Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Propper biscuits work!

Sunday, after a trip to an alternative supplier of Pedigree Chum Mixers where I restocked with their last two bags, I headed off to Jubilee. A match finished on the back pool at 2pm so I headed in that direction to secure a peg. I needn't have bothered rushing as the pool remained almost deserted for the rest of the afternoon/evening, except for a two or three other anglers I had the choice of swims to fish, bearing in mind that not all the swims are fishable with a fly rod, I had five to play with. I did talk to one angler packing up after the match it sounded as though catch rates had been fairly low in the earlier part of the day and it did take a while for me to get the Carp to start feeding on top but they did eventually and this time I could see the biscuits.
It took a while to catch the first fish but there seems to be a magic part of the day when the light or something must be just right and the fly looks safe to the fish, shortly after, I had a second Carp on the bank from the same swim, things went quiet on that peg so a quick move to one of the other swims on the other side of the point soon saw fish number three on the bank, excellent. This swim went quiet so I moved back across the point to another swim and fish four soon saw the back of the net.

None of these fish were of any size but they fight like stink on fly tackle.

It's a lovely way to present a bait to a group of feeding fish, hardly any noise or disturbance to spook them, that is until one slips up!!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Cheap biscuits are Crap!

Saturday, back at Jubilee. Another evening session armed with just a fly rod, again things were difficult, I tried for ages to get the carp to feed on top but couldn't get them to start tucking into the baits, as usual I kept chucking out pouch fulls of biscuits hoping to get the carp to start feeding it suddenly hit me, where are the biscuits, at first i thought they were just hard to see because of the surface ripple but I could only see one or two which the Carp were beginning to tuck into.
Earlier in the day I went to my local supermarket to purchase another bag of Chum mixers but they were out of stock, now I always use Pedigree Chum mixers and always have done, normally I have an extra bag at home but on this occasion I'd used it and not replaced it. I thought I'd try the supermarkets own generic brand of mixers as an alternative until I could get some Pedigree. Something you can't do in the local super market is see if they float, these didn't!!
Luckily for me, my bucket wasn't entirely full of these inferior brand of biscuits, there were some 'chums' in there so I had to sort through and pick them out prior to feeding.
I didn't blank as I thought I would at one point, I managed to tempt a Carp of 12lb 12oz's with the few offerings I had.

Don't buy cheap mixers, their crap!!

Rudd - On the fly!

Friday 21st, Fly fishing for Carp at Jubilee. Things were very slow with the Carp, they were on top but not interested in feeding, there were some fish topping next to an overhanging tree to the left of the swim I was fishing so I thought I'd have a go at catching whatever they were. I put a normal dry fly on, don't ask me what it is but it does resemble a small daddy long legs but I couldn't put a name to it. This was cast towards the front of the tree and was taken almost straight away, Rudd.
I caught three in fairly quick succession and they are the first Rudd I've caught using a fly, result!

Whilst catching the Rudd I kept catapulting out a few pouches of biscuits to try and tempt the Carp into feeding, I've noticed that as soon as one starts, they all do, it's probably the competition for food or something like that, anyway, they were on the top and now feeding. A small Carp of around 8lb was the first on the bank but it spooked everything off after taking a tour of the swim after being hooked. The Carp were now being very cautious and stayed just out of Casting range waiting for the free offerings to drift their way on the wind. A constant scattering of a few treats would eventually tempt them back within range. It's great to see a cluster of biscuits slowly disappear one by one your fly being next in line, the cork gets gripped tighter, line grasped firmer waiting to strike, the water below the fly changes colour a split second before a Carp emerges and slurps down the fly, strike, Then all hell breaks loose. this is exactly what happened with my only other fish of the evening, it was a much heavier fight than usual and after netting I had to give it a number, it pulled the scales to 13lb 4oz's.

Not big by Jubilee standards but great fun on the fly.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Carp on the Fly - Part Three

Another late afternoon session on Sunday again on the point swim. One Carp took fairly quickly but all went to pot when a small group of ducks kept taking the free offerings. I should bring some bread with me to feed the ducks off before I start.

The wind was much lighter today and I kept putting biscuits into the swim on the left of the point and I noticed a few Carp start to take but they weren't confident, they've probably seen it all before and know the routine. I thought I would give it a go, I'd either catch one or spook them with casting. I put out a long cast beyond the feeding fish with the intention of drawing back as a pattern of feeding emerged, I watched one fish to the right start to pick freebies off the edge of a group of biscuits and put a short cast onto this fish. I don't think it knew what was going on, it took the fly so confidently, as I struck the water exploded and line peeled off the reel as it tore off across the lake, I regained control and brought the Carp back towards the waiting net.

I thought the swim would have been dead after the mayhem but the fish were still slurping the freebies so I had to try again. After putting a cast out I reached for the catapult to put out a few more biccies and missed the instant take, fish on again!

It went slow after this fish, the Carp were very hesitant about taking biscuits but I got the impression that they were maybe looking for something else!!

Carp on the Fly - Part Two

Went back to Jubilee on Saturday, late afternoon for another evening session. The wind was a lot stronger but luckily my favourite swim for fly casting was free and sheltered from the wind, the fish also like this sheltered corner. The usual routine, bait the swim with a few biscuits and await the slurping of feeding Carp which as a rule isn't too long.

I remember someone telling me that a fly tipped with Orange was good for surface fishing for Carp so that morning I tied a couple of new deer hair flies in a hot Orange colour and thought I'd give them a go, I could always go back to my regular flies if they don't. These new flies brought a lot more interest than my usual pattern but it was probably something new they hadn't seen or there was something true about the colour Orange!!

The Orange flies worked and they took two of the four fish banked with one being a double of around 12lb.

Not big by any standards but great fun on the fly.

Carp on the Fly - Part One

Cycled up to Jubilee with nothing more than my fly rod, tackle and bait, landing net and an inflatable unhooking mat for a short evening session for Carp. The point swim on the horseshoe lake was free and I decided to give it a go as I have caught from here before and it's fairly clear for a back cast, the wind, fairly strong for my casting, was also in my favour for this swim. I started feeding some biscuits and the Carp started to feed straight away so out went the biscuit fly. It wasn't long before I had a take and the first fish was on, it felt good but I had to put the brakes on as it tried to swim up the channel, all went slack!. I pulled the line in to find a single scale on the hook point, I think it may have been foul hooked.

After re-baiting I cast out once more with a fresh fly, I noticed that the Carp were now holding back just out of range, lucky I had the wind in my favour and put a long cast to the back of the drifting biscuits and it was taken straight away. Even small Carp fight really well on light gear and a good drag on the reel is very useful this fish made one very good run that took all the fly line off the reel and I was on my backing line. After a bit of a tussle I had Carp number one on the mat.

Looking back at the pictures it had strange lips that made it look like a dolphin!

(The Dolphin)

The swim was now quiet and the ducks were a bit of a nuisance stealing the biscuits, I had a quick look at a peg to the left of the point and put some biscuits in, one Carp took a few and I tried a cast, even though the wind had died to what it was earlier, it was in my face at this swim so I couldn't get the range I needed to reach the fish and abandoned the attempt. I carried on feeding the point swim and the Carp slowly reappeared, no waiting, out went a fly and again it was taken almost straight away, disaster struck, I had a loose loop of line hanging from the reel and as I released the line to the running carp the loop of line flipped up and over the rod and wrapped itself around the handle of the reel trapping my wrist against the rod. I kept pressure on the fish hoping it would kite around but the tippet parted company before I could free the line.

A lesson to learn from this one I think!!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Bass - On the fly!

Just spent a week in North Wales, camping at Shell Island. Fishing was very hard and the tides were not the best I'd fished on previous holidays to the site. The first two days were very windy and I remembering what happened at Westward Ho! last month, the first couple of trips proved to have the same problem, lots of weed. As soon as I cast out a bottom bait clumps of weed would collect on the line rendering every cast useless after a couple of minutes in the water, I tried spinning but reeled in only to find a weed covered hook on every cast, things did not look good.

After a couple of days the wind eased and the weather broke, blue skies and hot sunshine were forecast for the rest of the week, smiles all round, I even managed to get the inflatable out early one morning, although a dodgy leaking valve nearly put a stop to that!. I like to have a row around the mud flats where the tide meets and flows over the road to the island, Bass, Mullet and Flounder all make their way up these creeks as the tide floods so its always worth a fish and the boat is the easiest method of getting around.
Later in the week, I gave bottom baits another go and had success with Flounders caught on Peeler Crab, I was hoping for a good Bass or two but they tend prefer duller weather conditions or a rising tide at night and as neither of these were going to happen this week I would have to make do.

I saw a few shoals of Bass making their way into the bay as the tide flooded and thought the fly rod would have to be tried. I have wanted to catch a Bass on a Fly for a couple of years now and now I had another chance. The entrance to the harbour is fairly narrow at low tide and the first couple of hours is the best as the fish make their way into the harbour and the mudflats beyond. I tried a variety of flies including some sandeel and shrimp patterns eventually I settled on a small minnow pattern that resembled the fry seen in the rock pools at low water. I only had the one Bass, a small schoolie, but to see the way it chased the fly as I stripped it across the current was magic, when the Bass hit the fly first and missed and missed a second and third time I remembered something I heard about having to keep stripping the fly and it would take it, it did, Magic.

Perfection in miniature!