Monday, 24 May 2010

Induced take proves irresistable

After a two week Alyn layoff, I made may way to Worm's Wood this morning. I had no real plan other than to enjoy the morning sunshine Tenkara fishing. The Alyn, like most rivers I assume, is really showing its bones at present.

The horse field in full meadow bloom. The remains of a pigeon breakfast in the foreground
I dropped into the river just upstream of Griffin Bridge and walked carefully to the first pool. Upon looking up river, clouds of midges could be seen swarming in the bright spots where the sunlight breaks through the canopy so, on went a #20 black shuttlecock. The shuttlecock proved pretty hard to see, (dark cdc) so when lifting the Tenkara leader I was never really sure if I was dragging the fly out of position. Any way, after maybe my third cast a 20cm brownie rose in the vicinity of the fly, so a swift strike and it was on and in.
Worked my way upstream speculatively casting the shuttlecock into the skinny water. By the time I reached the pool adjacent to the style leading to the Wood, the midge pattern was off. I just wasn't comfortable using it with the Tenkara and I was constantly drowning it...
A small (#18) paradun had taken its place.
A fish rose adjacent to the style, covered it immediately and another brownie of 15cm succumbed.
The next pool upstream bears deep and long against the left bank. This proved rather productive to the duo on my last trip, but today I would cover it with the dry. I worked the up the pool with the paradun, but no interest. When I reached the top of the pool, a fish could be heard rising at the bottom end. I moved down and covered, but must have put the blighter down. I now decided on a duo set up again. So, #14 olive emerger was tied onto a 10cm dropper and a small hare's ear tied to the point 60cm below. The hare's ear would probably hang mid depth but this was planned. I worked from the bottom of the pool up. The Tenkara's length enables a long run with the duo. Where the dry attached via dropper really helps is with inducing a take to the nymph. With the Tenkara holding all the line off the water, you can induce the movement in the nymph with negligable disturbance of the dry, as the dropper length acts as a hinge. Unexpectedly, the next fish was a 20cm brown which smashed into the dry. I landed this with out incident, however the next put in resulted in a brown being induced to take the nymph and after a small scrap I was grabbing the line to finally pull the fish in when it kicked and appeared to have come off. Inspection revealed that the line had snapped at the leader loop??!?? My apologies to the person who may get this fish with ironmongery attached.
Onwards and upwards, I replaced the cast but put a small bead head brassie on the point (no reason for the brassie other than I just fancied it). Another 15cm brown took at the head of the pool.
I took one more small brown before emerging into the sunlight above the next big bend. This area has another riffly run that I fancied
Looking upstream to another favoured run
My method now is to cast upstream, dead drift to a point jsut below me, then induce as the drift is fished out. I hit three browns doing this here, but landed one. Two decent looking browns, the biggest looking about 25cm, just released themselves in the shallow water in front of me *!%?!!
I moved upstream to the next deep pool, covered a small rise at the tail. A small brown took the brassie and stayed on the hook!
Next run down and after a small enticing lift of the nymph, the dry dipped and a decent fish was on. Alas when lifting the rod I hit an overhead tree, lowered the rod momentarily and the fish released itself. At the next run down, I struck as the nymph lifted on the dangle and another decent fish was on. I had thought earlier that the Grayling must have finally decided to spawn, as there had been no signs of them, but this fish felt big and different. After a good scrap I eventually lifted what was a huge Grayling into the still water beneath me. The sunshine breaking through the trees illuminated those wonderful translucent colours of the dorsal fin. This fish, although out of season, will surely beat my pb for the Alyn. Not today though! Once again the brassie pulled free and my cast catapulted into the Sycamore above me. After retrieving the cast I changed the brassie for a beaded cdc hackled pheasant tail, and managed to get one more small brownie.

The last brownie of the day
I have no idea why I pulled out of so many fish today. As far as my rusty memories serve me, this nymph has not let me down like this before. Was it due to the soft Tenkara, I'm not sure. You just sometimes get those days I suppose. On a positive, I managed to get hit a fish or two from every pool I tried and the induced mid water nymph proved to be the method for the better fish.
Todays final combination. You should see there is no attachment to the hook bend or similar for the nymph.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Monsal Dale

Few pics from the eagerly awaited Monsal Dale trip (write up to follow)
 The group unload

Phil White showing us the 'Lido' in front of Cressbrook Mill. Steve 'the nesh' Daley with hood up again.

Trying to tempt the 'bread fed' trout opposite the picnic area. Downstream dry...

...and a couple of these fellows duly oblige to Steve James' parachute light show

My best fish of the day. A Wild Wye Wainbow...


Monday, 10 May 2010

New four weight

Armed with my new 4 weight[Streamflex], I thought a short trip to the Dee at Shocklach may be worthwhile. The middle Dee here is a a varied but relatively straightforward venue, but careful wading a necessity as there are many very deep drop offs and the flow very powerful in places.
I started at the bottom end of the beat just speculatively casting a small olive imitation to get the 'feel' of the Streamflex. Although defined as a middle to tip actioned rod, I think more emphasis on 'tip' compared with most of my previous rods applies here. With the favourable, but unusual here, upstream wind line delivery was a achieved with effortless flicks. I'm no casting officionado, but I think I will like this rod.
Anyway, no signs of any fish in the early morning sunshine so when I reached the next bend upstream on went a trio setup. There is an underwater build up of rock at the downstream end of the bend so I began by working the rougher water direcly below. At about mid river the sacrificial dry dipped and I was in. The fish felt like a real lump, holding itself downstream in the pacy water. A large Grayling surely, however when I finally lifted its head a 30cm fish had taken the place of the 'lump'. This was my first Dee fish of the year, and I had forgot how powerful the flow is when compared to the Alyn, thus exaggerating the fishes mass.
Next cast, a smolt pounced!. On wading slowly back to the bank, I dropped the trio rig directly below me where a 35cm Grayling took on the dangle. When wading the Dee, some Grayling always seem to drop below you picking off the morsels you may have dislodged. I've learn't never to ignore and usually fish this area whilst making my way back to the bank. With the run quickly fished out, I walked slightly upstream where the river runs over a nice gravel section. A few fish were beginning to rise to what appearred to be emerging caddis of some type interspersed with what I would guess as Olive Uprights[?]. The rises did appear to be from Parr mixed with some splashy Grayling.
Off came the trio rig an a #16 loopwing emerger tied on. This was the shucking CDC type shown in a previous entry.
I worked the runs with the emerger, and the rewards were fun but scant in that only a mixture of Parr and small Grayling obliged.
For casting practice and a change the trip was worthwhile. In hindsight though, as the Trout population is really starting to thin out in these relative low stretches this of the Dee I should save Shocklach for June 16th and beyond to concentrate on the Grayling. There's a few lunkers this low down.
On the positve, it's the first time I've tried these loopwings and their floatability is excellent. Just a quick wash after a fish and an Amadou squeeze, and your back in business...

Monday, 3 May 2010

Teeth chattering

The plan for Sunday was for a mornings float tubing with Simon. We thought we may be able to sneak a couple of hours in before the forecast northerlies made it too hostile. The planned venue was Lakehill on top of the Llandegla moors. Due to the exposed location you can take the forecast wind speed and double it, so after a brief inspection we cancelled.
So a substitution with a quick trip to the Alyn at Ithell's Bridge. Left the Tenkara in my pocket and armed the brook rod with a couple of beaded nymphs. Took about eight fish, one Grayling of about 25cm, the rest fingerling Trout and Grayling. After losing my cast on a snag, I climbed out to look for Simon. He'd covered most of the beat in double quick time in an attempt to keep warm. Cold, wet, numb hands and chattering teeth brought an end to proceedings after about an hours fishing. With the Northerlies forecast for the week ahead, no further trips planned.