Saturday 20 December 2008

Naturally Does It


A long overdue jaunt to Bellbrook Valley saw a steely, misty day in pursuit of rainbows on imitative patterns. Lets face it- so much more subtle and rewarding doing it this way than yanking in lures. This time it was for Total Fly Fisher magazine- with the hope of taking fish close in on some natural patterns.
In my humble opinion, its a shame so few articles feature pictures of the natural trout food we seek to imitate. Bellbrook is phenomenal for natural invert life and didn't dissappoint- a quick dip saw tons of freshwater shrimps, hog lice, corixa and baby newts. Baby Newts? Yes- lots of them, not too dissimilar in profile to a wiggly damsel nymph pattern. Is this why the marabou tailed damsel is always such a staple at Bellbrook?
I wanted to keep on the smaller stuff to start with however, and the best patterns on the day were smallish shrimps and Daiwl bachs on a slow figure of eight retrieve- some ballistic fights ensued after very gentle takes and I can't wait to see photographer Simon Steer's impressions of a moody winter scene in print- along with some close ups of the naturals we copied.

Monday 8 December 2008

Breaking the Ice

An icy few days, to say the least. Strangely reassuring given all the current talk of global warming and a world utterly off kilter. The pike pictured above was one of three taken on Tiverton Canal on one of those mornings where your choice of swims is limited to those few areas not totally iced up! This one was around 6lb, along with a low double and a smaller fish.

Playing these fish was an experience in itself- the smaller samples in particular were surprisingly lively. The impression of the line cutting a trail through the ice, accompanied by an eerie, sweet and sharp shattering sound is one that will certainly stay with me- such a contrast to the dead still of the morning and the glazed calm of the water.

I have also been testing a secret weapon, up for review shortly- namely the new "Pike Bombers" -predator swimfeeders from Baitbox. I can remember messing about with feeders and chopped fish for pike before- this seems like a hassle free version on that theme. Results seem promising so watch this space for a full review.

Otherwise, life is still topsy turvy, with full weekends of work and mondays off! I have no complaints, given the current climate and it also lets me get thoroughly immersed in some fishing when venues are deserted. This shot comes from Somersets bleak but strangely beautiful River Tone. I love the wide open spaces here, and the golden last light was just perfect on this especially frosty afternoon: