This day was going to be one of moving around which can be fun and end up with a bit of variety in size of river and hatches encountered. I had been invited to fish with a friend but no idea where we were going. I woke up early so with a few hours still to go and not able to sleep I went to fish a club stretch and ended up on the R.Avon near Amesbury. The day was still cool but I fully expected it to heat up later, the weather had been very hot over the past couple of days with temperatures reaching the 30’s.
With not much clue as to what was hatching I went down to the water before 6am and several sedges were flying around with the very odd fish rising. These turned out to be mostly Grayling with the trout having a ‘layin’. I found that the fish were keyed in on sedges, in particular a sedge with light olive body and a wing of light dun high-float fibre with elk hair over the top. No Hackle. I did manage a trout but not very big with several not to big Grayling. About 8.30 ish it was time to move, the river keeper turned up to cut some of the weed and I decided to go to a nearby cafe for breakfast.
At 10am I met a friend to drop some flies off and waited for my fishing partner, on arrival it was decided to go to the river Wylie. We made our way down the A303 to a stretch I haven’t fished for a while. Fish were rising and so was the temperature, the sedges were about but only in the shade but a few pale wateries were flying about. The sedge from earlier came off and on went a size 18 parachute.
A simple fly but was found to be all I needed, I will likely change the hackle to a ginger variant as I think this hackle is more buggy. As made my way along the stream I found alot of fish spooky so resorted to stalking on my hands and knees which made a big differences with several nice Grayling including one of about a pound and half coming to the net. Then came lunch, many pubs in the area were found to be shut but thankfully one was found near another stretch of the Wylie.
Now came the third stretch of river for the day. Pretty close to my clubs stretch but narrower for some reason. The fish were once again spooky in the clear water and the sweltering heat didn’t help. Has hinted along the previous bit of river there were a few Mayflies still hatching and the fish were after them. A size 14 roadkill wulff did the magic with several nice trout (some not to big) coming to hand. I had miss judged the rod bring with my latest toy, an Orvis 9ft 6 weight proving itself once again. Who needs a rod of several hundred quid when one costing below 200 will do the job. At least the length allowed me to control the line and get over the bankside cover. By 4.30ish the heat had taken its toll and we headed home.
I have just returned home from a two week trip to the USA, the trip was actually centred around the Striperheads Clave but I kind of messed up the flights and ended up going a week early. Not a problem, a friend kindly offered to put me up at his house for a week (read put up with me) and fish the streams around his home in the Adriondack Mountains. Once I arrived (delayed plane meant the travel took me via NewYork itself by Amtrack train), I was greeted with the news that the area was in the middle of a drought. I saw rivers that I should have been fishing very low, down to minimum water levels with no sign of fishy life. However, a little driving around provided the news that the west branch of the Au Sable River had water.This meant a trip over to the river to check it out, and an opportunity to visit a fly store (actually two, The Mountineer and the Hungry Trout). I picked up some leader material from the first and a few bits from the second but no Snowshoe rabbit feet which I was really hoping for.
The following day I actually got to go fishing! First stop was the Saranac, near Clayburg. After yesterdays visit to the Hungry Trout I fished the suggested method of a large dry with a small nymph tied to the eye via a short length of leader. I am really going to have to apply this to the Usk when I fish it in the future. The river itself was tinged with an Iron colour which reminded me of the Usk at times (close to being peat stained). Because the river was slightly similar to the UK in Wales (rocky) I felt at ease but failed to catch. I must also point out that this river was twice as wide as the Usk. The visible bugs here were a few BWO’s and sedges but no fish were to be seen.
Saranac River, Clayburg
After a break for lunch we moved on to the West Au Sable, A little more rocky but still felt at ease due to its appearance, reminiscent of a rocky western stream in the wilds of Wales. The bit I fished was the Shadow rock pool. Unlike the Saranac, I saw more fly life but mostly of the cricket/hopper kind, I mean these hoppers were huge but mostly in the size 8 to 12 range. My friend actually suggested that I try use smaller hoppers. I used the same set up as before but changed to a size 12 Adams parachute (nothing bigger, size 10 was suggested). I actually managed to get a hit… all 3 inches of tiny bait fish and lost a decent trout. The very odd fish was also seen to rise. What made this section of river special was seeing my first Bald Eagle, getting up close to a dirty great Heron and an Osprey.
Upstream of the Shadow Rock
The Shadow Rock
In my last post before the crazy busy period started, I mentioned that I thought that a hackle-less Elk hair caddis may work better in the low summer conditions. I tied a few in the caddis olive colour which worked the last time I was out. If this works, I will do a few more colours.
I’ve done these on size 14 and 16 Hanak H130BL hooks which I’m giving a try this year and so far I’m happy with them although they are some what pricey so in the Autumn restock I’ll be doing some shopping around.