Friday 26 June 2009

Ellastone 'the grey duster is a killer'

The weather conditions were great today and i knew Ellastone would be a good option, arriving at half eight i walked up from the bridge to see a huge hatch going off and rises all over the river, I soon tackled up and got in amongst them, I have started to fish the slower part of Ellastone because i find it harder fishing and it gives me great satisfaction to catch there, The rises were sips with head fin and tail rises, I could see lots of black sedges hovering over the water and emerging, from my lesson i have been told that these are taking emergers, i opted for a ballon caddis, fishcake emerger!, and a small f fly, i had little slashes and managed to catch a few but lots of fish were just ignoring them, this really gets on my nerves and i am obsessed with matching the munch, I got that pissed off i put on a small hairs ear nymph and fished it two inches under the surface which got me into a very good fish, i played the fish for a good five minuites and it was giving me a right run around, i give my fish really hard hammer now as i have had trouble reviving the fish this year and try to get them in as soon as possible, this seems to have done the job. I could not get this fish near the surface and it was plodding proving i was into a good fish, I got the fish near to me and it just bolted when it saw me and dived into the weed, i waded across to try and free it but the fish had freed the hook!!, gutted! another big fish goes missing on me again, this reminds me of my barbel fishing days, hook a clunker which takes you days of stalking and baiting up only to hook it and lose it!
Well i do not fish the nymph normaly but i had to do something to get a take, but this method did not producer anything after losing taht fish, i opted to go and get my new kelly kettle going and sit and enjoy the surrounding to chill me out, i got the idea of a Kelly Kettle from Mick Martin who uses one regular, i can see why as they are a great way to have a nice fresh cup of tea and relax, i sat with squire and wood the other night and we just sat around and talked general fishing and stuff while drinking fresh coffee, Squire texted me the next day to say 'it proves there is more to fishing than catching fish' this could not be more true and nights like that are not forgotten..
I soon got back in the river and started to fish the sedge inmatations again with fish totally ignoring them, i saw a couple of olive coming off and thought of trying something different than sedge, i went for a grey duster which absolutly killed the fish!! i was taking a fish from every rises i saw, I had very good sport until the bats came out which was time to call it a night, catching on the duster has just confused me so much more as i was thinking they were on the sedge all night??

Well a great night on a great stretch of river but a confusing one?
If anyone knows why why the duster did so well please let me know as i am confused!!



Saturday 20 June 2009

Ellastone 'a lesson in matching the munch'

Went to Ellastone tonight again, started to fish at the bridge section, the wind was very blustery and with a nice hatch going on the fly life was struggling to get off the river and therefore a nice easy prey for the trout, rises were almost everywhwere and it reminded me of a mayfly hatch when trout are hitting them, I started to fish off the bank side to stop spooking any fish but could not get any takes on quite a few of my favorite flys, i have been recently studying fly life with reading up and photos ect supplyied by Matt ( north country angler), I decided to wade in at the bridge end to see what was coming off, i started to see small olives saling down with wings upright drifting all over the place like windsurfers, the problem was i could not take any of them to inspect because the trout were nailing them before they could even get to me!! eventualy a got one and they were the smallest olives i have seen, they were around size 20/22 with very slim light brown ribbed body and upright wings, nothing in my fly box could match the size so i did the usual and went through the fly box, the fish were taking them and other flys were totally ignored, this was a good lesson for me, i had been standing in the river for over a hour trying to get a take and the fish were rising right around me, one very good sized brown was rising 3ft away from me and i stood quitely and watched the fish for over a half a hour, this was amazing and i saw how a trout works while feeding, it would drift down to its holding postition and watch a drifting olive and always swim back when the fly had gone over its head and calmly sip the fly away, this made me realise how important it is to cast say 10ft over where i had seen the rise, i had stopped fishing now as i new i would have nothing in my box to succeed, this was giving me far more a lesson than reading any books at home, i also noticed that the smaller fish would be more aggressive and hit flys harder making more of a surface splash, the large trout would take a olive somtimes with hardly any disturbance.
On studying the fly i made my mind up that the olives were bwo, but not too sure because of how small they were?
I did catch nine fish in the end when the light dropped and the black sedge took over the olives, including a rainbow that took me on merry dance, all caught in the space of a hour..



Thursday 18 June 2009

Ellastone 'on the sedge'

Fished Ellastone tonight with Dave (wood) off the forum, new member of DRAC,
Met Dave on the bridge at elly, had a quick look and conditions looked just right slight bit of colour and running around normal, Dave has never fished this run and is quite new to the game so we decided to wade together and walk through the stretch taking turns in casting to rising fish, i showed him some of the spots where i have taken fish in the past, it started quite slow with not many fish rising and we took around 4 fish working our way up, as we got to the water flow pipe things started to pick up and we picked up some nice wild fish around half a pound, as the light faded the river came alive to emerging black sedge, soon we started to take quite a few fish, i think Dave was a bit nervous with the wading but he will get used it, i know it well and he will soon..
As the bats started to come out we knew it was time to call it a day, we had a great night and Dave is a joy to fish with, his enthusiasm is matching mine and we had a good laugh wading through together, nights like this are what fishing is all about...



Sunday 14 June 2009

Dovedale 'last light of magic'

Went to Dovedale for the last couple of hours last night, arrived to see lots of anglers fishing the fast section, wish i had gone to Ellastone, too many anglers for me still hoping of a mayfly rod bend, decided to not really fish much and go fish spoting, All the anglers were having a very hard time with only a few fish here and there being caught, I watched a nice fish in the fast section chasing emerging Mayfly, there were no rises and its obvious these fish are on the Mayfly nymph, Met up with Roger who had taken a few, had a nice chat with him and we wandered back down towards the car park, Roger needed to get off early due to work so i stayed until all the other anglers had gone, i find it hard to see why so many fisherman go as soon as the light turns, my 29 years of fishing has shown me that this time produces nights to remember, in my barbel days i have taken over 5 10lb plus fish in this last hour and i think the same goes for all fishing.
There was a huge hatch of sedge which put the fish into a slashing frenzy, I put on a caddis fly but did not get any takes! a valuable lesson was learnt when i went to a bigger caddis which matched the size coming off and i took 7 fish in half a hour, 'size matters'
I took a nice stock fish with blue spot which was dispatched and eaten when i got home, when gutting the fish it was full of mayfly nymph and a small trout!!
A great night and the last hour was all it needed.


Saturday 13 June 2009

Dovedale 'Alex finds the hatch'

Went to Dovedale tonight, arrived aroung five, met up with Alex Swann for the first time and we decided to fish together for the night, two Stoke lads in Dovedale would usually be poachers!! Even though Alex lives in the posher part he is still a Stokie!
I dropped in in the first pool above the bridge and saw some Fat kid just wading through the river right past me, i can handle this because these fish are so used to it, it proved that when i hooked a nice wild fish 1 minuite after he had waded through! Alex joined me then and we briskly cast to spots on the way up, fish were not rising, as we stood together fishing a pool a Asian lad walked straight inbetween us and walked into the river, Alex was furious and i had a few words, to be honest i dont think they realised what they were doing because they appolagised.
Half way up from the Bridge we had two pro photgraphers taking pictures of us which created a stir, and the crowds were watching us like we were film stars! Alex looked the part in his Paul Smith Hat and i looked a right twat in my Aussie style hat!!
We caught a few upto the Stones and then walked right into the middle streches where Alex showed me the quality runs, Alex is so layed back he is nearly horizontal, we hardly fished and spent the night chatting which was nice from my usual hard fishing approach, it made me appreciate the quality surroundings. Fishing was poor really and rises were far and few all night, i think the May fly is over.
We met up with Adam off the forum who had taken lots of fish earlier and was proper enjoying himself, he had taken his first 2lber and was buzzing.
Alex and walked upstream and only cast to bits of rises but was very hard going, even though fishing was hard Alex is a joy to spend time with and his cool chilled out attitude is refreshing. We made our way back down to the stones and met up with Adam who also had found it harder fishing, We all sat by the stones for ten and then fished casualy down to the car park, I have hooked a very large fish in a certain spot and she only comes out to play at last light, I saw it rising again and we could not get it to take anything, Alex come into play as i sat back and took the piss saying he had got to prove his skill here!! Alex started to look what it was taking and matched the hatch, he tied his fly on and after a few casts the huge fish came and took the fly but Alex did not connect, gutted! The boil the fish left was huge, again this fish has decevied me, Nice to see Alex show what a good angler he is by matching what this fish was taking, you only get one chance at a big fish like this and it then was put down.
Adam hooked into a fish further down but the hook pulled and i took a small brown in the fast run..
A really realaxed evening a great to meet Alex, a happy go lucky chap and a quality angler..


Thursday 11 June 2009

Bentley Brook or Bentley spook!!

Fished Bentley brook tonight, the river was extremely low and clear for the rain that we have had, met Alex, new member of Laddfa, we had a quick chat over whats been happening around the rivers, We saw a fish rise and Alex offered me to have a go in his pool so i willingly tied on a bwo spinner and took the fish on the third cast, a beautiful small wild trout with bright red spots.
I have been in touch with Matt (North Country Angler) who fishes the Eden, he has been great to me and is always willing to help me where ever possible, i love to read his posts and it shows what a knowledgeable fly fisherman he is, his love for the sport is equal to mine.
I needed to start learning more about which flys are hatching on the water as feel this holds me back sometimes in catching more fish, instead of using attractor patterns as many do..
i put this to Matt and he has posted me a cd with all his pictures of the fly life on his rivers with a description of how to see which type they are, I will return the favour to him soon, I will be going to fish the Eden with him soon and he is going to guide me through this great river, i hopefully will return the favour of a session on the Dove at Dovedale..
Well i have studied some of the flys and as i walked down to the river tonight i saw a cloud of spinners above me, i started to jump around to catch one with the amusement of a couple in a car!! every time i try to catch a fly, walkers always seem to see me jumping and chasing flys and i feel a right twat!!
Well i caught one and looked at my pictures to see that it was a BWO spinner, this was a nice feeling as i would not have had a clue normally, I then tied on a bwo spinner and caught the small brownie mentioned earlier, This felt great and what fly fishing is all about for me,
I am learning so much because i always listen to good anglers and take on board what they have told me, and practise allot!!
I only fished for a hour as the temp went right down, i saw a few rises here and there but if you fart the fish get spooked, the water is also down and gin clear which makes it worse..
A nice night to be out and looking forward to the weekend


Tuesday 9 June 2009

Dovedale (mayfly to sedge)

Went to Dovedale tonight,arrived around half seven....

Thursday 4 June 2009

River dove Ellastone (Losing out to a proper clunker)

If people wonder why i get out fishing so much, well this is down to being self employed and a rather easy going mrs, i could go and work my heart out and work every hour under the sun, but i am am not made up like that, as long as i have enough money to pay for my family and fishing i am happy, 'its a long time dead'
Well the fishing...
Decided to go to my favorite Ellastone which i have not given much time to as recently joining LADDFA, this river has been very good to me and has my best fishing memories that i will never forget, i had great sessions last year landing 2lb rainbows and my never to forget first 9lb 14oz Salmon.
Arrived around 1 oclock and waded in a the bridge section, Fly life was very quite and the odd rise here and there, the wading is quite deep here but i deceided to try and wade the whole strech which i have never done, I am 6ft and the water was coing about a 12 inches off the top of my waders which is about as far as i dare to go, i know i am out of my depth when you start to bob! which is not a nice feeling..Wading takes some learning and a good knowledge of the river is a must, Kev Harrision off the forum is the best wader i have seen, he knows every rock and deep hole through his rivers..
I started with the trusty adams which did not get me any rises but the fish were down and not showing much interest, the weather was cloudy and a touch nippy but the sun came out which started a lovely hatch of those Mays, rises started with trout taking emergering mayfly then onto full blown slashy rises, i started to take fish all the way up, most fish around getting on for a pound, i have started to hammer into the fish and land them as quick as possible due to having to revive some of my trout, but this is causing me to lose more fish as they are thrashing around when i get them towards the hand..
Having waded half way up the strech i was fishing spots i have never fished before due to staying in the river, there is a lovely deep hole with a overhanging tree just up from the water pipe, this must not get fished much and i took a cracking brownie of around a pound and half, I have never seen a bad looking fish at Ellastone and all were fin perfect, i had taken lots of fish so calmed down to see if i could cast to bigger fish, the fishing was getting too easy and this somewhat can spoil it for me, i have seen so many fly anglers out on may fly who never fish at any other time which i find quite wrong, each to ther own but my 4 year old girl could catch around Mayfly,
Around March i have seen a hole that holds a very large trout which never even looked at my fly, it was there rising freely today, on my third cast i hooked it, you know its special when the run is 20 yards and hugging deep, i managed to get some sort of control and it came around me downsream, i knew i was in trouble but got it 4ft away from me and saw it was a huge brown, bigger than anything i have seen in the dove, After shouting 'F*uck me' noticing the size, the fish shook it head and the hook pulled, i was gutted, a fish i dream of and it just showed its huge tail and drifted off slowly as to say f*uck you,
Well my aim is to catch a proper clonker this year but i think that was my chance, i know some fisherman always say fish were bigger but this was a proper lock jaw i estimate to be 20 inches or bigger..
I went on to catch lots more fish and one getting on for two pounds, driving home i was happy with the great fishing but gutted about the loss of a clunker..
I know where its home is and where it feeds so will get him this season, In a funny way i cant wait for the mayfly to end and get back to normality, i bet there are some that think i am mad saying this but thats how i feel..



Monday 1 June 2009

Fishcakes cripple takes clunker!!

Finished tea tonight with my family and asked the mrs if i could get the last rise in while mayfly is still on, been fishing so much just lately felt a bit guilty but only a bit..
Was heading for Lordsbridge but at last min i decided to go for Dovedale, it only takes me 20 mins to get to dovedale and the same for Lords bridge so both are a nice local river for me.
I arrived at eight but this time of year you can have good sport in a hour or so, tackled up on the car park and walked over the bridge only to see the best rise of olives, and mayfly i have ever seen, it was that big, walkers were running away from the flys swarming!
In the first pool the trout were really going mad, hitting the Mays, it was like every trout there were on the hatch, like a nob i had no mayflys with me so opted for a large DHE.
I took a nice fish on my first cast, then the second and the third, I new i would have to calm down so opted to move on and only cast to the bigger rises in hope of a large fish.
The river was alive with game trout hitting the Mays.
I moved futher up from the bridge and bumped into Gary (Fishcake on the Forum), he had been taking trout all the way up and said he had around 10 fish in a hour or so, he was on his way back but stayed with me for a hour giving me valuable advice on this strech, by this time it had calmed down slightly so we casualy fished a few pools, Gary gave me one of his own tied Mayfly cripples which got me a few more fish, Gary showed me a few different methods of casting styles, one which twiched the line at the end of your cast to give you more slack on the water to get a better prentation where the fly would fish longer than my normal cast, will take me some practise to get it right..
As Gary was walking over the bridge i hooked a really good fish in a deep fast pool which i had seen rising but not got it to take until i put the Fishcake cripple over it.. this fish went nuts and took me on a merry dance, Gary shouted across that my rod looked like it was going to snap!! Gary came back and i landed a lovely wild brown heading for the two pound mark, this fish had my heart racing and one of my best from the Dove yet. There is no feeling better than feeling your rod loop over to a good fish ask it heads deep towards a snag..Gary took a couple of photos and left, i fished up the pools to the stones and took another 4 fish, as the temperature dropped at dark the rises went, the sedges were swarming all over late on, i was made up with my large brown so opted to get off on a good note,
I would like to thanks Gary for spending some time guiding me and also for the 'Fishcake Cripple'

Nice one