Saturday, 16 June 2012

Fair weather fishermen?

It really is about 'fair weather fishermen' but please stick with me, this is all relevent!

Our club has over 600 members, some of the best fishing in the midlands. Ok it is not cheap but for £235 you get so many venues you are spoiled for choice. The club is well run, you get a mix of top class trout streams, stocked lakes and lot's of prime coarse fishing spots.
We have rods on various reserviors. Blithfield is the one we go to; only because it is close to us.
Some folk reckon the club is expensive. Yes it is if you don't bother to fish!
I have made some mistakes in the past by joining a 'one water' club. The problem with this is that distance might be a problem. You feel pressurised into going to get your money's worth, your mates might not be members and you end up not bothering to go as much as you should to justify the cost.
This is what happened to me. Some folk like to fish on their own, which is fair enough. I do sometimes but I do like the banter with friends.

So, I'd like to give you a breakdown of the economics of joining our club so far this season:

9 great visits to Blithfield. That would have cost £22 a throw. I make that £198 and plenty of eating for friends and family.
The Manifold:
A lovely river. One visit this year. Can't put a price on a freestone river.
The river Dove, Wolfscote:
Almost two miles of superb fishing and scenery in the peak district. Ths is the beat next to Charles Cotton and Issac Walton's. Now if you want to fish the Cotton/ Walton beat it will cost you dear. I think you have to book an overnight stay, be royalty, know someone or something. Out of my league; yet our stretch is better!
I can't put a price on this but you can't possibly fish nearly two miles of pristine limestone stream, brimming with wild trout and grayling for less than £40 per day, can you? Unless poaching!
I have visited this stretch five times so far since March, the start of club membership.I have had some amazing days!  Again, there are other beats of the Dove we can fish but I am only mentioning the places I have fished so far in this club year.

Therfore I reckon I have had easily had my money's worth and it is only Mid June!

OK..Fair weather fishermen?...TODAY!

Today's weather forcast was bad: Heavy showers. I checked the EA website and it looked like the Dove was fining down after Thursday's rainfall. It is the tail end of the Mayfly. Worth a try!

Bone and me decided to give it a go. We set off rather late as Mick had to work. He had left home at 5.00am to finish a job at Telford; a 80 mile round trip! That is dedication to fishing...He managed to pick me up at 11.00. As we drove we talked about an alternative venue, should the maximum rods be on the river.
Arriving at noon we were amazed that the car park was empty!
Saturday 16th June, and mayfly season! Happy days...

The river was a bit high but far from unfishable. Where were the other members? Fair weather fishermen?

We had the river to ourselves and caught...

Lots like these...


Some little greedy ones...'

All on these roughly tied jobbies. Yes, the tail is too long... and yes, Mayflies are not that colour  but I like it and so do the trout and I don't have an expensive Pantone pen selection.  I put some green spots on the body and wings with a green permanent marker from the pound shop. To be honest I don't think it was necessary as I think it is more about the profile.  I had a few refusals but I put that down to the leader floating now and again.  Oh and this is not a freshly tied fly. It is one I used today and has caught many a fish. Very robust, just a wipe and re-gink the elk hair!

 Thank you fair weather fishermen.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Wet through but well worth it!

Have you ever thought that sometimes you take fishing and where you fish for granted?

Today was one of those days. I have a friend who wanted to try river fishing.
It had never occurred that it was 'Duffer's Fortnight'. I had fished the river dove at Wolfscote dale last week and struggled with only 9 fish! I had also fished the Manifold this week and that was not great either. On both occassions there were no mayfly to be seen! So you might understand that I was not quite prepared for what happened today.

Daz picked me up at 7.00 for his very first time fly fishing a river.
He had bought a nice little second hand outfit and wanted to try it out.
We nipped over to Wolfscote dale. It was cold and wet. 7th June. Cold and wet. One car already on the car park, he had checked in at 6.15! I filled in the guest ticket and checked the reports. Someone yesterday had managed 16 brownies.
What to fish with? What tactics? How to keep dry? No chance!
We walked down the river and I began to show Daz where the fish might be lying. Could not resist a quick cast and was rewarded with a grayling, much to Daz's amazement (and mine!).
We passed the chap who had boooked in earlier, he had had a few trout to the mayfly but was going to pack up as he was soaked to the skin.
We walked to the bottom of our stretch, the intention was to slowly work our way back up, sticking together and be away for 1.00.
I had some small mayflies and we tied them on even though there was little in the way of fly life or rising fish.

Daz with his first fly caught river trout.

It was a good call. We nailed it good and proper! I have never seen so many fish in all my life. Where do they normally live? As the morning turned into afternoon, it just got better and better. I was not even bothered when Daz made a pigs ear of landing a fish of mine at least 2lb and sent it on it's way. "Sorry mate."

A happy chappie

We were hammering it but I've never been so wet in all my life, even with the help of my neoprene jacket. However, the rain did give us a few advantages. Firstly, the lack of walkers although I nearly caught a cyclist early on. Secondly, the mayfly duns were finding it tricky to leave the water, this was driving the trout crazy. We also had the river to ourselves! The best bit was the way the rain disguised our leaders.

I look like some trout pervert type person

So fine chance for a 1.00 finish. We came away at 3.00.
I lost count of what we caught. I lost many fish, some suprisingly large although none snapped me. I missed so many due to inexperience. It is the first time I've been on a river during a serious mayfly hatch. I can't say it was difficult because it wasn't. Only the appalling conditions testing our endurance.
I had to report my catch in the checking station. Someone today managed many more than 16 brownies!
I write this, with a beer at my side and a smug grin on my face. I love the fact that this river, having seen many a polution problem is now back to it's best. The mayfly are obviously doing well.
Yes we could have stayed longer but that would have been pure greed.
I just hope Daz (well into double figures), doesn't think it is like this everyday up Wolfscote, because it most definitely isn't! Derby County Angling Society. I love it!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

More friends, more flies

You have to think how this fly fishing thing becomes a passion.
I began about 5 years ago, on my own, knowing nothing.
I now have at least 7 converts! They all pay thier dues. We need more to keep our rivers in tip top condition!
Tomorrow I am taking a mate to the river to convert him too. Just call me 'John the 'B'.

We are not allowed to use a dropper on our stretch.
Sometimes I wonder if the idea is to stop you from catching fish. But we can use a small indicator. So when I need to, I hang a nymph under one of these large winged sedges with the sharp end snapped off. .Mind you...It  don't half p you off when something takes it.  Trouble is, the indicator has to be a max of 1/4 inch...So I have to trim this well down or get banned if anyone dares to check my tackle.

In a 'Moser' stylie: A big winged sedge. Sharp end to be cut off.

Monday, 4 June 2012

A couple of hours on the Manifold

Was a bit cold. Lots of rain last night. I had a shoulder strain (real bad. a legacy from the old martial arts days). I nearly rang Bone to call it off but hey! I am a Lion Tamer and let no one down unless I don't value them.
So we arrived at our venue at about 8.00.
River: High.chocolate runny chocolate The stuff u squeeze on a 69. Sorry, 99.
We could have gone home but we didn't....
I  then remembered  John Tyzack saying to me that the fish don't go home, they just find the comfortable places to see it out.
We walked and waded. Lots of barbed wire down this stretch.
Nowt rising so dropped in me nymph.
And again.
A few times I dropped in me nymph.
I had a small troot on the nymph!

Mick against the wind in chocolate

It was hard.

I saw a mayfly. I watched it and saw it taken.
First and only rise of the day!
  I Told Bone where it was. There was no way with my 9' so in went Mick with his new 6'. rod and the rubber jonny mayfly I showed him to tie yesterday.

Bang on!

Nice one Bone, a wild brownie!  Good angling