Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Vice Squad

Been having great fun and getting some good therapy at the vice tying some salmon and sea trout flies..

..the famous Falkus 'Surface Lure' sea trout fly - designed as a wake fly for use at night...

..the classic Medicine sea trout fly

Size 5 Partridge Salar silver hook, silver tinsel body, palmered black cock hackle, fine silver wire rib, squirrel tail wing and real jungle cock eyes.

..a salmon fly for coloured water..

Just need to spend as much time fishing them as I have tying them!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Night and Day

Having spent all day Saturday decorating (for a change!) I decided I'd try a first go at fly fishing in the dark in preparation for the main sea trout run. I got to the river about 7pm and fished well downstream of the area I intended to fish in the dark. I hooked a lively trout on the medicine fly which turned out to be a foot long green thing with loads of nasty teeth -it had very nearly chewed through the mono leader!.

Had a play with the macro function when I spotted some saphire beetles getting jiggy with it!

As the light started to fade I made my way upstream to the tail of a pool with a short riffle to the head of the next pool. I have no idea yet where the sea trout will be found but figured this gave me a few options of different types of water to practise on.

I'd forgotten insect repellent and had to resort to smoking a rather nice Cuban cigar to ward them off !

It was hard to be patient and follow all the advice and wait until it was fully dark before making a first cast - but the scenery certainly helped.

As I sat waiting I spotted a splash way downstream and thought at first it was just some ducks - I got the camera and realised it was an otter fishing its way upstream and heading towards me! All of a sudden it popped up on a log in the middle of the river - and was quickly joined another! The light was fading fast and the camera did a good job of compensating for the low light. I managed to capture this at almost maximum zoom.

I didn't really fancy my chances as this pair swam right past me and on up through the pool but I waited until the first star appeared before having a go.

It was interesting to say the least casting without being able to see the line and relying solely on feel. Wading in water when you can't see the bottom is a tad scary too!

I only fished for an hour of darkness as, if you are not off the car park by 11pm, you have to stay until 7am!
I had two tentative plucks from something but didn't manage to hook into anything. I discovered that retying a leader even with a headlamp is not easy in the dark with my gozzy eyes - particularly threading the line through the eye of the fly!
I did hear a couple of splashes as fish crashed out - somewhere out in the pitch black so maybe I'm in the right area but who knows?

Sunday morning saw me back out with the lure rod - the river has been painfully low and clear for weeks now - the last small lift was just before I caught my salmon. I decided to have a look at the last unexplored stretch available on my new club card - and what a fantastic stretch - it has everything, deep pools and bends that look very pikey/perchy and fast pocket water and even paced long glides that look very chubby - I can't wait for the coarse season to open.
I managed a few brownies all around 10-12oz and as usual bumped a few too.

The' Lancashire Trout' were properly on it today and I had a string of four pounders before this one at a shade over 5lb. The law is an ass when others can happily catch chub from still waters whilst I have the edge taken off these captures because they are out of season - it just makes no sense to me at all?

I gave up as the trout went down and despite trying all the lures I thought the chub might ignore they were just hitting everything - my nightmare is bagging one of the monsters and having a PB that doesn't really count.
I contented myself taking a few pics and enjoying the sun.

Roll on the 16th!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

OCD Demons

Production line for the double/treble mounts- a bit OCD with the rear trebles - all my lures have the tail treble with the two points down - so 'set' these that way too!

A couple of my own 'Demon' variants..

..and a bushy bumble for the top dropper..

Just hoping the river is right at the weekend now !!!!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Saturday, 19 April 2014


Took my new flies for an early morning swim and to get some practice with the 9# fly outfit -a bit heavy for this little chap who showed his approval of the flies - which was nice!

When I spotted a trout gently sipping in a few flies I cut the wet fly off and tied another of my dry mayfly patterns on - took a few casts to get the drift just right before it took - unfortunately it turned out to be an out of season chub!

Then had a play with my new waterproof case for the camera - nothing interesting to see but I can see the potential forsome nice lure and/or fish shots using it. It's basically just a camera shaped waterproof bag and not easy to use - I really fancy a Go Pro next.

Arrived home to find this wating for me - which was also nice - I shall wear it proudly!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Taking My Medicine

 I have become obsessed with trying to catch salmon and sea trout of late and as usual whenever I get a new bug I try and read everything I can, some I absorb and use when it makes sense, some I reject. I always try to remind myself that published writers don't necessarily know what they are talking about and that the fish often don't read the right books anyway! I recently bought a book on fishing for sea trout on lures and within a few pages the author claimed that trout have poor eyesight! - having seen how they can be so selective with the smallest of food items and how tiny differences between offered flies can make a huge difference I quickly decided that my time would be better spent reading something else. I then started reading probably the most comprehensive book ever written about UK 'Sea Trout' by the late great Hugh Falkus.
This guy has caught more sea trout than anyone alive. Great writing and few pronouncements of absolutes - lots of 'I have found', 'others have found' and 'you may find differently'.
Decided to spend the afternoon tying some of his favourite flies and started with 'The Medicine' - tied on single of various sizes...

..and some on doubles..

..and some with a stinger..

It remains to see whether they will get me the big fish I'm after - but at least I have confidence in the advice!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Squirrel Police

Today saw the second round of the Lure Anglers Society NW chapter vs Yorkshire chapter friendly competition. Part one was called an amicable draw and it was clear from the outset today that nobody had a burning desire to be 'The Winner' and everybody wanted to enjoy the social and the fishing.
There was a cracking turnout with Yorkshire fielding 9 members, and the NW 11. As usual it was great to meet old faces and meet some new ones.

The Yorkshire Posse!

A few people deserve a special mention - firstly our bionic man Antony George who is slowly being rebuilt piece by painful piece, he is still recovering from his latest surgery and should be taking it easy at home - instead he turned out to support the NW chapter and enjoy a bit of banter and fishing - amazing since he can hardly walk - much respect mate!

Secondly my thanks to LAS stalwarts Ian Lerway and Alex Makk who came from Nottingham to join us for the day - (this involved Ian picking Alex up at 5am! ) - it was great to see you both. Ian also came armed with yet more Poppers to add to my collection for a planned assault on my local sea trout - many thanks mate. 

The atmosphere in the car park was fantastic as usual with the usual exchanges taking place and tackle ogling going on.

The fishing was really tough with only a few small pike and small perch caught.

Small but beautiful!

These get togethers are often about 'the social' rather than catching and the fish provided very little interruption today.

Not quite a blank for me! Taken on a drop shot rig and 4lb fluorocarbon!

The highlight of the day for me, among many, was the comments from these three reprobates from the wrong side.
I had just launched my lure sweetly across a narrow bay - and straight into a tree on the other bank! - followed by the helpful remark that squirrels were out of season - and another enquiry as to whether I had the correct license to be targeting them.  - priceless

These three will henceforth be known as 'The Squirrel Police'

The fishing was frankly rubbish but the company was great and we all enjoyed the laughs.
Thanks to Mike for organising the Yorkshire mob - they are quite a handful! ....and to all who attended.

Thanks again all!

..and finally - true dedication to the cause...

Sunday, 6 April 2014

King of the River

A friend kindly delivered a large order of Fiish stuff from the Pike Shop stand yesterday at the Lurefair but at the end of the day I wandered over to check out some of the new colours they had recently got in stock. Having set my stall out to catch a legitimate salmon it was the orange and yellow ones that caught my eye - many salmon fly patterns are yellow and orange and the salmon guys who use plugs seem to favour orange as well.
Yesterday involve a 400 mile round trip and working on my second hand stall in between. A lazy start this morning after an exhausting day yesterday saw me at the river about 10am.
The river was up a bit and just lightly coloured - I wondered if the lift yesterday might have a fish or two on the move. The fast water was all really tanking through so decided to concentate on a wider section that has an even depth of 2-3' usually and figured it may be 4' ish today. This area of the river is littered with large boulders which are perfect for running salmon to take a breather behind.
I'd worked a few boils (often well downstream of the obstruction causing them) without any sign but after an hour or so of methodically working upstream and just as the 90mm Black Minnow swung in behind a boulder I had a crunching hit!
After a brutal struggle I managed to slide the fish into the waiting net which was by now being held by a shaking hand!
A beautiful 8lb 3oz king of the river and a new PB

This was the first time I've had to use my new Mcleans gye net with a buit in weighing system in the handle - a fantastic bit of kit which I can get off my back and assemble one handed and quickly - a feature I was very glad of today!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Lurefair 2014

The largest..........................variety of lures and lure tackle ever assembled in the UK???

Where do I start...?.....at the beginning of course! I rarely sleep well when I know I'm getting up early so after a couple of broken hours last night I got up at 2am  .. and as quietly as I could loaded the car 'till it groaned.
I set off at just after three and bimbled off down the M6/M1/M25 to Rickmansworth and the 2014 lurefair.
I was there nice and early and bagged a good spot amongst the second hand stalls. Before I'd finished setting up I'd sold  a bivvy and passed on a carp barrow to a friend for delivery to another LAS member.
The venue was fantastic, with the stalls being laid out on a huge balcony on two sides of a large hall with banked seats at one end.
I managed to have a quick look round before the opening time but had already bought a lure before the event started - be rude not to with new boxed Rapalas at £2/3!
I have only the last lurefair to compare to but there were more people there in the first hour than were there all day last time. It was mental until early/mid afternoon. I couldn't keep up with the people wanting to buy, buy, buy!
The layout also meant I could listen to the speakers who were all excellent and passed on a many useful tips.
It was nice to meet some new faces and the rest of the LAS gang - even though I've only been a member a couple of years it's like greeting old friends.
There was a fantastic turnout of retailers and the place was rammed solid with all things lure related.
Roy Goddard has done a fantastic job of organising the day- it really has grown into an amazing event.
The second hand stall was buried in mounds of bargains and the staff - mainly the committe with help from members (sorry I can't name-check them all) who worked tirelessly to sell the members gear and raise funds for the society.
It was nice to meet and chat to Julian who is organising the British Lure Angling Championships. Not sure it's for me but I wish him every success with the venture .
I was whacked by two and chucked everything in the car and spent the last couple of hours having a chat.
It was nice to catch up with Evaldas from The Lure Angler Shop. The range of Dobyns rods he is now stocking is very impressive - without guys like Evaldas investing in the importation of gear like this we would never get a chance to have a wiggle of all that exotic loveliness!
I also spent a while chatting to Ben from Art of Fishing who brought along a huge range of Fish Arrow and Ecogear stuff along with a new range of interesting SPs the name of which escapes me at the moment!
I did manage to zip round at the end and spend a bit of my hard earned cash - and what was in the basket?....

.. one or two bits of Fiiish gear from  the 'Pike Shop' stall today.

...a few trout/samon lures at ridiculous prices - a little over £10 for this lot!

..something new to me from AoF...

A massive thank you to all the LAS guys that worked so hard to make this event so brilliant, all the stall holders/retailers fo bringing all their shiny things and everyone who came over to say hello - and especially those who came to spend! Just a fantastic day out.