Monday, 12 October 2015

This Is Not The End

A Ladies Shadow
A pewter shadow laying on the bottom
Tom and I fished during the last week of September, we thought we were fishing our last session of the trout season but we have since found out the trout season doesn't end until 30th of October - who knew - I always thought the season ended on the 30th of September, lucky buggers aren't we.

I took Tom to a non-club river in deepest East Anglia. On arrival Tom was amazed by the clarity of the water, I think he doubted me when I told him how clear it is. We sat on a well positioned tree trunk in the margins and tackled up; we both elected to fish the duo with almost identical flies on both our set ups, an Adams klinkhamer and copper beadhead pheasant tail nymph were my selected flies and both of use using 8ft 4# rods. The weather was glorious, the occasional gust downstream hampered things, but it was more a slight irritation than a hindrance.

As Tom was the guest he naturally had first go. We entered the river and approached a narrow run that was below a small pool. Vegetation hung over both banks and overhanging trees behind us meant casts had to be accurate, before long Tom hooked a stout branch and was stuck fast. As we had only just started to fish this run Tom elected to keep the line tight as it lay along the bank. Wading in front of Tom I started to fish my way up, very quickly I caught a trout and by the time we reached Tom's flies I had caught three altogether. Lifting in to one fish that had taken the klink, we were both surprised to find the fish landed was fairly hooked with the nymph, I can only assume I was a whisker away from a double up. Tom had some catching up to do, but not before he left the pool amazed at the sheer number of fish in the short run we had fished through; the clarity of water and disturbance of each fish caught, means you'll not really extract the potential from each bit of the river - well I can't at least.

Ahead of us was quite a long riffle, again a small pool started at the top, this run differed from the one we fished as it was shallower, faster with just a gravel bottom, no weed beds here. Overhead trees were the main obstacle here and trees along the far bank didn't help either - the river was only about twelve yards wide so it was tight. The deeper water lay under the trees across the far bank, trying to flick the flies underneath proved hard and Tom had to reach further up with a longer cast above the over-hanging trees allowed the flies to drift freely underneath. It didn't take many drifts before Tom caught his first fish and thus the day continued as we slowly waded up the river.

Tom's First
Tom's first fish
Resting one pool after a couple of fish had been caught, we found a good number of needle flies crawling over the vegetation, I caught a number for both of us to photograph later. In the same spot were some water forget-me-nots, rather pretty little blue flowers and I have since found out the name is applied to many similar flowers rather than just one species.

Needle Fly
The only picture I managed to take of the needle flies I caught
Forget Me Nots
Water Forget-me-nots
Reaching a part of the river that opens out we were bathed in sunshine, ahead of us the water funneled between beds of ranunculas; a couple of years ago I had a blinding hour here fishing a hatch of small dark olives. This time the spot wasn't full of fish, although we both managed a couple, it was Tom that struck gold hooking and landing by far the biggest fish of the day - 16" long the fish was a little battled scarred but in superb condition. Tom hooked it tight hard against the right-hand bank and it led him around the pool, more than once the trout made our hearts skip as it tried its best to unhook itself. Some underwater pics were taken on Tom's Olympus camera and so good they were, I intend on buying one for the start of next season.

Chalkstream Idyll

Tom's 16" Bruiser

16" Of Chalkstream's Finest

16" Of Chalkstream's Finest

A superb underwater picture, this really shows how clear the water is
We continued fishing our way upstream and the numbers steadily rose, we had gone beyond the point of being able to keep count, I don't know how Danny manages it, I forget after five most of the time. It really has been such a treat this season to be able to fish with company, of course we perhaps don't always extract the maximum potential, but I haven't blanked at all this season - although many occasions a single fish has saved the day.


Faffing around I missed stoat run along a log that lay across the river, clambering over we found the remains of a small bird, maybe we had disturbed it as we progressed up the river. A kingfisher veered off every time is came across us on its travels, seeing wildlife always completes the day and it's amazing what you'll come across when you're discrete and quiet.



A rather strange occurrence, I managed quite a few fish with many more missed on the klink yet Tom didn't rise a single fish to his; both were the same size, although Tom ties on Daiichi klinkhamer whereas I use the Partridge version and only slight differences in the materials used, there clearly was something about my fly that the fish liked. Our bead-head nymphs were virtually identical and were by far the most successful fly of the day.

Adams KlinkhÄmer
My Adams klinkhamer, I rarely tie klinks any other way
Copperhead PTN
A simple copper bead-head PTN
We finished the day by checking out a deep pool protected by several logs spanning across the river, we saw a couple of really large fish and left pondering how we would fish the pool, we guessed around twenty fish in this pool which spooked almost immediately, a challenge indeed. I promised Tom we would come back.

That Is A Four Pounder!
The trout to the right is possibly a four pounder

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Northern Distraction

River Don - Steve Morrison

I had another stab at the Don a couple of weeks ago, I took Steve with me and we had another bash at the section I fished with Tom. This time the river was clearer and lower, I knew it would be a struggled and I wasn't proved wrong. It took nearly a full hour before we caught anything, the first fish falling to me which also happened to be the largest of the day. I hadn't been aware that Steve was filming and testing his new Gopro out, he made a short video from the footage.

So we trundled upstream fishing through all the likely looking runs, some produced may didn't, what I found really surprising is the number of spots that produced plenty of fish previously failed to yield anything at all - very frustrating.

River Don Little'un

We didn't quite reach the point where Tom and I finished, but we did walk much further downstream before starting, so we probably did fish the same amount of water. The clearer water meant the brash, brightly coloured bead head nymphs were out, the more subtle but ubiquitous copper bead was firm favourite; we did also catch a fair number of fish on dry flies too as we were both fishing the duo method. Despite the conditions being difficult we still managed to catch double figures each, with an even spread of trout and grayling; hopefully next time there'll be a little more water in the river.

Getting Bigger From The Don

Pewter In Hand