Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First Pike on the fly

Below is a photo of my first fly caught Pike - it was 15lbs (approx.7kgs) and was certainly one of the highlights of my 2007 season.

I thoroughly enjoyed the outing and had one more that season when I was fortunate enough to get 5 fish but none as large as that first one.

I didn't manage to get a Pike outing in 2008 but it is certainly something I would love to do more of given the time and money to buy the gear necesary.

You can never say never but if I do get into it, it will not be in the near future as finances will not allow it at the moment - I think my main and only purchases in 2009 will be another trip to Lough Corrib in Ireland and a Salmon licence - it was my 50th year in 2008 and having given in to an urge I've had for some time now (I decided to start Salmon fishing again after many years away from it), my present from my wife was a new Salmon fly rod.
So it could be a busy time at the vice for me - tying for the new Trout season, tying for Corrib and now I'll need some Salmon flies.

Tomorrow is the last day of 2008 and I'm going to see it out with a day for the Grayling - I hope it's not as cold as it was today - it was still -6 mid morning and didn't get above freezing all day.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jack Frost returns

I woke up today to find the frost had returned - everything was white, so I decided to delay my outing until lunchtime.

The banks stayed frozen all day and with the river looking lifeless I set up with the bugs but sport was slow today and I didn't get a touch for the first hour, then a good grayling came to the pink bug on the point.

Sport remained slow and another hour of trying different areas and depths passed before I took my next fish, a trout, again to the pink bug.
I decided to give the flats a go with the indicator and this got me two more grayling before the light was lost.
The reason for it being so slow? - I'm not sure, it could have been the sudden drop in temperature after it has been so mild, I have had this before in similar conditions - I don't think they are shoaling up yet (even though they can be hard to locate on a big river like the Eden when they do) as the three grayling I caught today were well apart and usually if you hit a shoal one fish almost always leads to more.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lost weekends

So far December has been a complete loss as far as Grayling outings are concerned, the river has been up every weekend, snow melt brought it up the first weekend and rain in the latter half of weeks two and three meant those weekends were lost also.

My last outing was a short affair at the end of November - it was during the cold spell, the day started and stayed bitterly cold with a severe frost and a freezing mist hanging over the river.

I'd decided not to bother but by lunchtime temptation had got the better of me so I loaded my gear into the van - that was after thawing my wading boots - they were frozen stiff after being in the garage all night.
I don't know if you've heard the saying 'More skins than an onion' but that was me today - my neoprene waders are leeking so it was out with the gortex ones and to make up for the lack of insulation 4mm of neoprene provides, I had a few layers on - two pairs of thermal longjohns, a pair of thick fleece pants, two pairs of socks, thermal vest and two fleece shirts - I could hardly move !

I got to the river at 2 o'clock, so it would be a short session as it would be dark by 4.30 - it was too cold for anything longer anyway.
The start couldn't have been better with fish 2nd, 3rd and 4th casts, all coming to a pink bug - pink works really well for me at this time of year.
These fish all came on the hang - which was surprising as I expected them to be deep in the cold and lifeless conditions, the rest of my catch didn't disappoint with all coming when the flies were at their deepest - takes were gentle with only the slightest movement indicating a take but all fought well.
It was too cold to get my hands wet so they were played to within reach as quickly as possible then gripping the barbless fly, the fish were shaken off and all swam off without any problem.

So my last outing was very cold and very short, and now after a few lost weekends I'm desperate to get out again - looking at the river and the weather forecast it looks like it's this weekend.

Merry Christmas and many tight lines in 2009 to you all