Thursday 25 September 2008

A Load of Carp?

Coombelands 13

Cooler days are here again, along with clear, icy starts that seem to make for fairly slow fishing. I get the feeling I should be trying the rivers, but instead have been tackling carp waters. A trip with my old man resulted in the beautiful common above, not the biggest fish ever, but a stunningly conditioned creature, leathery gold and all muscle. And that was it for the day out at Coombelands- the intention was to compare old and modern styles of fishing, but this wasn't the best day to give anything a trial except our patience!

More recently still, I've been shadowing top all rounder Paul Hamilton for a forthcoming feature, which has been interesting stuff. Creedy was the venue- sometimes a tough nut when the nights are cold. How blinkered are we though, when it comes to carp? You'd think at Creedy that the only form of fishing that existed was a static trio of bolt rigs. Not for Paul though- who uses some canny tactics, including freelined and floatfished naturals such as prawn, to good effect. I'm saying no more for now though- that can wait for Angler's Mail!

Sunday 7 September 2008

The best laid plans...

Specimen Grayling

More washed out fishing trips for end of summer- I am now actually confirmed mad, having been out on some ridiculous days. Yes, sometimes the fishing is good on dour days- but there's dour and then there's COMPLETELY VILE & INSANE weather.

A real highlight however has been a trip to Wales. I absolutely love Wales. Tons of wild rivers, great fishing and friendly people. The Camarch Hotel where we stayed is a prime example- stunning scenery, a warm welcome and two rivers so close you could almost reach them with a double haul from your bed room.
I was after one a monster though, if I'm honest, one of those "once or twice a season 'oh shit!' fish". No joy on the Usk- although it was absolutely breathtaking and we did score with several 10-12" browns.
It was the Irfon where we really struck gold however next day- funny how in fishing a search for one thing can lead to something surprising and totally different to expectations. In this case it was a section of river absolutely stacked with grayling. Pure perfection- you know the swim, steady, slightly deeper water, far bank cover... after a tough start we had about two hours of fantasy fishing with many beautiful Grayling, topped by a 2.4lb specimen pictured above- a fish I will treasure for a long time. The only very slight pity is that I couldn't grab a better image. Is it me, or are Grayling the worst behaved of all fish bar eels?!! Even so- she went back well and the experience is more important than the celluloid.