Tuesday, 31 May 2011

There's a band if high pressure headed our way over the next few days. The effects are already evident as the wind had dropped and the sun had crept out as I made it down to the river. The fish were locked on to a decent hatch of Caddis alongside plenty of midge:


Monday, 30 May 2011

We really have been faced with some tricky weather in recent days and when you are targetting spooky fish sitting in shallow water, presentation is key. This is made all the more tricky with a tough breeze swirling around you. But persistence gives you the chance to locate the fish and a well placed slack line cast, avoiding drag, gives you every chance of success.

The orange posted Parachute Emerger worked its magic quickly. It may not match the natural exactly, but the bright post allows you to easily watch the progress of the fly through the foam lines.

When the fish are seldom coming to the dry, a quick look under the stones gives you some clues as to their liley food source. There were plenty of Blue Winged Olive nymphs (Serratella Ignita) for the picking:
... alongside plenty of cased caddis. Gauging size is all important:

Stonefly nymphs were less common, but still worthy of an imitation or two:

A change to a CDC Parachute emerger sorted out the more fussy of fish. Small, perhaps, but still very welcome:

The pearly emerger - this fly sits perfectly in the surface film and, I am sure, the peral butt suggests a shuck. Wtahcing a fish head an tail over the fly is very satisfying:


Friday, 27 May 2011

The welcome rain had coloured up the river slightly when I visited tonight, but it has done little for the levels. There was that uneasy sense that the river was quiet and although the occassional fish showed themselves, it was tough conditions. A tricky and persistant breeze required some careful casting and although I lost a good fish to the nymph, it was returning to a Klinkhamer that found success:

Perhaps the very best of the mayfly has passed, interupted by some very strong winds over the last week. Keeping an eye on the forecast will be key: some settled weather will be essential, but we continue to be in need of some steady rain.


Saturday, 21 May 2011

A bright, windy day full was full of promise at the river today. There were plenty of Mayfly fluttering through the air and enough of them sailing down the river and being blown off course to give the fish some easy pickings. Sure enough, there were a few being targetted, although the fish were not taking full advantage; mayfly managing to travel considerable distances and full of commotion, but remaining untouched.

A quick check of the cobwebs on the fence told the story of yesterday evening's spinner fall:

I tend to use a #1 or #2 set up when tackling smaller streams with the dry fly. However, when the Mayfly are on the card, I often step up to a #4 and tpday was an opportunity to test out a recent purchse: A Barrio GT90 WF#4 line. A supple, cream coloured line, I was looking forward to putting it throught its paces.

I made the first casts over grass to get a general feel for the line. Impressive to say the least, it loaded the rod (A Scott E2) very nicely even with a shorter line out. Extending the line, the cast became smoother with neat, tight loops. Hugely responsive and well balanced, I was really looking forward to getting in the river and making the first few important presentation casts.

The GT90, as with the GT140, has an almost continuous rear taper. Great for aerialising lots of line. OK, so not that important for fishing smaller streams, but this line allowed even a chunky mayfly pattern to be delivered positively and accurately every time. In addition, the line allowed very gentle presentation.

For more info on the line, click the link: Barrio Fly Lines

There were plenty of duns fluttering, but spinners started to show. Here a male spinner dries its wings:

Whilst the fish were showing an interest in my May fly imitation, several fish were coming short. A change of size seemed to make little difference, but it was seeing a fish chase an ascending nymph and shatter the surface as it did so, that I made my choice to switch to the nymph. Mayfly nymphs are considerable specimens and a large imitation fished slowly and with an induced lift can work wonders.

Eventually, a decent fish turned on the nymph. After a few scarey moments as the fish made every effort to find the roots, I slide the net under a fine brown:

At 17" it's my best fish of the season so far from these small rivers. The nymph found favour amongst a decent Mayfly hatch.


Studying Form


Saturday, 7 May 2011

If keeping a fly fishing blog needed justification, heading up the main reasons must be the fact it is an active diary. It is an invaluable tool to compare weather conditions, fish activity and hatches. The fact you can quickly recall your findings from 12 months ago is turning out to be a real help to my fishing. The fact others read and (hopefully) enjoy your journey is the icing on the cake.

As records suggest that April 2011 may have been the warmest on record, it is no suprise the seasons seem to be a little confused. Comparing last year pictures, it is obvious we have very little water in the rivers in comparison - obviously the lack of any significant rainfall for the last few weeks is cause for concern.

I fished this afternoon for a short time and was greeted with several May Fly duns (Ephemera Danica) peeling off the water. Alongside, it was pleasing to see a few Yellow May Dun (Heptagenia Sulphuria). Looking back at last year's records and I spotted my first Danica on May the 23rd: Recall here.

As I type, there is some very welcome rain tapping on the window. Perhaps this will freshen the rivers up a little and persuade the fish to look up and turn onto the early May Fly pickings.