Its been a long time, to long both on this blog and to the stream. Work as got in the way and I’ve been busy on the tying side of things. Not for myself, oh no. I did a set for someone going for Golden Dorado and I’m currently working a big load of flies for someone (I don’t mind because this pays for the fishing. February saw me at the BFFI, a last minute invite which I was very happy to accept. great fun and another chance to restock the tying table. I also got a new vice which I’ve been very happy about but I’m still waiting for the tube fly jaws.
The season started in Wales on the 3rd of March but the weather was not good… snow. Then I had my usual week of at the end of March but the rain of mega proportions struck so I was tying for many hours. The chalkstreams were very high and over the banks. In places they still are, I saw for myself today.
The above photo was taken when I arrived, the water must be at least a foot higher than normal at this point because on the left where the tree is should be a dry reed bed where the swans normally would be nesting. There was a fair few Grannom sedge about but due to the colour and height of the river I saw no rises, nothing at all (small fish in the case don’t count).
After a couple of hours of sitting, watching and few half harted casts I moved up stream to the West Amesbury stretch.
The river here seemed a little less coloured but was several inches higher than normal. Not so much fly life and still no rises. At about 3 I saw one then a couple of others and all on the far bank. It was at this point I was wished I had fished the Usk or even the Taff but I was still happy to be out. Not good fish wise, there is still next week.
A couple of weeks ago I spent the weekend in Galway at the Irish flyfair tying flies. I thought I was going to sharing a table but when I arrived at the venue I found otherwise. Once again I was in the conservatory but this time my back was to the bay.
Saturday I seemed as busy as the year before with a couple of people from the previous year coming up. I also got to meet and talk to a few new people, some of which took my card away. I also met an old friend who I haven’t seen in years and will hopefully be fishing with next year. Now, me being me and having rushed to get stuff together the week before forgot several materials for the flies that I was going to tie but I was still able to do what I planned to. The first and what I tied often over the weekend was a foam detached body mayfly which doesn’t have a name yet. Mostly I tied with a light grey hi-float fibre wing but an olive deer hair (use Elk if you want) was also suggested. When I get around to it I will be posting a post on how to tie this fly.
Sunday seemed to be alot quieter compared to Saturday and I’m sure the previous year although I heard the stands had a steady run of people. I managed to bag a few new bits (new capes and coq de leon which looks better than the Whiting stuff). As for UV glue, I took the chance to talk to a few people and on the Funky tying stand I haad a good look at a glue which I am finding is far better than the bugbond stuff I’ve been using. This new stuff dries after ten seconds hard, not tacky so that i don’t have to do the nail varnish trick.
I had many questions and alot of interest in my saltwater flies. It seems that a few people think there are for Pike. Maybe next year I will doing some in Pike colours. The smaller sandeel (or fry pattern) will get another couple of colours including silver side.
Roll on next year…
In about a less than a months time, on the 11th and 12th November I will be in Galway tying at the Irish fly fair, Actually due to the amount of tyers and the desire for one gentleman to have a look around as well. I will be sharing a table for half of each day which means I get to do a bit of restocking of the table.
For further information just follow this link
I was thinking today that maybe I should get back to what is important, namely fishing. Other things have been taking my time recently and this post that I started at the end of September proved that my time really had been taken so I had to change the start.
At the end of August we had a public holiday, I knew it would be the last chance for a Monday fishing session for a while so I went down to the river Avon for a few hours. I also had a few flies to drop off. The weather had been hot the previous days and according to the papers the following day the day had been the hottest on record. No kidding! There was very few flies hatching but a few smaller fish (mostly Grayling) where rising. From experience I knew and regarded that time of year the time for small flies. The lack of a decent hatch made things more difficult so terrestrials may well be the key. Most people go straight for beetle but in my case, its ants first.
I have written about this fly before but today it once again saved the day. I seemed to get the best hook ups and takes with a size 18, anything smaller and I had missed fish or long range releases. The fly is simply a large rear red body, a space showing the black thread a red middle and an elk wing. When I got home I restocked thinking I would be out again but alas that was not the case.
As ever I have to get some fishing in when I can, this is particularly true during the week. As ever work gets in the way but this week provided a chance because a site came up very last minute and the first thing through my tired, muddled mind was “I can get on the small streams”. I purposely made sure I didn’t have a works vehicle for this, because if I did that would rule out the streams in the Forest of Dean. First was the easy one, the little stream next to the road on the way home with several access spots.
The first location for this stream is the section that I have mentioned before. Easy parking with a nice big lay by, set up and walk the metres to the stream. Every book or magazine says to wear drab clothes for trout, you try that on the way home from work which requires hi-viz. I might have mentioned this before but covered the day-glow orange trousers with waders. Not today though, the trout don’t care. I parked up, set up and walked down to the stream. According to the sign there is an alert for crayfish plague, so my kit is dying thoroughly as advised.
We’ve had pretty lousy weather recently and I expected the river to be carrying extra water or murky or both. In reality it was summer level and clear, excellent! Making my way along the short stretch I flicked my sedge through to the first gap in the trees and bang, a small trout took the fly, quickly followed by another slightly bigger brown. I moved up stream a hundred metres or so and cast the fly in, so 6 feet away a trout went for my sedge and missed, then missed again. All three would have seen the day-glow orange but took with confidence. So do we really need to dress drab or in camo?
Plans for tomorrow? The Forest was on the cards until the weekend, but work as thrown the spanner in the works again, a change of site Monday means I have to go to the office to give the paper work to someone else who lives close to the site and I have to see some one about a place in the New Forest in Hampshire… First thought is where are the little free streams?
A day after the Wylie it was the turn of the Usk, I decided to fish a stretch that I hadn’t fished before, having rejoining a club on the Usk, one that also enables me to fish the Taff I can also fish for Salmon. Upon arriving I met a couple of other people who were just leaving. They told me that the salmon fishing had been pretty good this year, in deed I actually saw a fish move so maybe I should swap my trout licence for a salmon one to give me the option. Now the issue here is that I have sold or given most of my salmon flies away so a restock is needed.
There were very few fish rising once I got to the river so I took the chance to walk the length which was quite a way. I started down stream and took/lost a fish on a wet fly. This was the one that had proved successful earlier in the season. Still not that much until about 3 in the afternoon when the bugs started to hatch in the intervals between the clouds and the fish rose. Sedges and smaller olives were obvious but the very odd mayfly was also seen but I strongly suspected they wanted the yellow mays. I took a fish on size 12 parachute adams and missed a couple on yellow humpies. Since this trip I have done a couple of yellow may dries (future post). The fish were one of the bigger ones from the river for me so well worth it.
This fish was a beautifully marked welsh tiger. Well worth the drive.
I woke up early again, my body clock still hadn’t adjusted to having a week off and it was now Thursday. It was kind of useful because it encouraged me to get up and go and get a few hours in on the club stretch of the River Wylie. Being really early I found the roads quiet and no one else fishing. I put the sedge from the previous days fishing on my Orivis superfine touch 2 weight and made my way down to the end of the ‘beat’. From there I made my way upstream, on little streams like this I often don’t wade. I prefer to just wear walking boots, in this case a pair that was supposed to be water proof but weren’t, my feet got wet. I then just explore not really caring for mud and other stuff. Its all part of the fun. As I made my way I picked of a few decent Grayling and wild brown trout and losing a few flies along the way. I took all of the fish on the sedge pattern that I started with but very few were left at the end of the session so I’ll be tying some more.
The fly itself is on a size 16 with a body of KRAP dubbing, in this case it was the standard mix, not coloured but I’ll be doing a few with varying colours to match the hatch. The wing is Hi-Float fibres in light dun with elk hair over the top. No Hackle!
As the day wore on the bugs died away during the heat but I expect they’ll appear later when it cools. The rises also died away but I picked a few fish up blind casting. I packed up at 10ish and went home via the record shop.