Monday, 2 May 2011
Scales, Spots & Sunshine
If fishing were about beauty rather than size, we'd all be having very different debates about the "perfect" fish. But would your vote go to a stocked or wild fish? Fishing for carp at Angler's Paradise I found my usual assumptions turned upside down after catching some stunning looking fish- not big, but the most incredible pearl gold coloured mirrors. The name "Fatboys" lake perhaps does a disservice to these perfectly proportioned carp which fairly glow in the sun.
The Angler's Nirvana section of the complex was as quiet as a mouse for our visit- a dead mouse perhaps, judging by the evidence we found on the bank! Last spring I was taken aback by the sheer beauty of a circling barn owl on the lush, grassy banks here- this time no owl, but plenty of evidence in the form of owl pellets:
Aside from some fun fishing, we had curry and a glass or three of wine at Zyg Gregorek's famous bar. It was also a good chance to bring my other half, Jo, back on the bank after a long absence. Predictably she caught the best fish- and lost a much bigger one too. Check out the links on my site for more on Angler's Paradise.
As for Devon's wild trout, the fishing has been surprisingly tricky on the streams. A bone dry April meant low river levels and not a great deal hatching on a visit to the South Yeo, part of the Westcountry Angling Passport scheme.
It proved to be a real hands and knees job. Beetles were the only creatures notable by their abundance, with occasional splashy rises telling their own story under the gnarled branches and undercut banks.
Having lost a decent fish, I managed a few smaller ones to diminutive traditional flies such as the Beacon Beige (see the site for last season's Total Flyfisher article on this fly)- but wished I'd tied a few more Coch-y-bonddu flies in small sizes to match the hatch. Never mind, it is great to be back on the streams- beautiful fish and beautiful places. I'll let you decide whether a brown trout or a golden mirror carp wins this week's beauty contest. Not entirely sure I can decide!