Saturday, 31 October 2015

Long time coming .. and now for some Pike on the Bristol Avon

Lovely autumnal weather sees Red and I out on the bank fly fishing for Pike at various locations on lower and middle Bristol Avon. Rivers incredibly low at moment with some jacks up to about 5lb coming to the net. They seem to come on the feed sporadically after the bait fish start to come to life. You can cover a peg many times and then suddenly get a hit out of nowhere when you are least expecting it. Such a hassle free exciting way to tackle these wonderful fish.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Kayak trip to Lyme Regis

Spent the day kayaking with my youngest son kayaking the ledges to the west of Lyme Regis. An early Bass got me excited but this was short lived as the hours went by without a further take. Over the size limit but it went back as a present to the gods although I felt they didn't return the favour. Towards the end of the day the Wrasse came on the feed savaging my soft plastics and costing me dearly. Great little scrappers on light tackle though. It was a beautiful late summer day though with very little wind and fantastic scenery.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Wellow beauty...

Red sorted me a guest ticket on Avon Tributaries section of the Wellow. Beautiful stretch nearer its confluence with the Cam downstream to the Knowle beat I am used to fishing. The fishing was not as easy as I was expecting and the wild fish were just not showing. After a change of fly to a green fluro shrimp pattern, on Red's recommendation, I picked up a nice stocked Rainbow in one of the deeper sections. Funny how that fly will probably be returned to the box and will not be used for another 12 months until I am left scratching my head.  Fantastic sunny day in a secluded valley on the outskirts of Bath.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Well now the coarse season is upon us I thought I would try a bit of Carp on the fly

Nice afternoon with a bit of a breeze saw me trying to tempt some wily old Common Carp on the fly. A little bag of mixers, a couple of spun deer hair flies and 8' 8lb fluro leader on a 8/9 wt is all you need. My tactics are to find some active fish and cast directly in front of their nose. Two or more usually sees a bit of competition with less dominant fish allowing the bigger ones to come through and have first dibs. Occasionally I provide a few offerings but if you bisect their course quite often you'll get some interest without baiting. Now spawning is subsiding I notice they are more positive on the take and keeping low against the bank helps avoid suspicion. I rarely strike but just let the fish turn on the fly. Be prepared to give line quickly as even an 8lb leader can give on the take especially on a heavily weighted rod. I have found increasing the line strength during the afternoon will ensure you won't get a take but may pay dividends later in the evening where you targeting in the immediate vicinity of lilies. Be patient in the fight as even amongst the lilies the fish can be eased out. First fish a 5-6lb'er and second a near double figure fish that must of made an initial 40 yrd run down the lake stripping line enough to burn my thumb as an impromptu drag.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Late Spring on the rivers around Bristol...

I have been fishing for wild Brownies at numerous locations during the late spring sunshine. Evenings or later in the afternoon have been the most productive. Although I have encountered the odd Mayfly hatch I really missed the main event on my local streams the Chew and Wellow. Nevertheless the fishing has been good with plentiful fish on both streams of fish up to a 1lb. I have to say though the larger fish have been a bit elusive - perhaps it has just been my timing. The Chew is now like a jungle and unfishable or inaccessible on my favourite stretches. The Wellow is not so extreme in terms of effort getting to the river but casting is severely restricted. Both streams are about as vibrant as they are all year with Damsels, flowering Water Crowfoot and plenty of young bird life.

A trip to the Culm a few weeks back proved tough with clear sunny skies but no obvious hatches left three of us scratching our heads on where the fish were. We managed a few on deeply fished nymphs but the Champerhaies beat was disappointing with very few rises or signs of trout in fairly cloudy low flowing water.
My local, local however just less than a mile from my door splitting the urban belt of North Bristol has really produced the goods with plenty of good size fish coming to the net all on the dry. Perhaps it is the timing as I fish this on evenings after work just before dusk. Amazingly saw some little wild Brownies rising in my Bradley Brook recently just a few hundred metres from house - I knew they would make it upstream but just how far I was never quite sure.


Sunday, 31 May 2015

Cornish Mayhem..

Spent a lovely week in Cornwall. Fished a West Country Passport beat I have not been back to in a while and picked up some beautiful miniature trout in the mossy wilderness on the dry fly. Stream was low with no sign yet of the regular Sea Trout. Spent a few lucky moments metres away from a Stoat which hugged the bank like an Otter.


Hmmm how do I get that cast in?

Sea fished from my new Caper kayak off the Roseland using some Snowbee Snakebite weighted jig heads. They worked wonders on the Pollack picking out the larger fish and unbelievably caught a nice 5lb Cod just a few 100 metres from the beach. It was coloured up like the kelp and fought like stink on my spinning rod. No Mackerel in attendance although I did see a large Seal playing with a big Bass just offshore at one of the beaches.

Surf small and unruley although managed some cleaner moments at Watergate and Perranporth.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Teifi trout..

A few shots from weekend of fishing in Wales on the Teifi with Dave and Red. No Salmon or Sewin but some nice wild Brownies.

Friday, 1 May 2015

River Marden on the fly...

After walking through the main street of Calne some years back and seeing a lovely wild Brownie standing station between the high walls I had always had a yearning to try and fish the upper parts of the River Marden on the fly. Chancing upon the Calne Angling Association website I noticed they had short window for fly fishing for trout between April and 16 June at just £5 for a day ticket. The waters were just downstream of Calne where the river could only be classed as a stream. Walking the bank I was pleasantly surprised with riffles, runs and deeper slow sections. There was lots of cover but it was not unmanageable. I made my way about mile downstream of where I had parked and worked my way back up. I spooked a number of good sized fish whilst walking the bank so hopes were high. Within minutes of fishing I was into my first fish - a palm sized gem took the nymph.

A typically confined run holding fish but difficult to present the fly

 As I moved upstream it was difficult to stop spooking fish as the water was clear and casting was restricted to not much more than a rod length.  The middle section had what appeared to be a derelict mill with large pools and wooded riffles. In my limited time I did not fish them hard but could see they had potential to harbour some big trout. Large Dark Olives were hatching in profusion and I failed to tempt some large rising fish. Eventually I hooked a couple of good sized wild fish on the nymph which gave good accounts of themselves in the fast flow.

As the day wore on I probably netted about half a dozen fish and lost a couple a more. It was a good wild trout fishery and I saw plenty of bigger fish than those I caught. Fishing from the bank was difficult so wading was required and it is not for the faint hearted with clay in places coaxing you into the deeper holes. 
A nice open section that held some fish.

Well pleased with a good few hours on a new stretch of river

Friday, 24 April 2015

Upper Chew for a change..

Fished the Upper Chew. Book suggested fishing hard with little sign of life/fish caught and some concerning comments about water quality. Still another lovely day I walked across the fields with promise as this was my first session on stream this season. The water level was actually OK and the water was clear. I headed for a productive bend where fish often congregate. Immediately saw a few rises so was optimistic. It wasn't long before I was into a few fish on both dry and nymph. All small wild Brownies.
Further upstream I saw a group of fish dimpling in a pool. To my amazement they turned out to be Roach  - I caught two on the nymph nice little males with spawning tubercles. I left them to it a fair way up from the lake incidentally, they would have had to swim through some really shallow runs  to get that far up. Last fish of the day was 2lb+ Rainbow which lumbered in a deep pool and then shot off to quick for my reaction snapping my 3lb leader with ease. Lovely few hours on the stream which still produces a few surprises.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Spring day on the Lower Chew

Fishing of late has not been easy. I can't quite put my finger on it whether I am expecting too much, or that the water temps are still low despite the mild weather or whether the water levels are just too low. Most of the holding spots are the deeper pools with very few rises to target. Today was no exception although I did manage a few fish on the nymph. I had two rises to the dry but they were half hearted attempts and did not result in a hook up.

After catching a nice WBT I came across a group of trout behaving in an unusual manner - almost shoaling and unfazed by my presence. I ran the nymph through several times and they only showed interest when I imparted some motion and not on dead drift. Once I worked out how to get them to take I hooked three fish from a square metre. All fairly similar in size with a silver complexion with poor fins I guessed they were small stocked fish as they didn't exhibit the normal buttery colour of Chew's WBT.
Brown stockie?
Last fish of the day a Rainbow of about 2lb that run me ragged on my little 3wt jumping clean of the water several times. Bright breezy day with Blackthorn and Dandelions in full flower.

Dandelions perhaps not great in your lawn but they do have their place!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Devon excursion fishing the Batherm and Exe

Another longer excursion to deepest darkest Devon. The contrast of this weekend from last couldn't have been more stark, wet wild and windy with higher temps. The afternoon was forecast to brighten up but it never did if anything it got worse. I met with Red with first stop Nick Hart's fishery where we had chat and picked some tokens for the West Country Passport beats. Nick suggested we try the Batherm and offered us some time on the Exe adjacent to his stillwaters. We set off to the Batherm first expecting a sunny afternoon back on the Exe. The Batherm was a great little stretch with riffles and pools. I caught 3 out of season Grayling and 4 palm sized WBT. The first Grayling was a lovely male fish all coloured up - if only I could select the type of fish with a fly as I felt uncomfortable disturbing them at critical point in the year. At one point Red and I watched a group of about half dozen good sized Grayling  spawning in a shallow run quite oblivious to our attention.



After covering pretty much all the beat we headed back to the Exe. The Exe was a different beast all together. When you spend so much time fishing small streams its difficult adjusting to a wide fast flowing body of water. I just went bigger with an 8'6" 5wt and heavier nymphs under more buoyant dries. It seemed to do the trick as within the first hour I had netted 3 Rainbows and a WBT. All on the nymph. In the end the weather beat us as squally winds and incessant rain called a halt to proceedings. Fished out and exhausted we headed back up the M5.

An Exe escapee of about 2lb.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Early start to the river season on the Wye and Usk at Longtown

Red and I set off on a cool cloudy morning in Bristol to fish the Longtown beat on the Wye and Usk Wild Streams. Pleasantly surprised by this lovely little stretch of the upper Monnow. An upland stream cascading through the Brecon's with a beautiful backdrop. The river was gin clear and fairly low but steely cold topping out on the thermometer at about 8C. We fished plenty of runs but found it tough with the deeper sections only showing signs of fish. By midday Large Dark Olives were trickling off frequently but rises were scarce. We had a couple of tugs each from fish in the deeper pools and I watched a small WBT chase my nymph in fished deep. After a short lunch break in the glorious sunshine we set off again changing tactics to heavier nymphs. I was rewarded immediately with a good fish and to my surprise it was lovely Grayling at at least 15" and well over a 1lb which I quickly returned.

The afternoon wore on even with the warming sun but it still did not bring the trout on the feed. Despite the hard fishing Dippers, Grey Wagtail and Wood Anemones added to the ambiance and contributed to a pretty special place.

Red casts to likely looking run.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Last few sessions of predator fishing on the Bristol Avon deliver a fine Perch

A quick few hours on the Avon with a duo approach of light spinning tackle and fly rod. I think the Pike must be a bit lethargic at the moment as I had some quick pulls but very few connections. Lots of follows by Perch in the 1lb range and luckily managed to bank my personal best stripey whilst jigging with a weighted black jelly eel. The fish must have been in the region of 3lb a great chunk of a thing - not on the fly but I was pleased and impressed the old Avon had turned up the goods.