Sunday, 18 May 2014

Mayfly megaladons come out on the Chew...

Spent the afternoon fishing the River Chew as the Mayfly starting streaming off creating clouds across the field margins. At first things were quiet on the water but a bit reconnaissance located a group of large fish leisurely sipping Mayflys under some overhanging trees. First fish took a while to realise I'd hooked it but once it had it sped downstream beneath me at breakneck speed snapping my 3lb tippet with ease as I tried to pay off line rapidly. I thought it must have been a big Rainbow. Thankfully the fish were still feeding so I let the run settle and composed myself to target another fish. I increased my tippet to 6lb. Next fish again ran me from bank to bank, but I felt confident with the strong leader. After a colossal struggle it shook the hook - damn this was getting frustrating. I waited patiently for the fish to gain confidence. I cast to this large fish which was feeding confidently again:

It took the fly and I really bullied it to the net as I did not want to loose another. All I can say is it was a beauty, the biggest Brown I'd caught to date at well over 3lb. A large cock fish with full kype armed with a row of serrated teeth. To my amazement my earlier fly was nestled in its jaw next to the paradun I'd replaced it with. I was so pleased as I never like the thought of releasing a hooked fish although its jaw was so big it looked like tiny speck. I released it quickly finding it difficult to get a good shot due to its size without causing to much distress.

As the afternoon progressed and the sun dropped fish began breaking surface with confidence and I went on to catch two further big Browns and several obvious wild fish of just under a pound. A further fish broke my 6lb leader which was on the scale if not bigger than my first fish. 

What the fish and fisherman has been waiting for..
I have to assume some of these fish due to their size must have been stocked but they were all fully fin and fine condition.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Late evening urban wild ones on the dry....Mayfly time starts.

A couple of hours before dusk on my urban local for the first time this season saw a couple come to a Mayfly paradun. I lost several bigger fish for whatever reason as they shook the hook. A small hatch of Mayfly trickling off - the fish I caught had clearly been gorging on the feast.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Yeo finally gives up its secrets....

Bright but breezy afternoon took me to the Yeo which I had not fished for a long time. My previous visits had been relatively unsuccessful. The stream has a lot of cover and large woody debris but suffers from poor water quality. A number of factors contribute including the fish farm at Blagdon and run off from the agricultural land in the valley. I covered well over a mile of the beat fishing likely runs and pools. I was heartened by hooking a few small wild trout from the start however a pervading smell of sewerage was confirmed when I turned a corner. I was faced with a grey water cascade coming from what appeared to be a water treatment wetland that didn't appear to be working effectively. 

Upstream of this the water quality improved and the gravel was predominant rather than the black silt. The fish started to show more readily rising to the Klink where the canopy opened and let shafts of light in.

In one medium depth slow run a number of fish were rising and after catching a few palm sized wild fish I was not prepared for what happened next. My klink was engulfed and after a battle in the jungle I netted a Brownie of about 1.5lb. The fish was a fully finned beauty with a kyped jaw. 

I went on to net a few more smaller fish and watched a couple more large fish holding station in deep undercuts which were impossible to cast to without spooking. Three years on and I watched perhaps the same Tawny Owl I had seen on my last visit quietly glide up the stream channel only to be harassed by song birds on its landing. The Yeo is not fishing for the faint hearted and requires a commando approach. I returned to the car exhausted and wet but glad I had made a return trip.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Making the most of a few sunny hours...

Three of us made a visit to a wonderful Somerset stream on a showery and windy morning. We managed a few hours before heavy rain and coloured water made for difficult fishing. Most fish came to the nymph although fish were rising and a well presented dry brought the odd hook up if not in the net. Lots of small upwings coming off together with the odd large Mayfly. Kingfishers very active and Dippers out with young on the River Chew already.

Red plays a nice Brownie to the net.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

More Lilliput Rainbow fishing...

A couple more sessions on the Upper Chew has resulted in plentiful catches of Rainbow parr to about 8 inches. This has been interspersed with the odd wild Brown one of which one was a particularly good fish for this little stream. Black Knats have been giving me some frustration when I run out of flies in the box. The fish seem pre-occupied with them at times. The meadows have been alive with Damsels and Orange Tip butterflies attracted to the Lady's Smock. Recent rain has kept water levels up well whilst the Kingfishers are busy tending young in the nests high in the undercut banks.

 Just read an interesting report online from 1997 collating data from the early 90's which suggests very few sustainable populations of Rainbows in the UK - well I have news for you guys you need to refresh your data!

The Upper Chew is acknowledged has having isolated breeding Rainbows but indicates Browns are dominant. Not sure it still stacks up but interesting reading nevertheless.