Monday, 28 June 2010

Two quick sessions.

I fished last Wednesday evening after the football and again had the horseshoe lake at Jubilee to myself, I fancied a swim with a challenge and went over to a difficult corner to fish with the fly. There's no room for a back cast and only a roll cast will get the fly out to the fish I also found that if you spook fish here they won't come back for ages. I put a couple of casts out to get the range then fed a few biscuits, there were already a couple of fish in the margins to my left and I was hoping that the 'plopping' sound of the biscuits landing on the surface would attract some interest. A few minutes passed and one fish started milling around the swim picking off a few biscuits here and there, a few more biscuits went out together with a fresh cast right in amongst them, the second biscuit taken was my fly, I struck and felt a good weight, then a kick and a slack line as a Carp threw the hook.
I tried a few more swims to get the Carp up but they weren't having it but I did see loads of small Rudd so changed over to a more traditional fly pattern, or as close to what was flying around that I had in my box and had a go for them. Even though casting with a fly is quiet, it's still noisy when approaching small species and every cast just scattered the fish as the line landed on the surface. I found that if I waited a while before drawing the fly back then the fish would settle down and start to chase.It took ages to find the correct speed and pattern of retrieve to get a take but I got one in the end.

A few more casts and I had a small Perch on the bank.

Friday evening and another quick session, it was very warm and the fish were everywhere on the top but I was only to get the one on the mat. I set up and soon had a couple of Carp interested in the snacks I was flicking out to them, one of them was a very nice looking ghostie and I fancied having a closer look at this fish. It only took a couple of casts and up it came and took my fly. It was a lovely fish, deep in the body with very big eyes.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Up to my armpits!

I fancied a change of venue and species for Sunday and headed down to the Avon at Ryton Bridge and the stretch towards Bubbenhall. I can't believe that it's been six months since I was last here in search of a Chub or two and has it changed. The first couple of fishable swims nearest the hotel were occupied by a couple of novice anglers (budget rods from the local supermarket) who were rather enthusiastic about their lager intake, I think they may have fished here often as the banks had seen some heavy use and I fear it was before the season opened last week so I hastily made my way past them as quickly as the long grass would let me. 

Further along the bank I spotted another angler moving from swim to swim in search of his quarry so I made a diversion completely missing out one corner of the field and river, the further I went the more evident the effect the lack of anglers walking the bank over the recent months had had on the surrounding flora and fauna, my arms are still aching today from carrying my gear over my head as I waded armpit deep in the stuff making a new track as I went whilst trying to remember where the dips in the bank were from when I fished here in the winter and the place had been laid bare by the freezing conditions. Most of the swims I'd fished in the winter were now overgrown with bull rushes so I only had a quick look at them on my way through and eventually reached my first swim with only a few scratches and stings for my efforts. The swim was already occupied by the Polish angler I'd spoken to at Ryton a few weeks ago, I didn't realise this stretch was so popular as I don't normally see anyone down here, so, I carried on to the next meadow and another swim that had seen a few fish on the bank for me at the beginning of the year.

It looked like I had this stretch to myself but it took ages to find any fish, I'd spooked a few on my way down the field but crept up on one spot to find three good Chub milling around in front of a  willow stump, I crept up behind the stump and flicked out a large piece of bread flake and to my amazement it was scoffed immediately, an ill timed strike followed which merely pulled the bait out of the Chubs mouth spooking it and it's friends at the same time, game over for this swim, time to move.

I tried a few other swims but the Chub just melted away as soon as a bait was placed in the water and I fear someone may have already visited these swims before me, I eventually came across a couple of good fish in a swim that had a bed of reeds between me and them, one of those Chub was mine. 

The Chub didn't know what was going on but I had it in the net in a flash.

There were no more fish but I did see a couple of new spots to try on my next trip.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Field of green.

Picked up my new polarised prescription sunglasses on Saturday and was itching to give them a try, I wasn't going to be fishing so I just popped to Ryton to have a look around and try them out, their so much better than the old clip-on's. 
I found Barry on peg one trying for a fish or two after witnessing Keith's bag of Rudd earlier in the week but he'd only just arrived and hadn't caught anything yet. The Carp were having a good scoff and stirring up the mud on a couple of spots but with the all the weed around you would need to have a bucket load of luck with you to see one on the bank, however, there are a couple of margin spots that look promising for a spot of hit and hold carpy action!

The swan family have moved in at Morris's, I don't think this swim will see an angler till the autumn when the weed has died back, the only problem, it'll be knee deep in Swan shit by then!

I don't fancy trying to get a Carp out of this.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Better than watching England!

The forecast was to be sunny intervals for the evening so despite the rain which wasn't that heavy, I got the fly gear ready for a short session at Jubilee. Kick off was about an hour after I arrived at the lake and the place was already deserted and I think the fish knew it, there were Carp crashing everywhere as if in celebration.
It took a while to find some fish willing to feed off the top in the fine rain but a constant stream of snacks got the better of a couple of them and they started to confidently slurp them down. For some reason, don't know why, a black coloured biscuit fly stood out in the box as if screaming at me to use it, so I put it on and whipped it out amongst the few free offerings that where left and it was taken straight away. It was only a small common which hardly fought at all that is until I got it to the net, as soon as it realised it was in a mesh cage it went nuts, I waited for a few moments for it to calm down before moving to the mat.
The imitation biscuit was taken with such confidence, I had to use forceps to extract the fly from the back of it's throat and it's not often you get them hooked so deep.

  I tried to take a quick shot for the blog,

like an England goal keeper, it was a lively one to get hold of

but I got an acceptable image in the end.

A few more fish had moved into the swim so I fed a couple of pouches of free snacks to keep them happy and sorted myself out before recasting. The black fly was working well and I soon had a second Carp on, normally the tip is bent right round and I struggle with these smaller fish but again it came in without a problem, I let the little mirror have a thrash around in the net before lifting it out for a quick portrait. It had a very strange narrow mouth, almost like a beak.

All went quiet after this fish, I lost one very lively Carp which was exciting for the brief moment I had it on, it took a fair amount of line before it threw the hook which was a shame as it felt like a better fish. The sky started to clear at around eight thirty but I'd had my fix and left happy.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Odd's and Sod's

Nothing new to blog about, I've been to Jubilee a few times for the odd short session here and there, no big fish but plenty of the smaller one's that haven't wised up to the fake biscuits yet. I've had several frustrating 'hair pulling out' moments with good fish sneaking right up to the fly only to nose it and turn away at the last minute forcing me to quickly reposition the fly and try again, I've been doing a lot of recasting. I've found a couple of new pegs that allow me to do my version of a roll cast to get the bait out to the feeding fish.

The ducks have been little sod's.

I've visited Ryton several times fulfilling my duties as bailiff, you get to learn quite a lot from the guys that are braving the weed to wet a line. There's still a few Carp coming out despite all of the weed and plenty of Tench and Perch to float fished maggot and worm. I witnessed one of the club's Polish members catch a couple of good Perch last weekend, he was spinning with a very small rubber lure and the Perch were queuing up to grab hold on it's way passed, the rest of the shoal were then following the hooked fish almost to the bank. Makes me want to buy some maggots and take my pole up there for a spot of Perch fishing!

I have had a project on the go ready for my first holiday to Devon in a few weeks time, the beach rest I used last year was a bit unsteady at times so I've rebuilt a new lighter weight rod rest ready for this year. It appears to be much more stable and well up to the job, I just hope it doesn't fall apart on the first trip.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Fueled by a tale!

The pool was practically deserted today, there was one angler with family in tow, in the far corner trying for another Carp like the one he had a few weeks previously but he looked to be struggling with the weed which is by far the worse I've seen it, the last time it looked this bad was four years ago when the level was down by more than a foot. 
I did my rounds and headed off to Jubilee fueled by a conversation I'd had with Barry on Wednesday night. He'd phoned just before ten with tales of a single mirror carp he'd caught that evening, a monster at just over 23lb caught on a biscuit fly. (Monster for a fly rod that is!)

It was hot and I think the fish population of the lake were all on the top, I could see Bream, Rudd and plenty of my target, Carp. I started feeding biscuits and up they came and it was long before I had the first fish of the day on the bank and I think I've seen this little fella before.

I moved around to the point and got the fish feeding fairly close in but as soon as the fly landed on the surface they became cautious, drifting up to examine every biscuit rather than snatching them off the top. They moved further out  and I had to lengthen my cast to drop the fly at the back of the biscuits I was feeding and did fool a couple of fish into taking, they were only small commons but they really do fight hard for such small fish this is also enhanced by the use of such a fine carbon stick to catch them on, I love fly fishing for them and someone else that does is Barry, he arrived at around six and fished the point swim but struggled to connect with the takes he was getting but did manage to get one good fish. 

I on the other hand, was struggling with ducks, as soon as you turn your back they were in the swim cleaning up the biscuits but I kept feeding and the fish stayed around. I struck into one take which I could tell was a better fish by the way everything went solid, I saw it's tale and dorsal a couple of times and it was good so I just had to hang on, get it under control and in the net. Bigger fish don't seem to thrash around as much as the smaller ones that twist and turn very quickly so it wasn't an epic battle, it plodded around in front of me taking line when it wanted to eventually it gave in to the constant pressure and slid over the cord. Barry did the honours with the camera and I lifted my prize, a long and lean 14lb 4oz Common.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

No contest!

After a walk around Ryton I took the fly rod over to Jubilee for an afternoon/evening session. I did fairly well at the first swim bagging three fish fairly quickly, not monsters but great fun.

My favourite tight swim proved itself once again and I hooked this nice mirror within a couple of casts.

I then moved to the swim next door and got some fish up feeding on top including one very good fish which I fancied getting a closer look at but it proved difficult to track. Normally, they have a set route that they follow around the swim and a pattern will shortly become apparent which allows a bait to be positioned before a fish arrives to pick off a few more snacks. A few smaller Carp were milling around but I was trying to get the big one and lifted the fly away from these on a couple of takes but was too slow for this one.

I continued to feed the swim and the bigger fish was still around picking a few biscuits off here and there, I then had a group of around ten ducklings move through my swim polishing off all the biscuits they could find and they stuck around for quite a while, the Carp didn't have a chance, nor did I, no contest!

Carp have a sense of humour!

Visited Bath on Saturday and whilst having a stroll in the Parade Gardens that has the Bristol Avon running alongside, I saw this sign. I know it was closed season but they had to rub it in.

Sharon was most impressed.

Then just to rub salt into the wounds I caught a glimpse of something through the railings, in the water directly behind the sign.

On closer inspection I saw.......

A group of very large Carp feeding in front of an in-flow pipe.

This was easily a 20lb fish.

On a plus point, I did find the ORVIS shop in the middle of town and stocked up on a few fly fishing bits and pieces.