I got to the river at around 0930 on Saturday which with hindsight a little optimistic as it was still quite chilly, there was no fly life and no fish moving. In fact I spent most of my time just sitting watching the water waiting for something to happen. When I got bored of that I experimented a little with using nymphs.
I have never been happy with the New Zealand style of fishing a nymph. What I was finding was that, yes, I was hooking fish but then I was finding that they would do a bolt into the weeds and because there was another trailing hook they would escape capture. The other thing I found was that thy would rise to the dry fly, fail to hook themselves as there was a bit of trailing mono and if they did hook themselves the trailing nymph would catch in the weeds again. All this added to the fact that I usually have enough trouble trying to keep my dry fly floating without a bloody big anchor dragging it down made me have a rethink about the system.
I remembered having a chat to Mike about this who recommended the use of a piece of sheepâ€™s wool; this would act like an indicator as well as ensuring a nice drift. Looking around the field I was in there was only cows which are not known for their floating abilities so I had to come up with a more radical solution- well not that radical actually, as I had already bought some of this floating putty.
I had bought it primarily for the little box as I was going to fill it with flies and attach it to a lanyard around my neck; I just never got around to it. You use it by pulling off a little piece and then squeezing it around the line- it worksâ€so soâ€ -probably slightly better than using a dry fly.
The river was very muddy and was up around 6 inches, I was surprised as the day before we had absolutely no rain, the day before that however we had a bit of a rainy day but I did not think enough to seriously colour the river.
The insect life started slowly, I watched a bee buzz past, and then noticed some of those cow pat flies buzzing around, then some butterflies and finally some olives. The trout were just not interested but I managed to sneak out some Grayling almost by chance.
I can feel the season coming to an end, which is strange as last year we had good sport right up to the last day of the season.
An intense three days fishing, where to begin? Well on Friday I decided to hit the Kelvin as I have not fished it in a number of weeks now. A mixture of poor weather and the fact that at the weekends the place is chocka block made me fish other rivers. I decided on a few hours down the vet school but alas it was not to be, the river was at a good height but the colour of mud. I decided that maybe a trip to one of the tributaries might be in order so did a quick dash (I am enjoying this driving lark) as I knew I had to go and pick Claire up from a night out. It was pretty slow if the truth be told, it was a nice height but there was just not many trout rising or feeding. On reflecting on the lesson that I learned from this session (you learn something from every session, I always make a point now of asking myself what I learned, also other people as sometimes I am a bit thick). I considered the rather nasty bush I encountered on my way down the embankment to the river. The embankments are around 8 foot high and covered in a variety of bushes, massive nettle patches, bees, wasps and giant spiders. You see, I forgot the reason that I bought a rather nice snazzy dedicated fishing shirt with long sleeves (that can be rolled up and then buttoned so they actually stay up) was that my arms always got scratched when finding my way through bushes- it used to make people think I am into self harm in a BIG way. What I usually do is keep them rolled up and then put them down when going through bushes. Anyway, I was half way down the embankment when I realised that I was wearing just a short sleeved shirt (my snazzy fishing one being in the wash) and that I was approaching what can only be describes as a â€œfucking jaggy bushâ€ I was at the point of no return so soldiered on, went down on my arse and then was instantly accosted by bees and jaggy thingsâ€¦..ah the joys of fishing. Knowing that this would not have put Steve Irwin off I soldiered on, finally dropping two foot into the water with an impact that scared off every trout within half a mile.
I then crept up the water, keeping my profile low and using tiny cdc fliesâ€¦I am sure there is a lesson in there, I think it might be to make sure my shirt is always freshly laundered in time!
Will tell you about Saturday later…
Mike has finally written up a report of his trip up North..
The Glory of the North
So just what the monkeys have I been doing?
Well, I have had two sessions fishing, one was down at my other river and one was on the tributary that I fish. In fact I would hardly call it a session as it was the first time that I have actually went fishing and only cast once- and that was only because I felt as if I had to, he fact that I had just slid through a nettle bush to actually get to the river had a little something to do with it. The reason I never had a cast was because it was just too damn low, there was very little water in it. I decided to walk down to the pool where it meets the Kelvin proper and got chatting toa couple of guys bait fishing for Salmon. As we were chatting a salmon of around 10lb head and tailed out of the water- most impressive. When I think about it that salmon was the first live one I have ever actually seen with my own eyes.
I mean I have seen dead ones, like thisâ€¦
â€¦but never an actual live one. The two guys were kidding me on about coming down with a â€œflying câ€ and you know, the thought actually crossed my mind. Of course what I should have done was turn back immediately and fish the vet school, ah the fool I am !!
So I have been hearing mixed views on the death of Steve Irwin the infamous crocodile hunter. For some, it was an accident waiting to happen for a reckless adrenalin junkie who was just in it for the cash and for others it was a tragic accident that robbed the world of a dedicated Australian naturalist and wildlife expert.
To be honest I liked the guy and kind of sit in the middle, it was a tragic accident waiting to happen to a dedicated wildlife expert!
Pity there will be no more â€œdanger dangerâ€ !!
There are those I imahine that would lump us anglers in with people like this….
BRITAIN’S most notorious collector of rare birds’ eggs died when he fell from a tree while examining a nest, an inquest has heard.
Colin Watson, 62, climbed three-quarters of the way up a 40ft larch tree before falling to his death.
A coroner’s court was told he died from a punctured heart and multiple rib fractures sustained during the fall in woods near Doncaster, Yorkshire, on 24 May.
The coroner yesterday recorded a verdict of accidental death and said it was not his role to examine why Mr Watson had climbed the tree.
Earlier, Watson’s friend, David Sargent, told the inquest how the men had been walking in the woods before the accident.
“Colin said ‘That looks like a sparrowhawk’s nest’ and he said he’d climb the tree to see if there was anything in the nest,” Mr Sargent said.
“I was not paying much attention. Then I heard the sound of breaking branches and a thud.”
Mr Watson travelled the country trying to add to his collection of rare birds’ eggs.
He had a series of convictions for activities prohibited under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. These included taking golden eagles’ eggs from near Inverness, attempting to do the same near Perth and of possessing snipe eggs in Lerwick.
During a raid on his home in 1985, the RSPB found more than 2,200 eggs, including those of a golden eagle, osprey and sparrowhawk.
However, the good that anglers do for the environment and the fact that if the fish is not returned it is killed to be eaten is certainly a justifiable way of defending our sport. But egg collecting ?
I see Trout Nut has had a makeover (not that Jason needed to do one). I remember when it arrived on the internet and the forums were a buzz about this new site with detailed pictures of insects. To be fair I am still amazed by the detail of the insects….
So I was planning to go for a full days fishing on Saturday, considering I am now a driver I knew I could wangle the car from Claire if needed it so I could go a little further afield than the Kelvin. One of my pals asked me if I thought people would be wondering why I have not fished the Kelvin in the last few weeks, I would hope you good readers realise I am still in that stage of wanting to drive to places I would not ordinarily have got to myself. Come next season and I will be hitting the Kelvin again full force. Anyway, work has been chock a block with things to do and I have not managed to spare a few hours to spend on the Kelvin. There is of course an additional problem of two spillages in the river that I have heard about which is pretty well wiped out the fishing (not the fish I hope) down my end of the river.
Anyway, On Saturday Alex asked if I wanted to spend a full day on our other favourite bit of water. When he said a full day I thought he was talking about maybe 10am to around 8 or 9. Possibly even a session from 12 to around 10. What I did not reckon on him meaning was a half past four pick up- being on the river at dawn and then fishing through to dusk. Nearly 14 hours of solid fishing, â€œOh buggerâ€ I thought â€œI am going to need sandwiches and coffee for this one”
Anyway, in the end up the day absolutely whizzed past, dawn was a quick affair with a few trout caught- Alex caught a belter using a nymph suspended under a dry fly.
Oh, seeing as how he was so chuffed, here you go….
I was not to be out done and caught a beauty of a Grayling that gave an impressive fight even though I was trying to hussle it in so it was not tired out.
I had to spend a little longer than usuall cradling the fish in some slack water before it had recovered enough to swim off under its own steam- I had learned my lesson from the time I (stupidly) let go of a nice trout only to watch it go belly up in the current, it was only a stroke of luck that I captured it again.
One reason I think for this most great day was that the wind picked up. The last few years I have fished here it has always been windy and we always caught lots of trout- this season it has not been windy and we have still caught trout, big ones at that, but just not as many until the wind blows. Our theory is that there is always the same amount of flies on the water- ok sometimes more when there is a big hatch but it is usually quite consistent. When the wind blows hard the trout see the surface chopping up (my wordage) and expect to see a lot more fly life that has been blown on the water. While it was windy I was (and so was Alex) picking up a trout every other cast, I lost a fair few when they would dive into the weeds but the end result was usually a nice fat trout.
Of course casting in the wind is a bit difficult but when it is all short range works it sure was fun. Mike noticed the wind phenomenon one day he was fishing as well.
Cant believe it is only a month until the end of the season- by the way, I have decided to keep the little competition going until the close season as some punters have decided to send pictures in late- for some people my RSS feed was not working and did not know about it- I will up the prizes and add a mug with a nice picture on it!
It is a funny old season right enough, last season I caught no grayling at all and this year every time I go to my other river I am picking them up. I must say though that I am not fishing for them intentionally (they are out of season) – they are coming freely to my dry fly when I am casting to rising brown trout. There is a theory that grayling move around a river, travelling a fair old distance which is why one year you mat find none and the next lots, I had never had any experience of this but now I think I am seeing it first hand.
I caught a few brownies too but on the whole it was a frustrating evening, there were small flies on the water, plenty of trout rising but alas the vast majority were ignoring my flies. I would have a trout on a black klink then the rest would ignore it, switch to an olive, get a fish then they would ignore it again. I even managed to foul hook a trout just above the tail with a sedge. I thought I was going to have to call Alex to take my photo as it felt huge but soon found it was around 8 inches