Saturday, 24 November 2012
Bread, flies & floods
Some things in fishing, you can legislate for. Others keep you guessing. The location of fish is just one area nobody can predict with unerring certainty. Such was the case on a pole fishing trip, where I fancied another crack on breadpunch with Russ Hilton. We picked the wrong pegs at first- there had been fish around Charlton before in this particular area, but we couldn't buy a bite for a whole hour- and punch seems to work quite soon or not at all. Undaunted, we upped sticks and took a walk before deciding on a new area. The banks were horrendous, but we could see lots of silvers and several pike nearby too. It was bite a chuck fishing from the off, but rather a struggle to get anything over about an ounce. The place was absolutely heaving with small silver bream, and in fact the only thing which prevented constant bites was the odd pike boiling in the swim and sending the little buggers scattering. In the end, we knocked the session on the head and grabbed pike tackle. Drifted deadbaits were accepted in no time at all, with several runs in the space of perhaps 90 minutes. The pike were on the small side, as is typical for the cut, but fun nevertheless. Otherwise, It has been a period of hectic sorting things out, including a trip to hospital rapidly followed by the final, concluding day for my Level 2 Angling Coaching badge. The paperwork has been a nightmare- but the course itself worthwhile and I've learned a lot. By the end of it I needed a relaxing day out somewhere, and fancied a bit of stillwater fly fishing. I also caught up with the two Adams, Aplin and Moxey, for whom the whole idea of "catch and take" trout fishing was totally new. A pretty scene at Blakewell it was to, and as well as trout we could spot perch in the margins. Sure these never used to be here- contrary to the wishes of the management to remove them, I like seeing perch in trout lakes. Adam managed to catch one on a damsel nymph, while things started slowly with the trout. The first hits came not on naturals, but by switching to a good old Woolly Bugger: Funny how fisheries can change. Once upon a time, it felt like the fishing was almost too easy at Blakewell. On this occasion things took a bit of sussing- and the fish seemed to want a lure presented nice and slow, rather than stripped aggressively. The real turning point was switching to that purist's nightmare, the blob. With less weight than the goldheads, this fly could be fished much slower without dropping into the weed and it led to a hectic final hour. It's always especially pleasing to introduce others to a new type of fishing too, and it was brilliant to watch Adam Aplin play a first ever rainbow trout that leapt clear three times before hitting the net. A third new species on the fly rod for Adam then- and one very happy camper! On a more sobering final note, the damage to the Grand Western Canal has been a horrible shock. Even to the most ardent fisherman, when folks have to be evacuated, it does put the welfare of fish into perspective. I gather there is now a floodwater lake formed near Greenways. For man and fish alike, let's just pray things settle down.