Saturday, 27 April 2013

River Chew again - a few fish about but not always what I was after...

Sunny interspersed with sharp hail. Temperatures had dropped to just touching double figures and apart from the odd small upwinged Pale Watery flies not much insect life today. What did surprise me were the family of Dippers. The young were almost the size of the adults and dotted along the river bank waiting impatiently to get there next meal from the bedraggled parents. On the fishing front the shallow runs failed to produce any fish today although I did spook a big Rainbow in a riffle as I made my way up the river. First fish a good sized out of season Grayling which I wasn't too disappointed with. This was followed by a couple of nice Dace all on the nymph. I could see one of the Dace was gravid with eggs so to avoid disrupting their breeding any further I moved on.

Further downstream finally started to connect with a few wild trout. Only one took the dry and that was sunk so no real surface action. 

Mistle Thrush, Green Woodpecker, Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail very vocal today. On my way I also saw Whitethroat and Skylark in the fields which was good to see. You might have noticed a different camera today - hoping to take some video but the hail put the fish and my videoing exploits down. My wife points out that the photos are all a bit repetitive and are they not all the same photos from one day. So I aim to mix it up a bit.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Hard day at the office ..on the River Culm

Spent day on the Culm in Devon with fellow angler Rich Denning. It was probably the warmest day of the year so far and my face and casting arm were testament to the strength of the sun as the following day I had numerous comments on whether I'd been abroad. Its funny how you go so long without considering sun block and before you know it summers upon you. Anyway the fishing was tough to say the least with lots of beautiful runs and pools not giving up any fish. I caught a nice Brownie in the first 30 minutes, had two further palm sized fish that shook the hook as I lifted them in and then lost another decent fish before it entered the net at the bottom of the beat. Not a great result after a good 6 hrs fishing interspersed with the odd break from the 'action' with moments of contemplation. The only significant rise was the fish caught. I ran the changes throughout the day fishing deep with shot and altering the size of fly both on the surface and nymph but the fish were just not interested.

Rich went for the majority of the day without a take and then at the last knockings took two fish in a fast run below some Willows on my very own Copper John, on a large Size 10 no less.

Alder Fly
I was pleased that both of us had not walked away empty handed but it seems as if the fish haven't woken up to the fact it is spring! Better than a day in the office though.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Spring has sprung on the River Chew

Beautiful day with wall to wall sunshine and light winds. Temperatures however were still only just in double figures. I fished my local stretch on River Chew. Quite a lot of upwinged flies coming off: in the main Large Dark Olives although I did see sporadic small dark bluish upwinged flies which I am suspecting were Iron Blue's. I need to get a decent ID reference book and really try to make some field notes. Anyway I caught about half a dozen nice sized Brownies and couple of out of season Grayling. I did miss one rise to a Klink but all the fish I caught were on the nymph. Saw only about two fish rising all day despite the quite abundant fly life and relatively warm conditions to that of late.

In one of the deepest pools I had a viscous tug after retrieving the nymph from the bottom. A serious fight followed with my little Fladen Vantage 3 weight bent at right angles. After a struggle I got the fish in the net and was surprised it was only just pushing a pound. On inspection its flanks had a iridescent silver/bluish hue with limited red markings. Having only caught one Sea Trout before I cannot be positive but it sure didn't look like the standard Chew Brownie and fought like a fish twice its size. A few minutes later in the same pool I hooked another good fish but after a long deep fight it bent the hook and evaded capture.

Chew Sea Trout?
Kingfishers and Dippers very active today calling and chasing each other down the river. Grey Wagtail, Raven and Green Woodpecker also very vocal. House Martins, Swallows, Chifffchaff and Blackcap all back for the summer.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Wet and warmer on the Cam Brook

Met up with Red today fished the Cam Brook just south of Bath. The morning had been dry but by the time we hit the bank it was drizzle which persisted throughout day. Supposedly warmer as the car registered double figures with the rain although in the stream I certainly didn't feel comfortable. The wetness and wind seemed to create problems fishing in confined space today with tangles and hook ups with trees a plenty. Despite it all caught two lovely wild Brown Trout nearing a pound in one shallow run on the nymph. Both were rising in the rain but chose to ignore the dry. Caught one other smaller fish and hooked and lost several others. Bow and arrow cast all the way today.
First one

Second one even bigger within a meter of first

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Wild Brownie saves the day on Bristol Frome

Family commitments meant a quick morning trip to the Bristol Frome. Unfortunately it had been -3C overnight so despite the sunshine it was going take a while for the day to warm. The fishing was quiet right up until the late morning on my return to the car when I hooked and netted a nice Brownie on a weighted nymph which I had left to drift in a deeper pool. It was a wonderful morning nevertheless with the bare tree canopy giving way to shafts of sunlight lighting up drifts of Wood Anemones. Some nice birdsong with fleeting glimpses of Dipper, Kingfisher, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker. First day in my new Greys GRXi waders which were incredibly comfortable if not a bit cold. The day went on to be glorious, perhaps the warmest of the year so far reaching double figures in the sunshine!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Day Two - Cam Brook, Somerset

Fished the Cam today in glorious sunshine with the temperature getting up to a balmy 9C although a cold easterly still made it feel chilly. I hadn't fished this stretch before and it appeared to have plenty of potential with lots of pools, riffles and runs. I saw one rise as I made my way to the bottom of the beat so hopes were high. After thirty minutes of not getting any takes I was beginning to doubt my stealth and the 4lb fluro leader which I thought might be spooking fish in the gin clear water. However I finally got a take on a heavily weighted nymph in a turbulent pool. After that the fish started to come thick and fast mainly deep although I did hook one on the dry but lost it. It was magical to see a fish rise from the bottom and take the Klink - I almost felt I was on a chalkstream.


As the afternoon wore on the fish got larger with most averaging out at around 8 inches. Access points were limited due to the steep banks but once in the channel it was lovely to fish with the mature trees in the main unhindering a roll cast. Ended up with about ten fish in the hand all on the nymph. Several hatches of Large  Dark Olives coming off at some of the larger pools. Damaged my scoop net beyond repair on some of the fallen trees but it was worth it.

Monday, 1 April 2013

River season starts with a bang, perhaps more of a puff, on the River Chew!

Cold easterlies and an overcast day constrained me to a few hours on the opening day. Fished my usual stretch of the Chew. No sign of any rising fish although I did see one Large Dark Olive come off in the 3C heat. The river was lower than I 'd fished it all last year. First fast run and caught a spirited little Brownie on the nymph, this was quickly followed by a small Grayling and then I lost a good fish in the current. Next deeper pool caught a palm sized Brownie. I was amazed how the river had changed: deep pools were now sandy banks and where new tree branches had obscured the flow deeper pools caught me out. I did feel that the river lacked large wood debris as I did not have to negotiate one fallen tree on my visit which is unusual for this stretch of the Chew. This lack of cover and weed growth made fish hard to find. I went on to catch a couple more mid sized wild Brownies in the deep pools on the bends. One downside was that I had to report to EA sewerage seepage from one of the banks from an area I'd reported before. Funnily enough on my return home the sun came out for the last few hours of daylight but it was too late.