Friday, 29 April 2011

Upper Chew on the wedding day...

Fished the Upper Chew for the first time in a while. Met up with Red and we hit the top beat. Really nice little stream better than I remember. Wore a wetsuit as an under garment today as my leaky waders just didn't seem that inviting. Brisk easterly wind with slightly overcast skies, cooler than of late in the mid teens. The Wild Garlic was in full flower, Kingfishers darting everywhere and some fly life but only a few fish rising. Casting was tough as the place is somewhat confined and the wind was not helping. Caught some lovely small Brownies on a goldhead and some took the Klink however I was unable to connect. With hindsight I think the hackle may have been too large for the hook. After 3hrs that flew by we headed to the bottom beat that feeds into Chew Valley Lake. A lot siltier at the lower end fishing improves as you move up the beat. I immediately hooked a good Brownie on the Klink. My second fish on the beat was a Rainbow of 2lb+ that I watched come out of the bank and take my nymph in mid stream just a couple of metres in front of me. On my little Odyssey rod and 4lb tippet I wrestled with the fish for quite some time before it shot past my legs and buried itself under debris in a pool downstream leaving my flies hooked to a root. Doh! A few more small Brownies finished off a lovely day. Thank you Wills and Kate.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Bristol Frome on the Dry again

An impromptu little evening session. Wild Garlic out, Bluebells going over, Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher and Dipper on the river. Appeared to be territorial battle going on between two Dippers. Second or third cast in my favourite pool brought a rise but the fish shook the hook. I persisted and caught another further upstream that I got to the net. A good fish of around 10 inches. Despite several rises to my fly further downstream I did not connect and ended with just the one fish.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Bristol Frome first fish 2011

Evening session on Bristol Frome. Just 5 minutes from me and I know it well, very well, every pool, every riffle and every run. I sometimes wonder whether each year I catch the same wild trout as they hold up in the deeper sections. I learn something every visit and today was no exception.

First surprise a Dipper flitting on the stones at one my favourite pools. I have seen them further downstream at Frenchay in the Winter but not here in Spring. Are they nesting? Only time will tell but it would be great if they are.

Dry fly only this evening. A green Klink is cast under the Sycamore. A medium Brownie hits the fly on the way down only to shake free after the first jump. After a few more casts I get another rise, this time I play a nice 10" fish to the net. I move up the pool and get no takes on the surface. As I cast into the head of the pool the fly becomes waterlogged and starts sink. In an effort to make the most of the cast a slowly retrieve across the pool. Bang I'm into a bigger fish. At first I thought is might be one of the 3lb Chub I sometimes see lurking in the shadows. To my surprise its a good Brownie of just under 1lb. I only just got it to the net as it wrapped my line round a snag mid flow which was only freed by wading in. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo as I was more concerned with the trout's well being after such a hectic fight.

Downstream I missed a rise and then caught two small Brownies near the stanchions of the dual carriageway bridge. One day I am going to have to get a shot of beautiful wild Brownie in front of the graffiti clad concrete. The number and size seemed to suggest that the trout had spawned in the vicinity. I had always assumed that the trout here had come from spawning trout in the head waters near Yate where I have witnessed good numbers on some of the gravelly runs. Although it always seems strange to me that the Frome between Iron Acton and Winterbourne has little evidence of trout despite having a number of promising pools and runs.

Anyway another welcome return to my local patch. Spawning coarse fish conspicuous by there absence - usually I see groups of Roach and Chub rolling in the pools. Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker all put in an appearance.

End up locking my keys in the car on my return, d'oh! Nursing a twisted angle from a Stag weekend in Soton I walk home in the dark. Its not all good!

Friday, 8 April 2011

River Chew welcome return 2011

The river welcomed me with the sights and sounds of what I love best. A Grey Wagtail and Dipper jostle for position in the riffle by the bridge. A Blackcap sings from an ivy clad Alder overhanging the river. I fish New Zealand style today a Klink with Brassie nymph 18” below. First run and although no fish visibly rising my first take is on the Klink. In turbulent water at the head the first rise results in a lovely 8” Brownie that comes to the net after a frenetic fight in the shallow glide below. This is shortly followed by a medium sized Grayling to the nymph.

Next pool not quite so idyllic a seeping bank to my left is clouding the water. Not natural and not good. After investigation no visible source of the contamination other than a hole in the ground. I fish on and two nice Grayling come to the net.

I move downstream to try and avoid the contaminated water and fish some runs and a lovely pool below a Willow breaking the flow. Fish come to both nymph and Klink. In the end I catch probably half dozen Grayling and half a dozen Brownies. River Chew fishing as well as ever.

Phoned EA about pollution on my return home. Excellent response within the hour on the phone and major works in the field the following day. Sewer was backing up and draining into river. Thankyou EA – now I know where my road licence fees go!

Nice Grayling - you can see milky water from contamination

Best Brown Trout of the session

Greedy small Brownie to Klink

Beautiful Spring afternoon on the Chew

Friday, 1 April 2011

2011 First Day on the Rivers - Wellow Brook

Beautiful spring day with river running pretty clear. Met up with fishing buddy Red and fished the Wellow. We started below the footbridge and worked our way upstream. I started on the nymph, a small dubbed Goldhead, and hooked a couple of fish but lost them. I'd snagged a few trees and the bottom a few times and could have really done with a hook sharpener. A rising fish in the first pool I was unable to tempt on the dry despite covering it several times. I tried a Klink but perhaps should have persevered with some more representative patterns. At one of my favoured pools I eventually  netted a few Brownies on a heavier Brassie Goldhead dropped into the turbulent water at the head and then twitched out through the crease. As I hooked a fish others would chase the hooked trout round the pool. The small trout were great sport on my little Odyssey jumping clear of the water and searching for every snag. Red concentrated on the dry using a Greenwells and although had a rise or two did not connect. In the end I'd netted four Brownies all around 8'-10' and had great afternoons fishing with good company. Drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, first Willow Warbler and first Swallow of Spring 11 added to the day.