Monday, 29 October 2012

Time for Grayling

One I managed to land
Back from Wales last weekend, and as promised I have been indulging in a bit of Grayling fishing, albeit only for a couple of days, although my intention is to do a lot more when I have the time. I ventured out on to the middle Eden with my good friend Geoff Johnston over the course of this weekend, and although we had to search for them we did eventually find fish, and when we did we had some good sport and encountered some decent sized fish too. Both days produced some serious interest from the Grayling about two hours before dark, however, they were not fully convinced about our offerings and they were being very cautious in their interest. We both encountered and lost quite a few fish and good fish at that, and I remember commenting to Geoff that I couldn't remember the last time I lost as many fish in one session. Some takes simply tightened the line as if they were just investigating the flies and although the first contact was solid and the fish were on, they were often not on for long.

Geoff on the Bugs
Many of you out there that fish regularly for Grayling will have encountered this before, I know I have, several times, although my success rate is usually higher when this happens, and even when the rod tip was raised as the flies traversed the stream to allow for better hooking, it was still difficult to keep them on.

As we have discussed before, Grayling can be much more accommodating after long periods of settled conditions and Sunday saw an early morning frost which can often be very welcome when Grayling fishing as they are certainly not uncomfortable with low temperatures, however as Geoff pointed out when we first arrived, this was the first frost for a while and therefore outside of the norm (so to speak) and until it becomes the norm it could make the fishing difficult, he was right.

Geoff returns a fish of 15 inches
However we were blessed with our fair share of sunshine throughout the day too, which helped to make the fishing very pleasant. Unfortunately we are now getting rain again, which will influence the conditions, but hopefully not too much for now as I have a group out this coming weekend. Time will tell.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Salmon Season ends on the Eden

Jeff's Success
Yesterday saw the end of the 2012 Salmon season on the river Eden. However, not before we encountered a few more big fish coming to the fly along the way, as water conditions semi behaved themselves, at least on the higher beats, as the lower beats showed little relief from high water levels yet again. For all we have had quite a difficult season due to the persistent fluctuations in water levels, many of the anglers I have had out over the course of the season have come up trumps on several occasions, and as you can see from the pictures the last few days have been no exception as they show a few more success stories.

OK, A Joint Effort
I must mention my good friend Jeff who came up from Wales for three days tuition and fishing with me early last month, in what was proving to be rather difficult conditions, but I am glad to say that this did not phase him at all and the tuition we managed to get in during his visit came to fruition as he returned to the river with me just a few days ago to put it into practise and landed not one, but two fish of a lifetime. The first of which he insisted was a joint effort (although he did all the hard work whilst playing the fish) and the second was all Jeff, and a good job he did too considering these were his first ever salmon. "I think he is now hooked for life".

A big improvement in Jeff's casting

Another successful story was a day on the river with Bill, who came along with John Schofield who is a regular visitor of mine on the river. Bill hooked and landed his first ever Salmon and also lost a nice fresh fish close to the bank. A bit of bad luck though for Andrew Wiper, another regular visitor of mine, who has had a few fish with me in the past, as he hooked and unfortunately lost a good fish after an epic battle with what turned out to be a worthy advisory. As you can see we have certainly had a good spell of action over the last few days. "All of the fish in the pictures were carefully returned to the water.

Bill's first Salmon
I am off to Wales on Friday for the next assessment weekend for potential new AAPGAI instructors which will also take in the AAPGAI AGM and open day, this is an event worth coming to, especially if you have not been to an AAPGAI open day before. There will be plenty going on, including demonstrations and one to one tuition throughout the day, why not come along and see for yourself. Here are the details of the day: AAPGAI Open Day.

When I return from Wales I will be focusing on the Grayling fishing (if the water behaves) as I already have one or two people booked in for that, but when I am free I'll be indulging in a bit of that myself, it's great fun.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

And the Deluge goes On

An Icelandic View
Since my last blog I have now returned from Iceland where the fishing was unusually difficult for that part of the world, and for 9 shared rods over a 4 day period we only managed 19 Salmon with six Sea Trout over 3lb. Although this may sound reasonable by UK river standards, it is actually quite poor as Icelandic rivers go, considering we had around 115 salmon for only six shared rods last year, and 22 Sea Trout over 3lb. However, fishing is not alI about catching fish or we would simply call it "catching" and once again I really enjoyed the trip and I am considering a rematch again next year. The highlight of the trip for me (apart from the good company and excellent food) was my first encounter with Aurora Borealis (The Northern Lights) which I had the good fortune to gaze upon over two consecutive evenings "Fantastic".

Piaras playing a Nice Rainbow
Unfortunately upon returning home the weather was much the same as it was when we left, with the rain relentlessly returning time after time constantly contributing to unsettled river conditions yet again, preventing us from getting that spell of settled water we so desperately needed and still do. So with Piaras and Rab  arriving from Northern Ireland for three days Salmon fishing with me conditions were difficult and on the third day we had to fish a local stillwater for Browns and Rainbows as the river had swollen once more. However they did have some success with eight fish coming to Daddies and nymphs, a timely reminder of what a tight line felt like. Fortunately Piaras has been a couple of times before and has previously encountered our river Eden Salmon, but this was Rab's first visit, although he did seem keen to come again.

One of Christians Fish
Following a couple of casting tuition sessions, (when the river was out of order) and several youth sessions higher up the Border Esk for Borderlines, I returned to the river Eden again with John and Christian, two of my regular annual visitors who always seem to catch fish when they are here, and once again they did not disappoint as they managed to hook 5 Salmon between them, landing four of them. Three hen fish and one cock fish, which were all returned to the river, the biggest fish being around 18 - 20lb and as you can see from the picture below, it probably entered the river in the Spring, but what a magnificent specimen.

Probably Entered in the Spring
However, as I write this, the deluge continues, and the river is rising yet again. I just hope it returns to some kind of normality towards the weekend to offer a few more opportunities before the end of the season, which will soon be upon us. "Surely we deserve some respite from the rain over the next 11 days"! "Here's Hoping".