Monday, 30 August 2010
Black Clouds & Rainbows
Next time you go fishing, just ignore those little symbols on the forecast. Reality check: they can't predict the weather. The Met Office may as well try stroking crystals, consult the dead or go through some tea leaves. A beter solution is just to be prepared and remain philiosophical, as was the case for trip to Hawkridge Reservoir.
Does poor weather make for any fishing better than blistering heat? Often not and high winds make it harder to present flies properly. Even so, amongst the waves there was the occasional sign of activity. Having expected lures and the dreaded (but useful) blob to be the most realistic way of buying a take or two, the reverse proved accurate. No pulls on the bright stuff, so using as long a leader as I dared, on went the buzzers and crunchers. After an initially dead two hours a fish moved within casting range, the fly line quickly drawing away as a cruncher was taken on the drop.
It was real a baptism of fire for Seb Nowosiad- high winds and a choppy boat do not make ideal conditions for a first serious crack at fly fishing. At one point we simply had to get on land and shelter as the rain pelted down. As we soldiered on some signs were positive, however, such as odd rises and grebes working the edges for fry. Bizarely the weather then turned fairly pleasant and in the early evening calm I could finally get away with a 20ft leader and present my nymphs more convincingly to the odd feeding trout.
The shallow far end also looked more alive with a few sporadic insects coming off and two more rainbows arrived, one to a smallish buzzer and the last and best at two and a half pounds on the cruncher. Hard work, but worth persisting.
Otherwise it was my pleasure to take a fellow angler out for a first taste of wild river fishing. Water levels were too high in many places so we resorted to the high ground and clearer conditions of Dartmoor, now fishable on the Westcountry Angling Passport (www.westcountryangling.com) for £10 a day.
The moor is simply beautiful and what a place to cast for trout. Alec Bellington took three wild brownies after a few pointers, each one possessing that raw cut beauty unique to these moorland trout. The areas of stream where the flow is concentrated and rushes through a little "bottleneck" were especially tempting. Did you ever see a trout as dark as this?: