Saturday, 31 July 2010

The month in Summary: July

During July there has been little to no Saltwater Fly fishing, the couple of times We did get to to fling some fluff results were minimal with only one or two odd fish being caught.The reasons being the weather, the continued winds, and lack of decent Tides, as well as the lack of Fish. So I dabbled else where in the hope that things on the coast would pick up, which they didn't.

Thats not to say I haven't enjoyed what I have been doing, because I have, as I said, I have had the opportunity to take the children fishing and they have contracted the Angling bug big time! I think this could signal a slight change for Me, not only because they will want me to take them fishing more often, but also because it means there will be a bit less of the Saltwater fly fishing during the Summer, not that this presents any real problem to me, because I'm sure that I will still get to do plenty, but it will just mean more coarse fishing to do in general, when I would perhaps try and save the best until the cooler months normally, no big deal, I will just pick and choose the right conditions for the Saltwater fly fishing instead of being so single minded as I have been the last couple of years and mix the fishing up a bit more.
The other thing is the Kayak fishing, I'm not really sure it's something I can keep up for various reasons, and therefore I am pretty sure that it will become redundant in my Angling. Worth a try, and you don't know unless you do, but sadly it's not for me.

Moving on, there is still plenty of time to catch some Bass on the Fly, and if and when the opportunity does arise, which I reckon it will, I will be out like a shot, I love the Fly fishing and when it comes right there really is little to better it for something to do on a summers evening.

I mentioned that Mullet had caught My attention, and along with some friends, I have had a couple of dabbles after these elusive and frustrating fish, though without success as yet. Finding the right venue, along with the right tides and circumstances, as always, is crucial. We're a few steps closer now and I don't think it will be long before we succeed.

Plans for the Autumn and Winter are beginning to solidify, and I want to be organised to make the most of it, which is why I'm planning so far ahead, but it will soon come around and I need to be ready. Still plenty to do before then and still time to acieve certain targets for this year, so better crack on!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The most amazing sunset yet..

Hit the Jackpot last night while out on a Mullet recce with this superb sky. No fancy Camera settings or photo-shopping techniques, just picking the right moment and the correct angle and let the Camera do the rest. Lovely!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

When you are an All rounder like me, your fishing can, and invariably does, take you down many different paths, even though you might not have planned your season like that. My season hasn't quite worked out to plan, and to be honest I'm quite glad in some ways that it hasn't. I's easy to get stuck in a rut with your fishing, the same as it is with so many other things, and having a break, forced or otherwise can be a blessing in disguise. The weather the last few weeks really hasn't been in favour of the Saltwater Fly fishing side of things as I have mentioned previously, so I have had to look else where, in order to continue fishing in some way. I don't really mind, because I'm normally happy as long as I am fishing, and even happier if that Fishing is something of a challenge or requires working out the best way to approach it, and if I end up being rewarded for My hard work with a special capture or a red letter day in terms of numbers then thats even better. I'm guilty of taking My fishing too seriously sometimes, as I'm sure we all are, which doesn't help when things aren't going right. Often I will take a step back and either take a break and re assess, as I said, or, as at the moment, change tack completely and do something totally different. I've been doing just that lately, both taking a break and doing something completely different. First of all I spent a few days with the children and took them fishing, which not only did they thoroughly enjoy, but I did too. It gives me enormous pleasure to see their reactions to whats going on, and I see reflections of a much younger Me and the emotions I went through when learning to fish, though I had no one to teach Me like they do, so they already have a head start in that respect. The thing that has impressed Me is the way that they naturally treat each and every fish they catch with utmost wonder and respect, It brings a tear to My eye and a lump to My throat and I'm so proud of them for this, because it means that they understand the fundamental reasons why they are fishing, not for sport or food, but to be a guardian of the water and the creatures within it, the Fish, the insects, and the plants within and around it, for it is us Anglers that are the protectors of this watery world, if it wasn't for that fact there would definitely not be the number of waters or the number of fish around that there is, even in Saltwater many Anglers are beginning to realise the importance of conserving fish stocks and returning their catches, and joining organisations that fight to preserve the fisheries. Hopefully My children and other's joining the ranks of Angling will ensure the preservation of our sport and continue to be guardians of the waterways, as an Angler and a Father I could not ask for anything more.

As well as taking my children fishing I have had a little dabble Myself of course, and found an interesting little bit of water that I can't really say too much about, but We caught some lovely Roach and Rudd, as well as Perch and a few other species, definitely somewhere to have a little go at now and again when the mood takes me.

I have some plans for the coming week, which, if things go right should provide an interesting and different experience fishing wise, a type of fishing I haven't done for a few years, and hopefully I'll be able to write about it in a week or so when We've finished. As to where the Fly fishing side of things will go for the rest of the season I have no idea, it depends a lot on the weather, Tides and of course the Fish. There are a few months left yet in which to find the right conditions so hopefully things will come good again at some point!

It may seem a little early to be thinking about winter, it is still July after all! But so as to be able to enjoy a full itinerary within My Winter Fishing I like to make some plans, because I've found in previous winters it's all too easy to sit around during those long dark nights wondering what to do whilst waiting for the weekends to come round when I can go fishing, and if I don't have something to aim at and a plan to work to then the Winter would pass without much at all happening, and then after sitting around watching Top Gear repeats and driving round Silverstone on the X Box for hours and hours, I'd finally go mad! Another Trip to the Lower Itchen Fishery where I caught My first Grayling last year has been booked and of Course there will be some specimen Roach fishing, hopefully from a river, along with trying to better My Perch best, Possibly some Pike and most likely some Carp. I would also like to try for some Chub which will entail a few day trips to 'England' to fish the river Stour at Throop. How much of that will come to fruition I don't know, hopefully all of it, maybe only some of it, but whatever happens I hope to keep busy and keep enjoying it and of course writing about it here.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Mid season Blues

I suppose it couldn't last, after the great start to the season, We have really been struggling to find any consisitent fishing lately. Why this is, I have no idea. It could be the Hot stale weather that has been around for the last few weeks, combined with the strong (for Fly and Lure fishing), Winds that won't stop blowing, or More worryingly, the Trawlers that have been seen ploughing up and down the Solent have had a severe and detrimental impact...
What Fish we have caught have been just odd loners which is very unusual at the venues We Fish, and there doesn't even seem to be any Mackerel shoals of any size around at the moment which, again is very strange. Only time will tell what gives, but let's hope that it is just down to the weather conditions and not commercial Fishing.

In the meantime as the week ahead is forecast to be more of the same wind wise, plus with a bit of rain mixed in, there is nothing really to be done in the Salt unless the forecasters are completely wrong! so as My Son has been driving Me mad asking me to take him fishing I will switch to some Coarse fishing for the next few days. Much of what I do Saltwater wise isn't really suitable for me to take My children fishing at the moment and so it's a good idea for me to revert to Coarse fishing to be able to teach them to fish, plus it's probably more enjoyable for them as it's a lot more comfortable way of learning to fish and a lot more productive fish wise! One might say it's a 'gentler' introduction to the sport, and teaches them to be more refined in their approach, which I feel is crucial to enjoyment when fishing. As well as understanding the finer points of the Tackle and choosing the right equipment for the right job.

I have often observed Anglers making the transition from one area of the sport to another, and, particularly with Sea Anglers that move over to try Coarse fishing, there seems to be a certain difficulty with getting to grips with the finer overall approach needed, and naturally this leads to a lack of success if not overall enjoyment. The transition the opposite way doesn't seem quite so bad if you have the fundamentals, but getting used to the heavier style of fishing may be just as difficult for some. In My view Coarse fishing allows beginners and youngsters to get to grips with these basics as well as being able to catch plenty of fish and learn their craft, before progressing on to other branches of Angling, I guess you would call it 'earning your stripes'.

So back to this week, I'm looking forward to taking the children fishing, I love seeing the concentration on their faces while waiting for the next bite, and then the delight and exitement of catching their prize,, and the sighs of disappointment when I say it's time to go home! It also gives Dad a chance to go back to his childhood as I will fish the same way as them to make it fun, it's also a good chance to chill away from My normal 'serious' fishing. It's great knowing that I am giving them something they will hopefully carry with them all their lives, one way or another, even if they don't continue fishing, no child ever forgets that thrill of revealing the secrets that lie beneath the surface of the water, something too few experience, an appreciation that there is a whole other world apart from the day to day one that we all live in...

Saturday, 3 July 2010

The Month in summary : June, and a New Target..

June was a month of two halves, the first half was very productive despite having to fish Ebb Tides, Temperatures were creeping up nicely into the upper teens and the odd twenty plus day. The second half was a lot less prolific, sudden rises in pressure, and a jump in temperatures gave way to stronger winds making things very tricky for Fly casting. A slight detour saw me having a dabble into some coarse Fishing which went quite well, but the return to the Salt hasn't been as kind and We have in truth struggled a bit lately to find the right venue for the conditions on the given evening. ( still learning and evolving the process ! ).Hopefully July will provide us with a few Fish, and some better Tides to try catching them on. Who knows maybe even the wind might be kind as well!

A new Target..

A new species has caught My attention for targeting on the Fly,..Mullet. An obvious objective to some maybe, but not for Me, captivated by the sporting prowess of the Bass, I had largely ignored the Mullet and filed them to the back of My mind to investigate 'later on'. It seems later has become sooner, because lately We have been noticing the Mullet more and more on our travels, as the venues we have been fishing seem to hold vast numbers and it's very hard to walk past them without stopping for a look!
As I mentioned in the summary above, the second half of June has been tough for Me on the Bass front and despite the elusiveness of the Bass, the Mullet were ever present regardless of Wind or Tidal state. The more We talked about the idea of attempting to catch one of the 'Grey Ghosts' as they are known, the more We liked the idea, and many hours have now been spent accumulating as much information as is possible about the Feeding and behaviour of the various species of Mullet and methods that have been used to catch them. Obviously the main aim is to catch them on the Fly rod as this lends itself nicely to a stealthy approach around these ultra spooky fish. Also many Trout Fly's imitate some of the tiny invertabrates, Weed, and Seaweed Maggots that the Mullet include in their diet. Sounds simple doesn't it? Unfortunately it isn't, as they are renowned for their finicky tastes and refusal to take a particular bait one day and then seemingly can't get enough the next, which is one of the the main reasons many Anglers don't bother fishing for them, because they are a difficult species to catch, this gives the Mullet an almost supernatural status as a sportfish, and indeed those that have been successful at catching them report that they do indeed have incredible fighting qualities, akin to the legendary Bonefish of the Florida Flats and are occasionally referred to as the 'British Bonefish'.

Despite the reputed difficulties associated with trying to get these elusive fish to take a bait, I am always up for a challenge, and as usual have immersed myself in the task at hand, fully and completely. I am still in the process of collating the intel as regards suitable patterns of Fly but feel I am beginning narrow it down from the vast array of possibles to a particular few that will mimick some of the dietary delights that the Mullet may regularly feed on. Once armed with these samples I will begin presenting them to the Fish and see just how they react to the offerings and take it from there. Another evolution has begun towards hopefully successfully realising the challenge of banking a new species, as it has so many times before with all the other
specimens I have aquired over the years, each requires a basic approach to start with, and as I inch forward in my quest, certain aspects will be adjusted and tweaked until the ambition is achieved, then once that happens, some more refinements will take place until I am satisfied that I have got the best and most solid approach I can get.

Mullet Territory