Sunday 20 April 2014

'The Buttercup Horse'

Its still April and i am still in shock over how much good fortune i have had on my Derbyshire  rivers, the warm mild winter has obviously had much to do with this..
Around 1 o'clock in the afternoon there has been a regular trickle of the hardy Large Dark Olive which has given me excellent sport, my chosen fly has been the Jingler that is being used all across the uk by many anglers due to it sheer effectiveness, i do however feel that this fly is a early season fly and when the fish start to get wised up i will be transferring to the JT olive that has been proven for me time and time again for any olive pattern that comes off our rivers.
I am still quite on a high from my previous catch of the 4lb 2oz wild brown trout, only us fisherman know what it feels like to catch something you hunt for years and to be honest i will be buzzing for a few months...
Over the years i have learnt many techniques but small stream stalking has tested me right to the max in Fly fishing.. A broken twig or vibration from 20 yards away and your fucked in this game, these huge trout are wised up, they are looking for prey on top of eating!!
Last week i took a stroll down the river while unhooking a 1lb trout i saw a rise further upstream on a bend in the corner of my eye, maybe fishing has made me so alert these days i seem to be aware of everything around me, i creeped up on my hands and knees and saw a butter cup beauty sipping olives! a sight that never fails to pump the heart stronger... it was another horse too!
This fish was moving around the pool looking for olives and eating every one it could find...
I did not mess about i just patently waited for the fish to present its self in a good casting position and then chucked it into the food lane..
To see a big brown take a dry fly so calmly is magic to my eyes, the splashy sedge hits are good but you know you are fishing everything right with a olive dun when the take it in slow motion, another nerve jangler to say the least.
I set the hook hard and it went berserk, i shall not go into detail but it took me around 10 mins to land, it bolted down stream taking line then bolted straight across me up stream bouncing through snags!!
Finally when i lifted the net i realised i had caught another very special fish...
'the buttercup horse' at 3lb 4oz  
Without sounding like a twat i caught another fish that topped the 3lb mark but i had to walk away from the river after soul had been healed and more would of been pure greed to carry on...
'living the dream' has never meant so much
Nice one
3lb 4oz buttercup horse

the fish controlling me!!

Monday 14 April 2014

Huge Wild Brown Trout PB has me Trembling

Well as i have spoken in my previous blog post, the early season fishing has been quality for me and just to add the my thrills i had one of them moments that will stay with me for ever.
We all like different styles of fishing and i have done many but stalking big fish has always been my thing, i can sit for hours not casting a rod waiting for a moment to catch that special trout, i just returned back from a trip to Islay on the scottish lochs to see my mate David Wood who now lives there, i had opted to fish for the hard lochs with huge fish, this can be frustrating for many flogging the water all day long without nothing but this does not bother me in the slightest, i just know what could happen and this drives me on..
I did flog a Islay hill loch all day long and hit into what i could only describe as a horse of a wild trout, the hook pulled away as it streamed off  leaving me gutted but even more keener to get my goal..

Back home on the Dove there has been huge hatches of LDO that have really bought the fish on big time and i have caught some awesome fish but what happened a few days ago still has me walking around in a daze!!

Around 1 oclock i packed my tools on my van and headed off to my river, i was running late as i knew there would be hatches coming off around 12 o'clock.
Turning up at the river it looked just right, overcast and a warm breeze, bit of sun peaking through to raise the early season spirit...
now walking through my river i noticed the olive hatch was in full swing, the pools i had fished previously had the browns inches from the surface sipping away, i had already caught a few of these resident fish and i would not even think about targeting them again until the end of the season..
I walked to a unknown pool on a big deep bend and peered into the water looking for trout, i saw nothing and could not believe this amazing looking pool would not have a trout in there, i then turned away and under my feet i noticed something, oh my god, there was a huge trout and i mean once in a lifetime trout sitting inches under the surface in a back eddy....I froze instantly....i had to look again to believe my eyes, yes it was real...
Now i started to turn my stalking senses on,  i was stood there frozen as not to spook this old warrior,  i was planning already how i would approach this fish... i would have to get behind the fish and run my fly around the eddy, something that was very hard but still possible, a over branch was in its cover and i knew i did not have a chance for a fuck up cast..
My heart started to race as i saw the horse rise to a large dark olive, it looked unreal as its huge kype was breaking the surface tension, this fish eating trout was obviously very hungry as it looked too big to rise..
I shortened my leader down to 8ft with a 4lb tippet, heavy yes buti would need to really get stuck into this fish...its hole was obvious, it was about 5 ft away to a huge tree root in a 5ft hole...i knew what i had got to do but could i?
As i watched this fish taking olives from behind it i could see how bigit really was as it turned on itss flank...i then stripped my leader and went up-to 5lb flouro straight through!!
Sitting behing a fish that you have dreamed to catch all your life is the so exciting but a complete nightmare, i was making mistakes, tying a shit knot to the jingler, i had to calm down which i did..

There is was with my bow and arrow cast loaded up....i pinged it through a few branches and caught the fucking tree...was my fish of a lifetime over?? paused, so did i, it knew something was not right, and then it flicked its fins again and rose to another olive pheeeewwwwww
I then pulled the fly slowly from around the branch, it lopped around and did not hook up...yesssssss i thought...
My second cast landed a bit short, it did not matter, it turned and whaoppled it, that moment you cannot describe in words and only a angler can feel it...
I watched it fully take the fly and set the hook home with my trusty side strike...the feeling of the hook setting home was amazing, the trout just paused a moved to the left and i was in shock, i think the fish was until about 5 seconds when it realised it was under threat, it bolted for its hole, the 5lb flouro was the key i really did bollock into the fish and it did not stop it, my 5 weight rod just bevelled completely out and i had to adjust myself to get more power in, i managed to turn it but it opted to scream upstream of me, my drag was too tight and the rod was lunging, i took a few clicks softer on the drag and it ran perfectly around the pool keeping full tension on..
The moment it broke the surface i knew it was more special that i had thought, i was thinking, 'is this a salmon.? thats when you know your into a special fish when you question what it is...
I played the fish for over 5 minutes and i could honestly say there were times in the fight i was totally out of control!! this fish was a pure wild angry beast and boy it let me know...
The fish barely went in my net, i left him in the water and never raised the net, a method i use all the time now, this is too help the fish 'get its wind' i really do think this  is the  difference in a trout surviving be imagine having a boxing match then someone putting there hand over your nose and mouth!!!
I sat there and fell back on the bank, i had done what i had dreamed off, a huge wild trout on drys!!
lifting the fish was a amazing feeling, holding a fish that looked so big to its surrounding...
weighed on my £50 Salters it went the magic 4lb 2oz !!
A few pictures and as i let it go back i spoke to myself and thought of my mucker Steve Cullen, 'ITS A HORSE' in a scottish accent!!
4lb 2oz PB

Monday 7 April 2014

Early Season on the trout is good for the soul

Early sesason for me is the best time you could ever fish, the trout are hungry and some might be slightly out of shape so its good practise to play them very hard and get them back quickly..
Fishing the jingler in a large dark olive hatch has proved deadly.. I am enjoying sport like no other and without being too greedy i am getting what i can until it slows off...
nice one 

early season brown hunting
surely a 10 year old fish
this has got to be the nicest brown i ever caught
snake trout!! 52cm
the moment you think you fucked up!!