As Matthew is off school for the Easter holidays, he came out with Big Dave, Phil and myself for a day at Pennine Fishery in Littleborough.
The minimum size of fish stocked in these lake is 3lb so both Phil and I would catch a personal best Rainbow Trout, if only we could tempt one.
As you can see from the photo above and the big grin on Phils face, he got his new pb within the first half hour of the day.
I had to wait an hour for mine to arrive, i would like to say it was worth the wait but it fought like a sack of spuds on the end of the line and was nothing more than a dissapointment. (it might redeem itself in the frying pan tonight).
We had nine fish between us with only Matthew missing out on catching a fish.
He did really well considering it was his first ever fly fishing trip. By the end of the day his casting had improved, and he was clued up about the different weights and retreival styles of different flies. Life was difficult for him casting into the wind but he coped admirably with the conditions. We all wanted him to land a fish, but when i caught my two he was either at the loo or getting a cup of tea. When he was fishing with Big Dave (of red latex fly fame) he had 4 or 5 good pulls but didnt connect with any of the fish. Better luck next time Matt 🙁
Now i am gaining confidence i dont think i will be visiting commercial trout fisheries again unless i am taking Matthew. The clocks change this weekend so bring on the river!
We fished the swim near the car park for the first hour, and Tony showed me a couple of his techniques with nymphs.
I was standing behind him watching his techniques, cast -mend -draw-run through, when he said “ah thats perfect” no sooner than the words left his mouth did he tighten into a lovely fish of about a pound. Talk about perfect timing, it made us both laugh. If only it were that easy to talk the fish onto the bank every time!
Later,we decided to search through some of the swims higher up the river, and this led to some serious mountaineering along the steep river banks. It certainly stopped us from feeling the cold!
We fished a couple more swims but neither of us had any success. Despite the cold there were some small hatches of duns and a fish rising in one of the pools we fished.
As the afternoon drew on the melt water turned the river a much dirtier colour than when we arrived and the water had risen a good 12 inches.
It was a great afternoon, and i learnt a lot from Tony about fly fishing on a small river. I cant wait for the water to return to normal as now that the evenings are becoming lighter, i can come fishing here after work.
I used a team of two with a march brown on point and a black spider type thingy as the dropper.
Tonys fish came on the point to a gold headed march brown. This new lexicon of snipe, spider, nymph, buzzer,emerger is going to take some getting used to, but after the fun i had this afternoon it looks like its going to be something i am going to enjoy
As we walked along the river bank we passed many waterfalls cascading down the steep cliffs that guard one of the river banks. I have never noticed these beautiful falls before, probably due to the fact that i have previously only fished this stretch in summer when the water table is lower and the cliffs are cloaked in denser foliage. Despite my lack of a fish today i still had a great day.
Took another trip up to Pendle View with Phil-K this afternoon.
We braved a strong northerly wind, and squally showers again, but caught 20 fish between us.
By the time our session was over my fingers were so numb i couldnt feel the pen i was using to record our session in the catch return book.
As i am no more than a novice fly fisherman i can quite honestly say that this was my best day ever – in terms of catch – using a fly rod and line. Thanks Phil for inviting me along, and thanks Dave for tying those flies for me (but i am beginning to worry about where all this red latex is coming from!).
Am going to buy some new waders tomorrow so i can fish the local river for its wild brownies.
I feel a few blanks coming on!
I promised my girlfriend Lucia a get away from it weekend in Wales. Of course this turned into a reconnaissance weekend for possible future fishing venues under the guise of romantic walks around a lake. I think the penny dropped for her when i kept stopping to put on a pair of polaroid glasses and stare intently into the water.
Not only did i traipse her around various lakes in North Wales but i even suggested a walk along the beach in Anglesey – I know how to treat a girl. The weather wasnt fantastic but the company couldnt be beaten.
I am sure Mackerel Rock is supposed to be somewhere around here !
I decided to have a couple of hours spinning at one of the local weirs for an end of season Pike.
I tried out various lures but had no takes. However i had a good chat with ginger Dan who turned up about half three and fished for an hour or so with me. He didnt have any takes either.
So as the coarse season finishes today the trout season starts tomorrow. I wont be fishing this weekend as i have promised my gf a weekend away. However i have told her that there is a very scenic walk around a particular lake in Snowdonia – not to hilly and a good path. What she doesnt realise is that this lake happens to contain a sizeable head of arctic char! Pity the season in wales doesnt start until the 20th March otheriwise i would have sneaked a rod into the boot of the car.
As the new game season is about to begin, i have been weighing up my options as to which rivers i am going to concentrate my efforts. My local river was once heavily polluted but now its tributaries support healthy populations of brown trout in their upper reaches, and as most of these waters are within half and hours drive of my office then it is only natural that i will be concentrating my early season efforts on this river and its tributaries.
I have not fished using a fly line on a river before so this is going to be an exciting couple of months for me as i learn to winkle trout out of these small rivers and brooks.
This afternoon i had a walk along a small brook, which runs from the Western Pennine Hills. I have fished this stream only once before, when i had half an hour in two swims without any luck. However next time with a little more stealth, guile, and experience hope to unlock a few of its secrets.
The rights to fishing on my local river are very fragmented with many areas being uncontrolled by any angling clubs. I have been told that one of the clubs is about to give up its rights due lack of interest from its members! Should i be so amazed that people dont want to bother with learning how to fish on the river when there are so many commercial fisheries available.
I have fished the upper reaches of the river with Matthew and caught some lovely brown trout on wet flies controlled by a bubble float, so i am hoping for similar success with a fly line. Once the clocks change at the end of the month i hope to get in at least two evening trips a week.
After chatting to Phil and Tony yesterday and listening to their views and experiences of different rivers in the North West, I have been convinced that joining Wigan & District Angling Club will give me access to a great stretch of a different, larger river which holds good numbers of both coarse fish and brown trout for a reasonable price. So its small brooks for midweek and powerfull river for the weekend – Bring on the 15th.
I met up with fellow bloggers Phil and Tony on Saturday for my first outing fly fishing for over two years. I have thrashed many a reservoir with a fly line and lure over the years with no more than limited success. However armed with some home tied flies courtesy of Big Dave and a lake stocked with suicidal Rainbows even a master blanker such as me couldn’t fail – could I ?
We arrived at the lake and tackled up in winds that at times seemed at times to border on gale force. After a few rusty casts with a single white furry lure (which was meant to sink but floated) I had a fish rise to take my lure – in a state of shock I watched rather than strike and consequently missed the fish.
After a few more casts with this lure and no more rises (it still refused to sink) I decided to swap lures to a green damsel fly imitation which hopefully would sink beneath the waves. After half an hour thrashing the lake with these lures i was beginning to think i was going to luck out. Tony and Phil had both already banked fish whereas i was spending most of my time unwrapping line from either around my rod or head.
Big Dave had assured me that his flies were deadly so it was now time to put his words to the test. I swapped the lure for a weighted bloodworm buzzer (photo to come during the next week) I had a pull using this fly on my first cast and caught a rainbow of about a pound on my fifth – thanks Dave!
I swapped flies throughout the afternoon to see what worked, but found i could only catch fish on bloodworm imitations.
The scenery in the Ribble Valley was great with the local fells shrouded in mist, and i guess the fishing here would be great too in more clement conditions. It was a good confidence booster to catch a few fish, as i intend to concentrate on trout fishing during the close season for coarse fishing on rivers. I am going to have another look at Bradshaw Brook on Sunday afternoon and maybe have a walk up the Irwell from Summerseat to Ramsbottom and see what the fishing prospect are like for the coming weeks.
The best part of the day was that we all caught fish, and had the opportunity to try out different methods and combinations of flies.
I enjoyed the company of Tony and Phil and look forwards to fishing with them again. I wasn’t surprised that i enjoyed my afternoon out with them as i have enjoyed reading their blogs over the last few months and can see that their fishing ethos are very similar to my own. I have added links to their blogs so that you can see what i mean for yourself.
Todays lucky fly.
I was chatting to Dave a few weeks ago about the fishing tackle i had stolen from my parents house about 10 years ago. Of all the tackle I lost, the item I missed the most was a Mitchell 440a commonly known as a Mitchell Match.
Last Friday Dave called me at work and asked me to come and see him as he had something to show me. The daft/bugger had only bought me a replacement from Ebay! THANKS DAVE
So to give it a try out i went fishing for an early season tench at Broughton Park Lake in Salford.
I hadnt fished this lake for 20 years but it has a reputation for tench and was the location of the capture of my personal best roach (well over 2lbs caught on floating caster) way back in the 1980s when i was in my early teens.
However that was then and this is now, and the trip turned into a six hour blanking session. Ouch. The wind was akin something found in the roaring forties, and the only sheltered peg i could find was the boathouse swim which at 2ft deep is too shallow for good fishing in early March. I tried waggler, pole and feeder using hemp, caster and red maggot and didnt even get a bite, despite all the tricks of differing baits, hooksizes and hooklengths and different varities of presentation.
I think i will give this venue a miss until summer and with hindsight should have left such a shallow venue alone until water temperatures rise.
I intended to use the left over bait on Sunday at Maceys in Bury where i know i can catch no matter what the conditions, but decided to finish digging my new garden pond instead. I shall post the pond pictures sometime during the coming week as i wont be fishing this week due to a busy schedule at work. Weather permitting i intend to get some river fishing in next weekend before the season closes on the 15th.