Thursday, 15 October 2009

My Second Session on Chew Valley

My second visit to Chew Valley. Decided to repeat my method from first visit which had produced results. Waded off Nunnery point. The water was incredibly low and you could wade some 30 yards out and still be waist deep. I fished washing line with Booby on the end and couple of nymphs in between. Slow figure of eight retrieve. It was unlike the rivers as action would come in fits and starts but heart racing stuff nevertheless. Fish would bow wave towards the Booby plucking and tucking with only a few fish actually getting hooked. Caught two Rainbows with the biggest around 3lb. I had purchased a relatively cheap set up of Lureflash Viper and Leeda reel. It seemed to the business as was getting a reasonable cast without tuition and felt just right when playing the fish - forgiving during the lunges yet still enough backbone to bring the fish to the net. The groups of fish seemed to be following the Mute Swans disturbing the bottom. It was lovely evening with just a few bank fisherman around. First photo below is from my first visit but shows how low the water was on this evening.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Tresillian River

Spent a few hours on the Tresillian. If I thought the streams around Bristol were tough access it was near on impossible to get to the bank here. This was on the West Country passport tokens but I'd surprised if the stretch had more than a dozen visitors in a year. Wearing waders and trudging across bog is not a good idea. Once I reached the stream life was easier as the bottom was firm and the depth was pretty uniform for wading. Anyway the fish were not easy to tempt. I ended up catching 6 small Brownies on the nymph. Most were deep in a small weir pool. Returning to the car was no easier either as there appeared to be no exit from the boggy meadows. Eventually I got back to the car exhausted, sodden wet and in the dark.  I like wilderness but I was not prepared wearing the wrong gear and anticipating a nice evening stroll. Having had some wonderful sport in the evenings on the streams on the North coast of Cornwall, which was nearer to home, I can't say the experience left me keen to return. Maybe it was the weather!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Chew success again

I am loving the River Chew at the moment. Never see a soul and plenty of fish about on the KAA stretch. Evenings are great away from stressful job with sun going down and just the sound of the spring birds. Fished usual stretch and caught a few nice size Brownies, some smaller Chub and had a colossal struggle with a one of about 2lb. What a difference to play a fish like this on a little fly rod rather than float gear. The fish fought low and hard in one of the big pools and I just managed to net it in my scoop net. Biggest fish from the Chew on the fly so far. I am afraid another coarse fish out of season though - if only I could discriminate! Tried to cut down some Himalayan Balsam which is starting to become a bit of problem.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Garden Foxes

Second year Foxes have had cubs behind our house in an old badger set. This was one of the first days they all came out for a tussle in the Bluebells.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Trip to the Cam on the Fly

As I had my B&D AA licence and seen that Trout fishing was available on the Cam I thought I'd give it a go. Having checked out the waters below Dunkerton I knew the brook held trout but I was put off by the inaccessibility and overhanging trees which appeared to make almost unfishable even when wading. After some Google surveillance I thought Id' try upstream. Arriving in Dunkerton I could see the stream was more open above the bridge. The stream is small with lots of fast narrow runs, sweeping bends and small pools. I was surprised to find another fisherman on the bank using trotting tackle and worm. We had a pleasant chat about different waters around Bristol and I moved on upstream. As I waded in I immediately spooked a decent Brownie of about a 1lb. It started off  frustrating. Clearly there were plenty of fish in the stream but I was not getting my fly upstream enough to reach fish that had not been disturbed. My first little Brownie came to hand after I tried a downstream nymph that was let to drift down and across a pool, twitched up as I drew it across the pool. A different technique that I had now mastered it gave me greater distance between myself and the fish on a stream where it was almost impossible to cast. Shortly after this fish I had a slight confrontation with a lady in a large house backing onto the stream. Her dog had been disturbed and was basically going hysterical and then she proceeded to tell me that they had riparian rights to both sides of the stream where it bordered her house (a stretch of about 100 metres) and I was not entitled to fish here. I didn't agree but in order to placate mainly the dog decided to move on. As I went downstream I met the landowner of the bottom fields of this section. He was totally unaware that this stretch of water was under B&D AA! and said he had bought the land off the farmer who owned all the fields upstream. I showed him my licence and explained that all fish would be returned and he was content for me to carry on. I caught two good Brownies of just under 1lb in one of the pools on this stretch fishing upstream again and just as the light was fading caught my best fish to date on the fly - a lovely 1.5lb Brownie on my way back up to the car. It was one hell of scrap and finished off a beautiful Spring day on this lovely little stream. I had also seen several big Chub in one of the deeper pools and the guy trotting had caught a Rainbow.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Chew mixed catch

Fished a number of bigger pools on Chew on KAA stretch. Fished nymphs and buzzers. A couple of good Grayling and some out of season Dace. The Dace were a good size of about 6-8oz. Used bite indicator as water was coloured and fairly high. No trout. Must persevere with dry fly but my catch rate is so good I tend to use nymph by default.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Second day on the Fly - River Chew

After my success on the Wellow I was now champing at the bit to build on my experience. I had joined Keynsham (at under £20 a year its a steal) and had already checked out their waters so was bit more clued up. Using the same technique, starting with a PTN, but then probably through loss, changed to a Black Buzzer!  I fished a number of pools this time using an indicator as I was finding the end of the fly line less visible and was sinking and getting contorted in the cloudier water. I had now extended my leader by a foot (to 8') and introduced two differing strengths of fluorocarbon. Always fishing upstream I was keen not to spook fish. The Chew allowed more distance in my cast and I was really getting comfortable with retrieving the line at the speed of the current to ensure good presentation of the fly. Amazingly I caught a number of fish including a small Brownie and a couple of good Grayling. I loved the speed and strength of fight all the fish gave on my little 4 weight rod.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

My Fly Fishing Debut

I had sorted myself out at Christmas with a cheap set up to introduce myself to fly fishing. Shakespeare Odyssey 7'6" rod, small cheap arbour reel, waders, selection of flies, waistcoat and bag. The whole lot cost less than £100. My aim was to explore the small streams and rivers around Bristol learning the art of presenting the fly on the off chance that one day I might just get a take. I had no instruction just knowledge I had gained from the Internet or books. I was not prepared to spend vast amounts on licences as I was unsure how much this sport was going to captivate me. I started with a short 7' leader of straight 4lb fluorocarbon tied to Pheasant Tail Nymph. I already possessed a Bristol & District AA licence for my coarse fishing and at this time they had stretch on the Wellow. I had no idea what the river would look like or what it contained or indeed how I was going to locate fish.

Arriving the stream looked beautiful on this Spring day, the water was gin clear and appeared to be alive with activity. I was in awe of the beauty of this little gem just a short commute from my home. I started by spooking fish left right and centre, catching branches above, behind and in front. I was beginning to realise long casting was not required. Stealth, patience and accuracy were what counted. After an hour on this small stretch I flicked the nymph into one of the pools below a cascade and the fluorescent loop shot forward. I was in to my very fish Brownie on the fly. After a spirited fight, with much jumping and dashing it came to the net. A whim and strange impulsive desire had bought me to this point and was I chuffed as hell. I had blundered my way through all aspects of the learning curve without knowing where I might be going wrong but this little Brownie gave me faith and set me on a path. Ironically a father and son were passing and as I had the fish in the net I found myself offering advice on my tactics. Can you believe it, I vaguely knew myself what I was doing. My wife relived the take, the fight and the release many a time in the following days.