Tuesday 28 October 2008

Lady Gray

Grayling time on the Lyd is always a bit of a bitter sweet affair- some beautiful fishing at Sydenham, with some stunning grayling, but also the prospect of a long wait before you can return.
On this occasion I was joined by top snapper Paul Hamilton, to try to capture the rich colours of autumn as well as some grayling. Well, that was the plan anyway; it was typically slow in the morning and not brilliant for aesthetic purposes either.
I always find Grayling a real paradox- fussy and elusive one day, stupidly gullible the next. But what an exotic looking, ornate creature for a cold English stream. This trip required persistence though, as my best tied bugs, shrimps and czech nymphs were ignored for the first couple of hours. Worse still, I was facing a ribbing from Paul, by his own admissions not a fly fisher. And then the inevitable comment:"What you need is a couple of maggots!"
Very satisfying then, when finally I found a productive swim. A pink shrimp did the business for two half pounders, before the unthinkable happened- rise forms and a fish that weighed over a pound to a Klinkhamer. A beautiful male fish too, with a classic, sail fin. And not a maggot in sight...

Sunday 12 October 2008

Less than ideal conditions...

What a strange week! I've had two Exeter Canal pike blanks, getting up early before work, preparing meticulously and finding favourable conditions. Today it looked all wrong- sunny, clear and lots of boat disturbance. But at the highly sociable hour of 2 30 pm I finally hit a fish, a hard fighting mid double that took a roach deadbait.
Exeter Canal 14.08
Very sweet after all those hours of nothing- but what exactly is the moral of the story? Pay no attention to conditions? Get up late? Go fishing on a whim and prepare at the last minute?
In actual fact, the more military my preparation is, the less of a pleasure the actual fishing is, whereas a spontaneous, spur if the moment trip can be just as fishing should be- a joy.
The big canal pike was a nice highlight to several boring hours-but not as much fun as an afternoon on Tiverton canal in the week when work was cancelled at short notice. Chucking a few bits in a bag and finding a pretty spot, I had some cracking roach, rudd and perch on caster- followed by two jack pike taken in an hour with lures. So simple, but so satisfying catching even small fish in clear water, watching them all take. No grand ambitions other than killing time on a sunny afternoon.

Saturday 4 October 2008

Cooling Off

Autumn Roach

Roach fishing is always such a nice diversion- with the mass hysteria generated by carp, many of us have forgotten what beautiful fish they are. They are NOT nuisance fish, only suitable for pike bait. Nor are they unworthy of attention- unless you're just another of those sad cases who can only raise a grin for an enormous, bloated lump of a fish.
Actually I should have made this Roach trip months ago, when there was some semblance of summer. For some reason, I chose Goodiford Mill, perhaps because the roach fishing is pretty unexploited here. Hempseed and caster didn't yield a mega catch, and a cold morning meant that it was a challenge to winkle out a modest net. Apart from the odd little "pair of eyes" the fish here seem a good average size; and what beautifully coloured fish they are, with those bluish silver scales and orange fins.