Monday, 31 January 2011

Time to Tie

No fishing this weekend, but I have been tying some flies ready for the new season in the salt.
Over the last couple of years I have tended to use synthetic materials more than natural ones, and the results have been quite good, and my 'artificial' flies have caught plenty of fish.
This year I decided to play around with naturals a bit more and see if there was any difference,  in the ( my ), tying of them, and the amount of fish produced. The latter part of that will have to wait until the Bass arrive, but I can say that I have found the Naturals to be much more to my liking than I had anticipated from a tying aspect. My pals and I did very well on SF flashblend last season, utilising the material for Clousers as well as a few other patterns. It's fairly easy to work with, though a bit messy, and you can produce a nicely pre-shaped ( tapered ), fly.
The only thing is that it lacks any real movement in the material itself compared to naturals like Bucktail, which has lots. I love the Flashblend but am curious as to whether there will be any marked difference in catch rate with the Bucktail Clousers. The Bucktail is also enormously easy to work with and you can get just the right amount of material you need simply by picking out any excess hairs or stray ones that are the wrong length for what you are doing.
Bucktail is incredibly versatile too with literally hundreds of different patterns suiting its combination of rigidity and mobility. Of course this is all very well known, but it will be an interesting experiment never the less. My gut feeling is that it probably won't make any odds the the fish, either way, but half the fun of fishing is in the experimenting with different methods and tactics, and if it makes my life easier when tying, then all well and good!

Here are some of the patterns so far....

This is a variation of the little white Minnow that has done me proud, now available in Bucktail!

Chartruese variant

Standard Clousers




Some Sandeel versions, with all the material tied on the inside of the Hook to achive the profile and stop wrap arounds.



Pollock fly


So nothing very revolutionary there, simple basic patterns that will be the bread and butter catchers, I will be trying some other patterns from time to time when the need or opportunity arises, I am working on a version of a Mackerel Flatwing at the moment plus various 'Ray's' fly versions in different colours like this :

This is the Mackerel Flatwing prototype, I have chosen Olive as opposed to Blue, as I believe the fish only turn  that blue colour once out of the water?

As I said it's a work in progress at the moment, a few bars on the olive bucktail perhaps, or some peacock Herl to top it off maybe.

I have only tied a few of each colour and pattern so far but will be tying some more when time allows. Roll on April!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Three Three's...

No the answer isn't nine...That's how many Perch I have managed over the three pound mark in three sessions!  We had hoped to switch to some Roach fishing this weekend so as not to let the fishing get stale and mix things up a bit. Sadly our Roach venue was flooded due to heavy rain earlier in the week, so it left us no real aternative but to tackle the Perch again as the venue they reside in is not susceptible to flooding. Saturday was a bitterly cold and dull day, with a biting Northerly wind pushing across the lake. The north bank of the lake was the most sheltered spot being protected by some tree's and also happens to be rush lined and prolific in the Perch stakes so this was the obvious choice. The day went well despite the conditions, with the float burying beneath the water regularly as the Perch attacked the baits with vigour. The first fish landed was another specimen three pounder at 3lb 8oz and an immpressive looking creature it was too. These magnificent fish always cause me to gasp when they first appear out of the depths, anything around the three pound mark looks huge in the water, and the way they shake their heads as they break surface the first time, desperately trying to shed the hook, makes my heart miss a beat!  The rest of the fish I caught were from a pound and a half up to two pound 'ish. My two boys were restless and decided to try spinning for the Perch but to no avail apart from a couple of possible nips, but it kept them warm and occupied! Eventually they managed to settle back down and number one son immediately bagged a new personal best in the form of a smashing 2lb 15oz specimen. He was totally chuffed with that, though I think he would have liked it to nudge past the magical three pound eh?!  He also took three more smaller samples before daylight ran out and it was time to go.  A good day all in all and a good number of Perch caught, and definitely time for a change now. My mates are starting to make threats about chucking me in the water if I catch any more three pounders! 
I've had a good run and I fancy a change now so i'm hoping the Roach venue will be fishable next weekend.  

Three pounder number Three! 3lb 8oz

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Wind blown Perch

Another, somewhat windy, Perch session today. The aim was to try a different area from the one we fished last weekend, it doesn't pay to keep fishing the same spots that have produced good catches or good individual fish as this makes the fishing stale I find and the pressure begins to tell on the fish. Better to rotate spots and keep several ticking over that way. The wind was such that no areas of the lake were sheltered and so we picked an area that was recieving the least  battering and plotted up there. Things were very slow for the first few hours, and a slight change in the wind direction had us moving a few yards to new swims. The move worked and my ten year old son once again showed the adults the way by landing the first fish of the day, a Perch of around a pound and a half. Shortly after this I landed my first fish, a sample in the upper pound bracket. This was swiftly followed by two more, another fish also in the upper pound region, and a 2lb 15oz specimen. After that things went quiet again until very late in the day when my son managed another fish. Altogether a difficult day I would say, the fish weren't really in a feeding mood for whatever reason, but we managed a few nice fish to keep the interest up.

2lb 15oz

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Please sign up for Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Fish Fight if you want to stop this needless waste and do your bit to protect future Fish stocks.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Shimano Purist update

As a footnote to the weekends Perch fishing report, I thought I'd mention that I was using the Shimano Purist Multi light specialist rod for the task of targeting the Perch. It was used in the 0.75lb tip guise and am pleased to announce that it is a perfect little tool for the job. Although 'tippy' the rod bends progressively through the tip section and into the butt with any half decent specimen battling away on the end of the line and gives good feedback as to what is going on. Any sudden runs and lunges by the Perch are cushioned nicely by the tip without raising any concerns about hook pulls, yet there still remains plenty of power to keep the fish under control. I am very pleased as this type of fishing is what the rod is aimed at and the reason I purchased it in the first place. Good job Shimano!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Just what the Doctor ordered!

Still suffering from a bad case case of the post Christmas blues, and recovering from a bout of Flu, fishing really was the furthest thing from my mind. No enthusiasm, no energy and a severe lack of motivation, were all dragging me down. Then my mate suggested a day's Perch fishing might be the thing to lift my spirits, to which I reluctantly agreed.

I owe my friend my gratitiude, because as it turned out, it was a very good day's fishing and was exactly what I needed to bring me back to an even keel. That's what I love about Fishing, it's ability to lift you up just when you need it, and also the head- levelling qualities when things don't go to plan. As another friend said, who wasn't having quite such a good day, highs and lows, thats what makes it what it is.

The fishing then,

I don't know how many Perch I had and It's irrelevant really, but I had a few, all pristine, bristlingly aggressive, and beatifully marked in their winter splendour, bulking out nicely ready for their spawning rituals in a few weeks. Size wise, well from a pound and a half upwards, topped by two magnificent beasts weighing 2lb 15oz's and 3lb 8oz's. I was Blown away I can tell you, that's my second Perch of over three pounds now. My ten year old Son also did well and notched up two new personal bests of 2lb 2oz's and 2lb 9oz's, which he played and handled very well, making his old Dad very proud I can tell you!

It's good to be back in a fishing frame of mind, and to have something to look forward to each week, no matter how it turns out. Without it, what would life be?

2lb 15oz's

3lb 8oz's

Saturday, 1 January 2011

4 Months and counting...

And so the page turns and the story continues into another year. Only there isn't much to tell at the moment, the recent big freeze and Christmas have brought any fishing to a very abrupt halt! Not to mention I have had Flu since Boxing day as well to boot!
So I may be feeling a little sorry for myself at the moment as things have not exactly gone according to my earlier plans. There's still time to achieve some goals on the freshwater side of things of course, if I can get motivated. The truth is, since I took up Saltwater Fly fishing I can think  of nothing else. No other Angling method that I have experienced over the years can compare to the thrill, excitement and satisfaction gained from catching Bass on a Fly rod. These days I get more enjoyment out of catching Fish with the simplest of tackle and methods, gone are the days of me carrying excessive amounts of gear to camp out for hours or days, the less kit I can get away with and the more mobile I can be, the better. Saltwater fly fishing fullfils that requirement perfectly. A rod, a reel and a box of flies are all I need to keep me happy, I can wander down to my favourite spot, exploring all the different parts of it, searching out the fish. And when I make contact with my quarry, the tackle allows me the best feedback and the most thrilling fight experience to be had, nothing to get in the way, no interference from additional bits of tackle or gadgetry, just the simplest form of fishing there is, aside from using a spear!

So I am sitting here at the moment dreaming of that time when I can once again return to the Salt and partake in my favourite thing of all, but sadly that is still at least four months away. There is some preparation to be done in that time though, in the form of filling the box with flies ready for the new season, and that is what I will be doing in the coming weeks. A new tying Vice has beeen purchased and materials old and new will be being assembled ready to tie my creations, that will hopefully tempt the Bass into taking a bite! Patterns, again, old and new will be finding their way into my box, not too much variety but enough to hopefully cover my needs as the season progresses.  Another part of my  kit that needs to be renewed are my Waders as after two seasons my relatively cheap pair of Daiwa's have given up the ghost, so I will be weighing up the pro's and con's of the various types available so as to make the right decision when the time comes.
So that's where I am at the moment, I'm hopeful there will be some fishing of some sort in the near future to keep me ticking over and lets hope there are a few nice sessions and fish to write about!

Happy New Year!