Friday, November 7, 2008

It's a big river down here

I decided to give the lower Eden a look today, maybe not the best idea - it was bitterly cold with a quite severe upstream wind which would make fishing a touch uncomfortable as you don't get a lot of shelter down here.

The river looked dead - no flylife about and consequently no sign of any surface activity. It was too cold to mess about with too many changes so I decided the best idea was to zip up tight to keep the wind out, get the bugs on, stick with them and search.

The Eden is a big river down here and those not used to it may find it quite intimidating, but like any other large expanse of water you just need to break it down into likely fish holding areas, then fish what you can and where you can as efficiently as possible.

One method that is becoming quite popular down here is to suspend your bugs below a bite indicator - I know some are against bite indicators and say it's float fishing and not fly fishing - although it's not a method I use a lot as I find it a bit boring I have nothing against anyone that does employ it as on some days, especially in the depths of winter, the indicator can be the difference between success and failure, it can also be a very effective way of searching large and sometimes inaccessible areas of water like we have here on the lower river.

Sport was slow today and as usual with sub-surface fishing depth was crucial , constantly changing weight to suit water velocity and depth did produce a few Grayling with most takes coming when the bugs were bouncing bottom - I did have to resort to the indicator in some areas.
The fish remain in excellent condition and definitely seem to punching above their weight so far this winter.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

First Outing

We managed our first outing of the winter on the Eden this weekend and were rewarded with eighteen fish between us and a few missed and lost.
The river was relatively low and clear, and with no sign of any surface activity we both set up with bugs - the starting method was short line or Czech nymphing.
I nearly had the perfect start with a fish second cast but it dropped off as I brought it to the net, this was quickly followed by a 15 3/4" (39cm) grayling, then another dropped - three chances in the first six casts, the fish in excellent condition and fighting hard - this had the makings of a good day.

We saw our first trickle of olives at about 1230 and the odd fish started to show an interest in them, sport on the bugs had slowed and I was contemplating a change to a team of spiders when Andrew beat me to it, so I decided to persevere with the bugs as I was still picking up the odd fish.

Andrews change was justified when he took a fish on a Greenwell's spider and rose two others before they started to ignore the spiders - a quick change to a dry fly produced a missed take.
Fish continued to rise sporadically throughout the afternoon but on closer inspection we found that there was midge on/in the surface and after watching several olives float downstream untouched we decided that the grayling were more than likely on these.

I continued to take fish on the bugs right up until dark, although since early afternoon when we first saw fish rising, they did seem to want the bug higher in the water with most fish coming to the top dropper as the team swung downstream and began to lift.