Wednesday, 30 March 2011

More fun at the Beach

Had another short session at the weekend with number one Son in tow with his spinning rod. We spent about an hour fishing but with no joy, and then the wind decided to become awkward and fly casting became a bit dangerous! So we thought we would turn over a few rocks and see what life might be lurking underneath them. Amongst the Shrimp, tiny Crabs and miniscule Ragworm was this critter, a Common Prawn or Palaemon Serratus.

I took some Macro shots of it with a view to tying up an imitation to try at some point. Although this is only a small specimen for the species, as they can grow to 8-10cm, many Saltwater fish must include these in their diet as they are packed with protein.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Running a Temperature..

No I'm not ill, not in the true sense anyway, I think I might have fishing OCD though!
Actually I have been following water temperatures very closely this year, in order to try and ascertain a benchmark figure for when, as precisely as possible, it reaches a realisitic level when one might feasibly start catching fish. Saltwater fly fishing, as with all other forms of angling is not an exact science, there are many variables to contend with, but it is possible to pinpoint certain factors and conditions that promote the best chance of catching, at any given time. It's quite painful watching the water temperatures on a daily basis, as they creep up almost imperceptably, but over a period of a few weeks you can begin to see the daily peaks and averages going up. Yesterday for a short time they crept over the ten degrees mark, with an average of around 8.5. Whether this is 'the' trigger point I don't know, we have just had the Spring Equinox, when the Moon was at it's closest to the Earth for twenty years. The tides were the biggest of the year, I'm wondering if this, combined with the warmer weather we have been having recently, ( air temps in the upper teens ), will have encouraged a few fish to sneak inshore for an early feed? I'm writing these thoughts as a personal record so I can look back in future seasons and make comparisons, to try and understand the factors that might combine to produce a realistic starting point. We have already been out a few times to chance our arm, but of course so far we have failed to catch, but you have to start somewhen, and the weather has been reasonably favourable and pleasant in which to cast a fly line, so why not? The last couple of seasons we have not caught fish until April, so we may well have a couple of weeks left yet, but either way we are close, and I can't wait!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Fun at the Beach!

Went out for a couple of hours Saltwater fly fishing in the evening over the Weekend, not much in the way of fish caught but good company made up for that and a bit of seashore exploration during the biggest tides of the year kept us entertained. Pokeing around in the pools revealed several variety's of Shrimp, plus some baby Wrasse which was a surprise, as was the huge field of Razor Clams. The real treat of the evening was the little Dunlins that landed right next to us and allowed us to take their portraits. Pretty little wading birds still in their white and grey winter plumage.

This picture is courtesy of my mate Mr 'B', who is getting a reputation as something of a specialist when it comes to photographing ornithological specimens up close!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

A bit of practise

After last weeks miserable failure we were looking forward to some more settled conditions for this mornings session. The winds had switched to a Westerly direction for the latter part of the week and were brisk but forecast to relent for the weekend. Come friday they had indeed eased but switched back to a South Easterly. Not ideal for our choice of early season venue, and confidence dropped. Still, there is always a chance and the morning dawned bright and calm, so we ventured out for a couple of hours,if only for a bit of casting practise and some fresh salt air with which to fill our lungs. Despite the gentle cool breeze, it still felt warm and we enjoyed the feel of the water and the chance to cast a fly line properly once again, a few 'weed fish' had us momentarily catching our breath occasionally while we hoped they would turn into a Bass, but we were kidding ourselves of course. Sea temperature is around 8 degrees centigrade at the moment, opinion varies as the optimum temperature for the fish to begin feeding in earnest, but personal experience with both salt and coarse fishing leads me to believe 10 degrees is a realistic starting point. The good thing is that we are no too far away from that starting point.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

'Four inches longer....

...and with a rattle!' I wasn't in the best of moods, and the comments from a dog walker about how our flies were too small compared to the lures he had been catching Bass on last summer, were enough to make me wince. 'You catch them on flies?' he questioned, while his canine companion chewed on my mates hand. We tried to explain the sporting virtues of catching even smaller fish on the fly, but I got the feeling he was missing the point. Amazing how many people do, still all the more for us!
I'd pulled myself from the bed at 06.30 on a sunday morning at the insistance of my mates, despite letting them know of my reservations that a brisk north easterly wind was not going to be very helpfull when casting a fly line, especially on our first outing of the year. Basically I was told to 'man up', so I did, just to humour them. Ten minutes after walking down to the freezing shore line, we retreated back to the cars, tails firmly between legs. 'Told you so', I said. They just scowled back at me. I de togged and sat in the car looking smug. On the way home the sun mocked us all by poking through the thick cloud.....

 This is all firmly tongue in cheek, because actually we had a good laugh about it all, as we always do, no matter what happens on a session. We're all so desperate to make a start and get fishing this year, and in reality we are probably at least a month away from any meaningful sport. We will continue to try our hand with regularity now, despite this mornings debacle, as long as the weather is actually conducive to casting a fly!!

Loomis, Orvis, Orvis, the Tackle Tarts are in town,...nice gear,shame they can't catch fish!!