or turkey biot klink.
fit but fat 
 After my first 3 fish i was joined by a member of the local angling club , and i invited him to share my rod for the next few fish, by this time  a thunder storm was upon us but still the trout rose  ,i took a good few and missed a better one , he was fairly new to river angling and getting to grips with the action of my  scott rod was probably a bit unorthodox to him  ,but he was  improving every cast and   did rise a fish, i gave him a few pointers a fly before we parted company .

a few more trout before i left that pool and i headed upstream, by this time the hatch was pretty much finished and only managed another riser in another pool. Its a pity the river was so dirty i could have fished some water through with the nymphs but nice to see the fish in such fantastic condition .

24 April 2013

Retail Therapy on a Urban stream

I was in the mood for one of the local rivers that are fishing reasonably well just now, but last nights heavy rain put them up and coloured them so I decided to have a few hours on a tiny wee overgrown stream that runs into my local river. I love little burns , they require their very own skill set to be successful on them.

I tackled up at the confluence with the main river after the odd strange looks by  passing motorists, who either    don't share my passion  of fishing these streams most probably wouldn't believe trout exist there or perhaps  on there way to a local stocked fishery for their fix . I then went about fishing with a short 8 ft leader with a dry and nymph combo. The water was clear but running a little heavier than I would have liked, and water I was fishing was really unproductive, couldn't quite work out whether it was too early yet, or their had been a pollution incident, or was i too clumsy,  I had almost resigned myself for a blank when in a non-descript run I hooked my first little fish.

I was happy to see a fish after all my misplaced  suspicions. The next pool up I hooked the undergrowth and ruined my chances, but in the next again I took a brace,  the first a typically small trout similar to the first and the next again though  a little bit of a monster for the wee burn , which bent my 2 wt double , he was a heavily speckled trout.

Further up the flow becomes less as it loses a tiny tributary. Above that found me fishing in a retail park , between Lidl and Homebase  .
 Where i startled this colourful grey wagtail who obviously took advantage of the insect life the burn .


Looking at their colourful plumage you would expect them to be called yellow wagtails, thier colouration reminds me of the north country spider  the waterhen bloa . Continuing up past the retail park i had to go under the railway via a tunnel , gave me the creeps when you cant see what your wading over , through the tunnel i came to my banker pool , where another two trout fell to the charms of the brown wire nymph. After that i had a short walk over the rugby field to my home.

22 April 2013

home and away

Or maybe that should have been away and home,  on Saturday I took a gamble and headed north to a highland stream hoping that it would have warmed up enough to stir the trout into action,  it was a nice day but the river was very low and the water was cold, to be fair the water in this river feels cold at the best of times!  I worked my way up my usual stretch but nothing was happening, no flies hatching and no trout rising, it was an enjoyable day out but same as last Saturday I ended my day fishless. I'll give it another month before a return visit when hopefully the lovely trout from this stream will be on the feed.

a low and cold river

So yesterday with the afternoon free I walked the short distance from my house down to my local river to find a good hatch of olives just getting under way, soon I saw my first riser about six feet in front of me and landed a fat wee trout on the biot klink. Upstream I found a pod of three trout rising together and took 2 of them, one on the klink the other on the shuck cdc.

 the banks are covered in butterbur

next up a big flat pool with two trout rising, one in the main flow the other in a difficult position under some overhanging bushes, the downstream wind made life difficult but I managed to get close enough to cover them in between gusts, after a few casts I took the fish in the main flow, a pounder

 and then his pal under the bushes, a nice golden fish, both took the shuck cdc



by now the hatch had petered out so I switched to a nz set up and took another couple on the nymph to round of a good afternoon.

21 April 2013

C'mon the fish

First visit of the season  to another local river today, i decided to try a bit ive seen before but never wet a line, so it was a fair walk downstream  from where i accessed the river. When I got to the pool embeded in my memory i tackled up, and there was a trout rising in the tail of the pool. There was a strong downstream wind so i got level with the riser and he obliged, just a wee fat trout taken on a brown biot  klink.

I then went downstream as the pool below also looked good and there was another riser , closer inspection revealed to be two fish .
 Again i got level took the near one which was the better of the two then surprisingly the commotion of playing the first fish   never put the other fish down so i managed to catch it aswell.

 Another two fish took in similar circumstances on my way back upstream , before i ran out of rising fish so decided to look at a tributary. i was a bit overgunned with a 9ft rod but a few small trout took my glister bug in the deeper slower pools.

It had been a interesting few hours , but i do wish things would move on a bit ,the few fish that are rising are still in the weakest flows , it's high time they moved into the runs, i'm expecting by next weekend more rivers will come to life.

16 April 2013

The Answer my Friend.....

Is blowing in the wind. ... 32 mph winds today, I was thinking about fishing one of the bigger rivers today, but because of the  gusty conditions opted for a wooded burn instead thinking it would be a little more sheltered. The first burn I looked at was a bit muddy with the squally showers that had accompanied the wind in the morning , so I headed over the hill to try the burn Brian fished on Sunday and it was looking nice. I lost two trout in the first pool fishing a wire nymph under a klinkhammer ,but it wasn't until I reached the next big slow pool I landed my first fish , a little beauty and quite  typical of the water covered in smudged red spots.

The next slowish pool produced another to the nymph , so I skipped the chuckling runs and faster pools and walked the deer tracks till I reached the bigger slow pools only one more trout followed surprisingly though took a dry.
All the burns in this area seem to have there own signature and for me this ones defining character is  clustered  on its banks, the yellow flag iris, of all the local burns it is arguably the prettiest of them all. Another geographically unique feature is its hatch of danica mayfly not that there's lots of them its mainly a stony bottom but has the odd silty pool that suits the burrowing nymph, and although ive yet to see a trout specifically target them , they are things of beauty. Its plain to see it is not the trout but that will pull me back to this water although they are bobby dazzlers,  but for natures opera  and the  peaceful solitude,and  although for now things are still a bit slow on that front,  this violent southerly thats battering us will hopefully speed things up and bring it all back in line.
pocket water

14 April 2013

a burn slowly coming to life

After another blank yesterday on a river further afield,  I was pleased to have the afternoon to fish somewhere closer to home. A bit of rain this morning and quite gusty too so I sought a bit of shelter on one of the local burns. The first one I looked at runs through a public park so  access is easy and not too demanding on my legs, unfortunately the rain in the morning was enough to colour it up so on to plan B. I knew this burn would be clear enough but being that wee bit higher up it sometimes takes a while to get going, a  bit more difficult to navigate too but well worth the effort.

 I started on this pool
 and got of to a good start taking a nice trout on the brown wire nymph
I thought I might get a few more as I worked my way up through some nice pools but it was slow, still I was happy taking it all in 
a side stream enters the burn
bankside primulas, a sure fire sign of spring
perseverance paid of and I took another on the nymph
hooking another before the sweaty walk back down to the car, another few weeks and all the pools will be active, something to look forward to.

12 April 2013

boys toys!

At the start of the week I booked Friday of work with thoughts of spending a day on a favourite river further afield, wishful thinking I guess as the forcasted temperature for today was only 4,  no chance of a decent hatch on that river so it would have to be something a bit closer to hand.  I hadn't really made up my mind where exactly and to be honest I was a feeling a bit grumpy about the ever so slow spring mucking up my plans! My mood soon changed though with a knock on the door, the postman had a cardboard cylindrical tube,  my new toy had arrived!

  A few weeks back I contacted Chas burns in York as I fancied one of his wee 6ft  2/3  weight fly rods which he builds on Harrison blanks, Ive been so excited about this rod and today was the day, chestnut brown blank, pistachio reel seat with some of the whippings tipped in copper, I also picked up a nice orvis battenkill reel on sale  to complement the rod so was keen to try it all out.

I soon made up my mind where to go and found myself on the burn with bigger than average trout to give it a good test.

 arriving at the back of one I didn't need to wait long for the first riser to show, a few casts later with the new rod and its first trout was brought to hand, a fish on the olive biot klink

a rod is born!

a good hatch of dark olives today and a few risers to go for, some of them were a bit fussy,  the klink, curved cdc, and col's shuck cdc all took fish.

pound and a quarter

shuck cdc

the  burns rod feels like a fast wee rod, it was a joy to use today especially with the upstream wind, good in tight situations and had a plenty of power to bully big trout out of any snags, it made me smile, not an easy task!
1lb 10oz on the brown wire nymph
another on the nymph from the same pool
I ventured up to the tributary of the burn  that col lost a big fish in on a few days ago, i saw only one riser which I hooked, looked like  a nice golden yella fella too but the fly sprung back at me, definitely not the big fish col lost, but still a nice one.Walking back downstream on the main  burn  i  spotted a couple of stragglers on the fin which kept me occupied, I brought one of them to hand to end a good afternoon.

a good first outing for my new rod and temperatures are on the up for the weekend!