Monday, 16 September 2013
Wye chub and newly hatched flies
When it comes to the fishing year, certain methods are perfect for certain seasons. You wouldn't go casting dry flies for rudd during December, or fish for pike in a heat wave. But there are also methods that seem to work whatever the conditions. Provided there is enough water clarity, streamer style flies will work for chub at any point in the season. Ok, so it might not be quite as "pure" as casting a dry fly and watching old rubber lips take a gulp; but the sudden shock of a fish battering a streamer is a singularly thrilling experience in its own right.
My guest for a guided trip on the Wye this week was Andrew Dean, all the way from the much warmer waters of South Africa. I had been crossing my fingers for mild, settled weather that didn't quite materialise, although the water was still fairly clear and we managed to locate some fish in inches of water in one of my favourite swims. Andrew managed a couple on big dry flies (and by big I mean BIG! a size 6 grasshopper worked well), also adding a tiny dace and a rather beautiful brown trout when we'd scaled down to a Klinkhamer and nymph combo. The main event was with the streamers however, wading into the vicinity of some craggy holes and Andrew steering both British and South African flies adeptly into the gaps (credit due for losing only one of my own special Woolly Buggers in the foliage!). As aggressive as these fish can be, a slightly slower, upstream and across presentation seemed to work best, giving the fly plenty of wiggle in the current. Time and again the line kept jolting tight, followed by some bludgeoning fights from the chub, including a hat trick over the 3lb mark. For a chilly September day that's great fishing:
One of the key parts to any fishing trip is having the right tools for the job. Where coarse fish are concerned, I get the feeling anglers have been rather short changed when it comes to flies. Not everyone ties their own and it is a major confidence boost to get your hands on tried and trusted patterns in the right sizes. Which leads me to some exciting news: I am currently working with Turrall to produce a special range of flies for coarse fish that will be for sale in the not too distant future! It was great to meet the team on a recent visit, tying up samples and sussing materials:
It is always a great source of satisfaction for me to provide fellow anglers with flies that work. I love developing my own patterns and get a real kick out of hearing about others' successes. Working with Turrall I hope to do this on a much bigger scale in future and it will be a great honour to have a range of flies under my name with this great Devon company, who have been turning out top quality flies for a good while longer than my thirty four years on this planet! I won't spoil the surprise just yet, but chub, dace, roach, rudd, perch and pike will all feature on a growing menu of tailor made flies for coarse fish. Watch this space for more details.