Saturday 14 June 2014

Monster Tench.

 This week has been pretty hectic as a work packed week is completed and I pack for my annual trip abroad to soak up some sun and escape our busy lifestyles, which in London is the norm. All week I have been looking to go fishing but finding the time has been difficult, but this morning I had a break in the schedule and although the rain hammered down as I left home I knew this would be last time out fishing until July unless I head out for some deep sea sport in the Med.

 This mornings session was only to be a couple of hours in length so I had set up before leaving home and took only the minimum, upon arrival I was greeted by a shoal of 30-40 Carp spawning on a massive bank of weed, for 5 minutes I stood mesmerised, Mirrors-Commons-Koi carp all thrashing away creating the next generation, with seeing this display I thought that I would not get many opportunities, even if I didn't it would be a relaxing morning and after the initial persistent rain the sun was very keen to dry out everything including my DSLR which got extremely wet but still works a dream, my first chance came from half an hours stalking, a shoal of 6 Carp came in rather close to where I was standing and the last fish of the shoal was the largest which I estimated to be around 24-26lbs, just the size I'd love to get my hands on I thought, so you could imagine my delight when I flicked a bait out to it and it turned on a sixpence to inhale my bread, "get in", I shrilled as my rod slammed over, the beginning of the fight was very subdued, almost as if it hadn't noticed it had been hooked......then it woke up from its early slumber and torn off like a steam train, the power that was put on display was incredible and on 6lb line I was not filled with confidence as it headed away from the open water and ploughed straight into a bank of weed, then everything went solid and my heart skipped a beat as it was inevitable what would happen next on such light tackle, then 20 or 30 seconds later the size 16 hook slipped and it was gone, Gutted !, another big fish lost, some serious unfinished business when I get back from Turkey.

 Absolutely gutted after that loss, it is starting to become customary and that needs to stop, not good for the nerves, so it would take something special to soften the blow of a big loss like that, Cue a patch of bubbles 6ft out off the bank amongst some weed, having left my Polaroids at home like a dope that I am I was solely using my watercraft and visible fish to aim at, in certain light I could see the fish that was turning up the bottom, a large Tench, in fact a very large Tinca, the sort I have been looking for but have thus far been totally elusive, three attempts to hook had passed as it sucked in my free lined bread flake before I lent into it to finally put the hook home, a big big Tench stormed out  into the open water away from all the snags and other crap that littered the swim to my left, 6lb line for a Tench should be more than enough and it proved to be, within 3 mins I had a massive Tench nestled in my net, a new PB?, I was about to find out..........."oh sh@t" it's spun straight past 8lb !, subtracting the weight of the sling it settled on 8lb 3oz....a new personal best what a result, that blow of losing the big Carp was certainly curtailed, I could not believe it, brilliant stuff.

Massive, 8.3 and a new personal best.

What a whacker, whacker-a-roo. 8....3, still pinching myself.
 Then if by magic 20 minutes after putting that Tench back I found another fish feeding and this too was a Tench, another big Tench, what was going on. Same again as the first one it took a couple of chances to finally hook it but I did so and this one torn off a lot better than the fatty, almost five minutes before it graced my net, I thought to myself this is turning out to be one of those "Red letter days", fantastic fishing. This session had been brilliant, you've probably heard every superlative possible to describe these two Tench but they are belters. This is the second one below, at 7.6 it is my 4th biggest Tench ever, just puts into perspective how great today was, I'll fly out with the missus a happy man and not just because we are escaping.

Another lump of 7lb 6oz, great mornings fishing.
Large paintbrush which propelled it through the weedy water.

I did also catch a baby Perch on a bare hook whilst bringing it in, crazy little sod, that's a first too.

 Tight lines to all that follow my piscatorial adventure and good luck for the 16th, I will look upon you all with envy, but on the other hand, I'll be in 35c weather soaking up sun on a beach with the better half so, I doubt it will be that much envy, good luck. James.

Friday 13 June 2014

Carp Agenda.

 It's nearly holiday time and before I go away to hotter climes I have been attempting to catch some Carp and have had varying success stalking them, squeezing as much time in around work has been easier said than done but nevertheless, I had embarked on a couple of trips before work, whilst getting up and out before dawn is perfect to avoid other life it certainly has it's benefits for catching Carp too.

 For the first two trips I managed to draw a blank and found the fishing pretty hard going, with very few fish showing it took a while to find them, the third trip provided me with a better opportunity to catch some Carp and I made good of a very confident shoal of plated Mirror Carp when one of the bigger fish sucked in a lump of bread flake at the first time of asking, just the way I like it, a typical strong and assertive battle played out with the result being a 15lb 1oz Mirror and a very good looking one too, which looked like an old fish but on the flip-side it fought very well.


 After catching that fish I found a wide open part of the lake which I spotted some Carp with their backs out of the water combing the surface for anything to eat and did get a take off one of them but with the masses of weed present the hooked fish headed straight for a bank of it and lost the fish almost immediately, losing fish is a shame but fishing such a weeded lake and confined in some places-losing fish is inevitable as I refuse to lock up on fish, I don't personally agree with it, I just won't fish the spots where that is the only way, if I assess the swim and I feel extricating a fish safely is possible then I will attempt it, otherwise I'll stalk them until they appear in a more favourable position to cast and land my target.

 This is the reward for such a task, caught from a fairly open swim but also had plenty of weed banks and sunken trees which this Carp headed for on a number of occasions but with enough coaxing the fish headed out into deeper open water where I could then tire it out and bank another early morning Carp, by 7am my session was done and packed up to head for home. Short and sweet, but now it's time to land some bigger Carp as I have seen plenty of twenty plus fish and a couple well into 30lb + fish, only two days left and I'll be on a beach in a different continent.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Super Spotty's Take Two.

 Well, what can I say about the fly fishing I have experienced over the last month, a number of good sized Trout have been caught and even though a 3 or 4lb Trout is a very big fish on any river or lake/reservoir, but I have noticed a distinct lack on much larger cock & hen Trout within the system with the largest being around the 4.8 area, the 5's and 6's seem to have all disappeared, so I like a challenge and headed off out fly-fishing again in search of this elusive monster that must still exist, just that I haven't seen them, the weather though unfortunately was due to be pretty dire and it did it's best to stay true as it bucketed down most of the day and just as I would get dry it would rain again, with that all said the session has been the best I've ever experienced and here's why.

Perfect little fly muncher.
 This was one of three sub-one-pounders that I had which were caught during a half hour spell of rain interrupted fishing, after these, fish became hard to find and when I did locate brownies they weren't feeding and some very accurate casting couldn't even tempt them, then as the afternoon started the larger Trout started to show themselves as I moved beat, the next handful of fish were to all be over deemed as decent to massive the first one being (2lb 10oz), then the next 20 minutes late was weighed at (3lb 3oz) which was a stunning specimen but was backed up by even bigger fish, the next was caught on a size 18 dry on the first cast into the swim and put up a sturdy scrap, this one weighed a healthy (3lb 7oz).

The non-blind eye side, 3.7.

3.7, which was blind in one eye.
Another 3lber (3.3). Amazing colours and very veracious.
 The session though got better, before the (3.3) I had another Trout but this were more than a pound bigger, at 4lbs 4ozs of pure fighting ability this fish would have been good enough to finish any session off and feel that it has been just another outstanding days fly-fishing but no, after all the hours put in on the river bank I was to get my chance at catching a real lump of a Trout, the sort that have thus far been extremely elusive, on any river you tend not to get many big ones as they hold territory's and they thin out over the course of the fishery, with often a dominating pair I would imagine, as I'm no expert this is simply an assumption but certainly sounds plausible and this may explain the lack of very-large Brownies been spotted as opposed to five years ago when 2 or 3 could been in a 2 mile wander up the beats, or they have just come to the end of their life cycle and awaiting the next generation to break through into the big time.

Four and a quarter pounds of immaculate Trout.
 I re-tackled up and put on a size 10 brown dry fly, I'm not sure of it's name as I am still getting to grips with the amount of patterns that are available, pretty much every one I have caught have come between 5 or 6 different patterns and a couple of wets too. The swim looked perfect for a big-gun too so out went the fly and mended the line once and allowed the tippet to straighten up, as I was doing this a monster of a Trout appeared from under a tree canopy on the far bank, I tweaked the fly very gently as to make it look as real as possible, the fish came straight up underneath the fly, eye-balled it then slowly opened up it's enormous mouth and took the fly so calmly, I needed no invitation for that one, a crisp strike and I was locked into battle with my biggest Trout for a couple of years, in the crystal clear water I saw every single aspect of what had just taken place and what was commencing, I could immediately tell it was a cock fish (male) due to the massive kype attached to the business end, five minutes of relentless stripping of line I had banked the ultimate prize in Trout fishing, a big male of 5lbs or more.

 This was a magnificent specimen which weighed in at 5lbs 7ozs, a big male Trout, the mouth on it was massive, the kype was one of the biggest I've seen and the markings were fantastic too, what a way to sign off on my Trout quest, next up will hopefully be a PB Bream and attempt a PB Carp, both of which won't be easy, I say bring it on, any excuse just to get out on the bank and watch the hours drift by in peace, apart from when the water is being thrashed to a foam, that I can accept. Tight lines Guys.

Sunday 1 June 2014

Super Spotty's

 As the coarse close season draws to a close my fly fishing quest will also draw to a close as it has done over the last couple of years and although a large Trout isn't on my target list with the time available I thought that a short trip out with the fly rod would be nice and spend a lovely spring afternoon ambling along one of my pristine beats of Trout water in search of a brownie, the last 2 months have been good Trout fishing with the first couple of sessions proving tough, as the temperature has increased the fly life has improved hence the larger catches of Trout.

 The tackle used was my standard 8ft - 4 weight fly rod with a selection of flies to tempt the spotted athletes, I started fishing the usual haunts and in my first couple of casts a small brownie rose and hit the fly but I contrived to miss it twice but it didn't attempt to take it again unfortunately, I did however have one shortly after plus a small Chub put in an appearance which took a fly with some serious gusto, the brownie was only a small one of around 10ozs with the Chub being roughly the same size.

 This first small one was to be the start of a fantastic session on the fly which saw me catch a further 6 Trout between 2lb 3oz and 3lb 15oz, I've experienced some very good sessions but not this amount of large brownies in one trip, most of which were caught on a brown dry fly that was taken practically on the drop with every Trout caught apart from the largest with which I needed three chances in order to connect to it.

The first of the larger Trout at 2.13.

The second at 2.6.

Number three at 3.1.

The largest at 3.15, a pristine specimen, pure magic.

Safely back and ready to fit another day.

Number five at 2.14.
 The largest of the five substantial Trout were at 3.15 gave me one of the best fights I've ever experienced, more than five minutes of powerful runs with one of them heading 30 yrds downstream and nearly burning out my reel it screamed off so fast, great fun indeed. Later on during the session I did have another two Trout one around 2.8 and the other was a small one of 4ozs, which bodes well for the future, with a couple more Chub to a smidgen under 4lb and a couple of Dace, but near to the end of the session a nice big Rudd showed on the surface and took a recently hatched fly right in front of me and duly vanished, I did happen to get the Rudd to rise for one of my flies and I'd spent twenty minutes trying to get the cast right, I hooked into a good Rudd, well over a pound and I got it to within 10 foot of the bow net and the unspeakable came off!!!!, if dropping my phone into the river wasn't enough to take the gloss off the day that goes and happens, proper gutted for I spent a long time specifically targeted that Rudd and actually got it to take the fly, such a shame.

The best Chevin of the day.

A smaller Chub, ejecting milt.

Some of the parts that I frequent are very picturesque and fishing them is a joy.

8 Years in the Making.

   So we find ourselves finally able to get back on the rivers and thank god for it too. I don't mind stillwaters and canals now and aga...