|Peering below a bridge, an image every angler recognises|
On Thursday as a pre-season appetiser Tom and I went to Earith Lakes fishery for a short morning session. Neither of us hadn't really cast a fly line during the winter using a french style leader mostly, it made for good practice. It also allowed me to have a proper go with the Daiwa NewEra I bought last year; although I have used and caught on it, I really wanted to give it a proper work-out.
Inspired by Dave Southall's writings about success with micro buzzers on small still-waters, I had been busing prepping during the week tying some simple patterns in sizes 20 and 22. Keeping on the simple theme I restricted the colours to black and olive with contrasting wire ribs, red on the black, black wire on the olive; 1.5mm tungsten beads added necessary weight.
Tom arrived before me and had been fishing for fifteen minutes before I arrived, I quickly paid for a four hour ticket and wasted no time in setting up. Tom was fishing an area which was conveniently in front of the car park, but for sound reason, there were quite a number of fish taking emerging buzzers, head and tailing as they patrolled around. With this in mind I set up a two fly leader, a size 22 olive buzzer on the point and a size 16 black magic spider on a dropper around two feet up from the buzzer. 0.16mm tippet was attached to a nine foot tapered leader and I de-greased the whole leader initially.
|The successful micro buzzer that scored well|
|The single brown from Earith, - you don't see many people using chestpacks when fishing still-waters|
In the next couple of hours I caught four rainbows and a brown, all on the same black buzzer and though I think a couple of fish went for the spider I didn't connect with anything. Although Tom fished a practically identical set up to me he couldn't get a take, not a sniff; funny how it works like that.
On Friday Steve, Tom, Eliot and I opened our season fishing the upper sections of our main club river. As always on opening day the expectations were high, the river had dropped back down and cleared after recent rain earlier in the week, there was also hope of a decent hatch of large dark olives. We paired off, Tom and Eliot started just above a road bridge, Steve and I headed further upstream. We were both using eight foot four weight rods, I set up with two nymphs: a copper bead-head PTN on the point and an Oliver Edwards baetis nymph on a dropper about two foot above, Steve fished with the ubiquitous klink and dink.
All I can say is I had a mare of a day. A strong wind blew rather predictably downstream, this coupled with plenty of bushes, trees, spent nettle and cow parsley stems conspired to snag and steal flies and tippet material from me. I won't lie, I got mad - really mad - I could have given fishing up, I had to take a breather, refocus and calm myself. Steve's day so far wasn't much better, same issues and after Tom and Eliot had fished their section and walked up to us it became apparent we really had picked the wrong area to start as they had caught a number of fish already. The downstream wind had also troubled them yet the openness allowed them to cast properly compared to our struggle to roll-cast into the wind. After a quick catch up they continued upstream as we set our sights on a couple of promising pools and a short run that flowed hard against an old brick wall. After snagging up and ruining the tippet I changed over to the klink and dink too. Apart from a splashy rise from a small fish to the klink we both continued to struggle.
Wading through a pool we had just fished I spied a trout holding behind a small rock in an otherwise featureless, even bottomed glide. Crouching down I crept up closer towards it, before reaching position the flies were changed to a single fly, a size 16 OE baetis, this I felt would be the best option in the slow steady flow. Tying on the new fly clearly gave the trout time to re-evaluate its position in life as it had disappeared by the time I was ready to fish for it - typical. We had however watched another fish rising frequently a little way further upstream, Steve allowed me to carry on with a change of target. There was nothing visible that I could see on the river surface, to cover many bases the nymph was taken off and replaced with a size 18 Adams paraloop emerger. Not a bad decision as it was taken after half a dozen casts. At last a fish! A short spirited scrap and the blank entry on the catch return card but a distant memory.
|First fish of the season, on a dry-fly too, you can't beat it|
Walking back to the car I really was in two minds, I wanted to go home, but I also felt I couldn't end the day like that, not opening day. With that my mind was made, a short ten minute journey took me to a the town the club river flows through. I knew where I wanted to fish and I was hoping it wouldn't let me down, a long run which really is a couple of pools with riffles connecting them has been good to me in the past, usually gifting me a few fish.
It is easy to fall into a complacent routine and I am guilty of that when it comes to fishing with a klink and dink, but its effectiveness can't be ignored and when prospecting it can be deadly. Of course this is how I fished the run ahead of me. I won't lie, I only tie one klink: the adams version, I don't need any others, a copper bead PTN hung below. Within five minutes I had caught a fish, I felt relaxed at last, at peace almost and I fished up with a steady purpose. By the time I reached the end my tally was on nine, this is what I had wanted from my opening day, I questioned why I hadn't just come and fished here from the beginning.
|Finally catching some fish|
|Copper bead PTN, a very versatile nymph|