Monday, 21 April 2014

The Rainbow dilemma

I fished the Upper Chew on a beautiful spring day. Ladies Smock together with Wild Garlic decorated the banks and the stream glistened in the sunlight. The water was clear but flowing well exposing the clean gravel. For a while the pools seemed lifeless but as the warmth of the afternoon approached fish started to dimple and rise in the head of the deeper sections. In the space of about two hours I handed in at least a dozen young Rainbows up to about 8 inches. A rare but welcome sight were a couple of small Brownies. Although the Rainbows livened up the day with their spirited fight I couldn't help but think how this stream must have fared before its incarceration between two reservoirs - it would have been wild Brown Trout heaven without the pressure of cormorants and mink exploiting the local fisheries. After all the Rainbows are no more deserving of being on the stream than Signal Crayfish or Himalayan Balsam that have now become recognised pests in many of our waterways. The saving grace is that this small stretch of river is confined and I don't see parr cropping up regularly where rivers are not subject to the levels of Rainbow exposure this stream has. Perhaps therefore the Upper Chew can viewed as a local treasure which should be cherished as an oasis of North America/Asia within Somerset. My conscience eased now, I have to say I really enjoyed the fishing!

Later on I went in search of our native Brownie on the lower Chew. Unfortunately the previous days rain had coloured the water this far downstream which made fly fishing difficult. However I managed to tempt two nice fish to the surface with a klink on an otherwise quiet stretch of river. Always worth a speculative cast even when there are no fish rising. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

2014 Easter in Cornwall, where else when the sun comes out...

What a week in Cornwall. Wall to wall sunshine with some nice 3-4 foot clean surf at times resulted in some quality time. Spent some great family days on Crantock where the banks produced some good waves semi sheltered from the light north winds.

Friday, 11 April 2014

2014 First Friday fish on the Chew

Fished my beloved Chew for first time this afternoon joining a few other fisherman on the bank. It didn't disappoint in the glorious spring sunshine. An early work finish with no pressing family commitments conspired to give me a few precious and rewarding hours on the river. Water clear but a reasonable flow with some lovely gravel bars emerging after the turbulent winter. Early fly life was abundant with numerous rising fish. Mid afternoon saw a wild Brownie taking the nymph this was followed by a nice out of season Grayling that was quickly and carefully returned. 

As the afternoon progressed the Dace were evident rising to the dry regularly but rarely hooking on the Size 14. Loads of wild trout parr were taking the fly which was nice to see bearing in mind the number Rainbows that constantly appear on this stretch.

As the afternoon wore on a lovely big Brownie fell to the nymph which was followed by another good Grayling. Last pool I fished exclusively on the dry catching half a dozen mid sized trout that were clearing the water to take the fly. Its a good feeling looking looking upstream into the riffle: seeing and hearing silhouetted fish break surface while the evening birdsong tells you spring really is here. One downside was that my botched Aquasure wader repair has not done the trick. I am running out of options as to where the water ingress is coming from and feel the need to invest. 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

2014 Trout Season opener in the West Country

First trip out closer to home Red and I fished the Midford Brook and Wellow.  Red was first in to the fish on an Olive Klink. A dry fly enthusiast in all but the most difficult of conditions Red connected with a number of good sized wild brownies further upstream of me. I hooked with a good fish on the nymph but its silvery flanks led me to believe it was not a trout and it shook the hook in the fast current before I could net it. In the run Red had gained success I immediately netted a nice brownie which hammered the dry. What a great start. Shortly afterwards a real surprise a nice Grayling which came to the Klink again - I had no idea they were in this stream. 

After a few hours we moved up to the Wellow which I have to say looked pristine with a good clear flow and plenty of rising fish not to mention a number of small upwinged flies coming off. Stealthy fishing netted me a fair few beautiful brownies both to the dry on the shallower runs and to the nymph sunk deep into the pools. I love the meandering nature of this little brook as you turn a corner and see a dimpling in the corner of a pool. It taxes the mind of where to place that fly to seamlessly cover the fish and the all important first cast has to count.   The weather remained fairly dry if overcast for the day - its just a shame my Greys GRXi waders one season on couldn't give me the same comfort!