I decided to rewrite this post after a comment that Tom Chandler left on my last post he stated:
Nice fish, though you really need to work on your posts a bit.
Admitting that the fish pretty much hooked itself is a violation of the Fly Fishermen’s Writer’s Code, which stipulates that every fish comes as a result of Extraordinary Skill, a Predator’s Instinct, and at Huge Personal Sacrifice.
In other words, you waded dangerously deep, made a heroic cast, and set the hook when you felt the tiniest of taps.
So here my friends is the rewritten post utilising Toms Code.
First Trout Of The Year
I walked to the river in nothing but my shorts and my raincoat (and only that because it keeps my Orvis chest pack steady, nothing to do with the fact you can’t prove anything from below the photo). I wanted a Trout and I wanted it badly – I turned on my extraordinary trout seeking fifth sense …I scanned the water and selected a pool where I was positive a trout had just switched itself on to eating something big and olive – No, not a large dark olive – an olive weighted Woolly Bugger.
It was going to be a tricky cast as there were trees behind me – I waded as deep as I could – the freezing water above my waist – No kids again this month I grimly thought as I prepared to cast. The wife will not be happy!
I decided on what is called a “Windmill” cast – you spin your rod tip around so fast that the line follows it in a circle – once you have done this for several minutes building up sufficient momentum to cast 10 yards of line you let fly – I let fly! I was glad I had been pumping iron on specifically that arm for the whole winter especially for this moment…
First cast to the pool – BAM – trout on, whisked in and then a quick photo and returned to the water.
And that my friends is the story of how I caught my first trout of the year.
Yea, so it was caught on a woolly bugger; however it was snowing intermittently all day and the chances of catching anything on a dry fly was utterly remote. Oh sure, I could have used nymphs but I wanted to see what would grab one of my new olive streamers – it turned out this pretty thin looking wild brown trout.
Quite an interesting take actually, I was dead drifting the streamer through some faster water and felt the thump thump thump of the take – then it was gone – and then back again and this time it was hooked. Looking forward to more Streamer action as the weather improves. I used a 5 weight floater with a sink tip this helped get the fly nice and deep into the holes.
Enormous Grayling – that is what I was told. I have been putting off going “proper” grayling fishing for a while now. Not because I do not like Grayling – I just don’t like fishing for them. I can think of better things to do with my Saturdays than standing waist deep in freezing cold water slamming heavy bugs into the water to get them as deep as possible – then watching an indicator like a hawk for any subtle twitches or jiggles…
Like I say, I can think of better things to do – like tying flies, or even giving the Pike another go. However my two fishing buddies finally won me around with their talk of monster grayling that average at the 1.5lb mark.
It All Went Wrong
Alex the “Fishing Machine” blanked, Alan had one and lost one and I somehow managed to bring down the whole average grayling size by catching what I was told was probably the smallest grayling in the river.
Anyway, Alan’s grayling brought some excitement to the table – after losing one of around 2lb he then managed to land this one…
A quick dodge hero shot…this man knows Kung Fu you know—
I swear it took me a day to recover – On Monday I am going to throw streamers for trout!
Its not just because Orvis have pretty amazing customer service, its not because they make great quality products, it’s the fact they see the wider issues that affect anglers and are willing to put their money where their mouths are. I don’t see any of the other big name fly fishing manufacturers coming up with schemes like this:
It’s happened, just in the way the rivers rise high in the winter and then low in the summer my thoughts are turning from Pike back to Trout. I am not saying I will be forgetting Pike for the summer – quite the opposite actually I am actually quite looking forward to taking a Pike on a popper – a Pike on a dry fly if you will.
However when I have been going to sleep or day dreaming about fishing during the day it is trout that have been on my mind – thinking about casting dry flies to eager spring trout willing to snatch a fly from the surface like someone clicking there fingers. I have also been thinking about fishing with streamers this spring, I have tied some horrific woolly buggers and am looking forward to catching some Kelvin and Clyde trout on them.
As well as my exploits on the Clyde I am looking forward to getting back to my roots on the Kelvin. I felt as if I neglected it last year however I think the weather was always going to be a problem – I never got a chance for many evening sessions due to cold conditions, I suppose that plus my additional university work made it difficult to hit the Kelvin although when I did it fished its socks off. Word has already reached me of someone who has already caught some rather nice trout to dry flies on the Kelvin as the Large Dark Olives are on the water. Anyone who has any free time during the week would do well to get down there especially with the nice sunshine we are having.
I decided to bite the bullet and clean my fly lines. Cleaning your fly lines is probably one of the most satisfying things you can do to improve your casting and the “floatability” of your line. I have read you are supposed to clean your line after every other trip using special products however I do it a few times a year using fairy liquid.
Why clean your fly line?
Over the course of the season it picks up grime, weed and if like me you are paranoid about the tip sinking then generous amounts of floatant which must be washed off with the other debris.
- Fill up your sink with warm water with some fairy liquid – just enough to make it bubble.
- Strip off half your fly line into the sink. (I only strip off half as I am lucky to cast that far)
- Move the water around over your fly line using your fingers – do not do this too much or you could end up with big wet knots in your fly line.
- Get a paper towel and wet it, then pull the line through the wet paper towel starting at the reel end using moderate pressure until you get to the tip of the fly line.
- Marvel at the line of grime left on the paper towel.
- Repeat steps 2-4 (there is never the same amount of satisfying grime the second time)
- Now get a dry paper towel and pull the line through it – this time you are drying the line, once done repeat.
- Wind line back on reel.
You now have a fly line which will float much better than it did before until around your 3rd trip when it starts picking up grime again.
So I decided that as the Pike seemed to be switched on to miss out on the usual first day of the trout season shenanigans and head out again after Pike. The reasoning was that:
- We never do well on the first day of the season anyway (the first couple of weeks actually)
- It was nice calm weather – it would not be blowing a gale on Loch Lomond
- I couldn’t be arsed going into my loft space to get my trout gear out when my pike stuff was sitting there all handy like.
As it was traditions are there for a reason and of course we were well and truly skunked as we both caught no Pike.
However, as I sit here typing this on a work day Monday morning I notice the sun in the sky and a certain look of spring in the air. This weekend will be my start of the trout season I reckon.
This video has been doing the rounds for a while now- seeing as so many of you guys seem to like your Pike I thought I would post it for your enjoyment. Make sure you check out rasmus hansencom
Edit – the video is disabled – you will have to head over to You Tube to watch it.
It was cold, at one point there were hailstones – it was windy and on occasion just plain old raining. This was not your usual wind, this was lazy wind – a wind that is too lazy to go around you instead it just goes through your waterproof jacket, your windproof top and into your chest. All in all not nice weather – pretty much the same as last week if the truth be told however lessons were not learned and this time we at least felt that Spring was on the way as for a brief few moments the sun came out and warmed our heads – hell I think I even smiled. A kind chap called Nicolas from the Glasgow Angling Centre had put us on to this spot; confidentiality only allows a photo of the area.
As it was, in those few moments of what felt like Spring a male jack Pike on the way to the spawning beds on Loch Lomond decided to have a gnash at my fly -
A brief tussle ensued – the Pike obviously had other things on its mind – wild Pike Sex for a start…
The Pike was firmly hooked, I cursed myself for not de-barbing my hook – I had tied these up the day before and it had gone out of my head….however, the pike was unhooked while blood poured once more from my hand…
My fishing buddy has a new camera so it was nice to get some pictures of my fish for a change…..
The fly I have cunningly named the Emerald Interceptor as it is tied with a green zonker strip as a tail and then tied hackle like around the hook shank. Some glossy tinsel stuff and a pair of eyes make it a nice juvenile pike or perch imitation – or something like that anyway.
Not only is that my first Pike from Loch Lomond it is also my first fish of the year. Most gratifying as I doubt the start of the trout season will be up too much – it starts on Saturday and what with a severe weather warning across the whole of the UK I am not sure where we will end up.