Thursday, 30 May 2013

Home Grown Trout

I went in search of some Lancastrian tout today after having such fun with Matt in Yorkshire. Matt has found some special places using google. Finding streams and rivers on the map and using the satellite function to have a look. Then putting in the legwork and driving there and having a fish. So I did the same last night and found some different stretches of small steams I have already fished and a couple that are new to me. I didn't find trout of the size I caught in Yorkshire but the streams are very different in nature. What I did find was lots of feisty trout in the 6-8oz range with the odd one an ounce or two larger.

Absolutely fantastic fun, I just love this jungle style fishing, searching new water and forging paths to swims that might never have been fished. What's more a fantastic excuse to buy the perfect little rod. A 5'6'' UL trout rod is now top of the want list!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Yorkshire Magic

Yesterday I was invited by a fellow Lure Anglers Society member to sample some of the amazing trout fishing he has been enjoying lately.
An early start saw me heading East across the Pennines well before the morning rush. We had arranged to meet at a car park which happened to be next to a canal and as I arrived early it seemed rude not to have a few casts while I waited. Working an area of foamy water below a lock outflow my second or third cast met with solid resistance and I found myself attached to this beautiful chub.  The fish was 4lb 12oz and the picture doesn’t really show the girth of this fish – it was built like a breeze block! I love my summer chubbing on the rivers and streams but this was technically my first still water chub. It fell to a small Halco Sorcerer fished on my Ultra-Light Sakura Shinjin. A fantastic start to the day!

Matt arrived soon after and we headed off to a short stretch of local river. Swims were limited and after a fish less half hour we dropped onto a canal basin to see if there were any chub willing to take our lures. They proved elusive but Matt hooked into a feisty pike of around six or seven pounds which managed to shake the hooks as I tried to land it.
We then set off for Matt’s small stream in the hope of some trouty action! I had seen the pictures Matt had posted on the forum and was over excited at the prospect of fishing for them. I’ve caught plenty of trout whilst targeting chub but this was my first days fishing specifically for them.
The fishing was slow for the first hour or so until either we found the fish or they had started to feed. The action was hectic as we started to catch fish in every pool. We were taking turns to fish likely spots and it was an amazing experience to see fish chasing down the lures. My catch rate definitely increased when Matt very generously gave me one of his beautifully crafted snap bean lures. The fish were creating bow waves as they charged after their meal and snapping ferociously, often right to the end of the retrieve. Not all these fish hooked up but it was great fun watching the antics of the ravenous trout. The fish were stunning, ranging from beautifully marked fish with red spots on their flanks highlighted by a white surround to buttery yellow fish lacking the red spots. For most of the day the average size must have been over a pound – incredible for a stream which probably averaged six feet wide. Matt managed to land two bigger fish and I lost one at my feet. The fish charged around our feet and refused to go into the net. Fishing at such close range means the fight is short and they really have to be bullied into the net. Although it would have been nice to get a good look at it, the fishing was so good I was barely disappointed. 
One of Matt's belters

These fish fight so hard they need a moment to recover before being released.

Another fantastic fish for Matt.

Matt's snap bean lures were proving irresistible!

I struggled a bit with the length of the rod; 7’2’’ is too long for this type of fishing. Matt was able to make more overhead casts in the tunnel of trees which meant he was far more accurate. His casting skills also meant he put his lure in the right place more often than I did and I spent half the day chasing tree trout! Needless to say a 5’6’’ UL rod is now top of the want list.
We weren't really counting but we probably had 40 fish of this quality or better. Matt took the lions share as he gave a masterclass in how it's done!

We fished all day and I don’t think we had ten minutes when we didn’t see a fish, a truly magical days fishing. We spent the day with the scent of the wild garlic in our nostrils and in the company of the grey wagtails that were flitting up and down the stream. Twice we saw the electric blue streak as a kingfisher darted past us within a few feet.
Campion amongst the wild garlic.

A day that will live long in the memory!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Lure Anglers Society Get Together

Yesterday saw a few of the members of the L.A.S. from the North-West getting together for an informal fish-in. The bank holiday weekend meant a few of the regulars couldn't make it and they were missed.
We have fished together on venues where we've had to break the ice in order to fish so it was a pleasant change to fish in the warm Spring sunshine!

The lake shore is heavily lined with trees with few obvious swims which made for some jungle style fishing. Here Damo is fish spotting as Al chases a shoal of roach spotted in the margins with a tiny curl tail grub on a 1g jig head.

Al in the jungle!

Graeme at peace with the world!

We all managed to catch a few fish, though with the bright conditions the large perch we were chasing appeared not to be feeding. Al managed a perch around half a pound amongst his catch and Graeme had one around the pound mark. Damo had a a nice mixed bag including perch, a roach and Pike up to 8lb.
The margins were paved with small perch and I had great fun catching them on a 1'' crappie tube on a 1g jig head! We agreed that when we return to this beautiful lake we need to be a bit more organised and arrange tickets the day before so we can make an earlier start and hopefully catch the morning feeding spell.
All in all a very enjoyable day out in great company.
I took a few shots of the bluebells and this afternoon, having been driven off my local lake by the wind and rain, had a play with  a recently acquired photo-shop package. I really like this single colour effect.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Home Made Jig Flies

This morning saw me making the most of the sunshine as I had a few hours to spare. I wanted to try out some jig flies tied up with trout nymph patterns. They are tied on 2g jig heads.

This is a mayfly nymph pattern that has caught some nice trout whilst fly fishing and it appears the perch like it too!

The next is a generalised 'scruffy' pattern that I've used in the past when the there is nothing in particular hatching.

The last one is tied to resemble (very loosely!) a small perch. Made from dyed grizzly cock feathers.

I had great fun and managed to catch on all three. All were small fish around 6-8oz but I'm encouraged to tie a few more of my favourite trout patterns as jig flies.
I spent some time taking photographs for the blog - hence the new title picture and background. It's early days but I'm enjoying building the blog and learning new stuff all the time. I hope to create a resource where anyone interested in finesse techniques will find answers to their questions and the chronicles of my exploits using them.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Early Bird

Now my local perch lake has woken up I’ve been wading through lots of small fish to try and pick up the better ones. I discovered from chatting to a guy who has been ‘guesting’ the same lake I have for 30 years that the lake has a large population of rudd so last week hatched a cunning plan – namely larger shads than my normal 2-3’’ and in a pattern imitating the rudd. Hoping the larger shad might persuade the larger fish they were worth a chase I duly purchased some 4’’Mikado Fish-hunters from Artur at Lure World (see 'Links') simply because of the patterns (I’d normally favour kopyto) I settled on a 3.5g 4/0 AGM (see 'Links')  ball jig head as it allowed the shad to have a lovely erratic body roll – a bit like crank baits that sometimes roll out. I get everything from a regular body roll to dying minnow like action depending on speed.
Normally I have Wednesdays off but volunteered to go in for a few hours today so decided to get up at 5am and grab a few hours before work. The larger shad didn’t put the small fish off as they constantly tried to grab the lure. Far fewer actually hooked up so I settled into a routine of just ignoring the tail nips and retrieving at a fairly steady pace. Eventually I was rewarded with this lump – none of the high speed head shakes of the small fish– it felt like I had swum the shad into a snag as everything went solid. I am always amazed how differently the bigger fish fight and had my heart in my mouth as this fish pulled hard for the bottom and had the Sakura Shinjin rod hooped over. Have you noticed how slowly time passes when you know you have a good one on and just want it in the net?  Worth getting up early for this one!