Friday, 12 April 2013

Signs of Spring "At Last"

Russell Jnr with a good Specimen
Literally in the last few days we are now seeing signs of things warming up a little. The East winds have just started to swing around to the South East and are forecast to be South Westerly toward the end of the week. We are also enjoying a few sunny spells at the moment, although the rain is on its way into Cumbria tonight. However this will not do any harm at all as the rivers in this area are very low at the moment and a bit of extra water may encourage a few more Salmon to become more active. It's as if they know it is coming too as I watched a couple of nice fish running on the tide yesterday and also lost a nice Sea Trout on a spider pattern followed up with a small Sea Trout (herling) of around 1lb

Russell Snr was a fish Magnet
The transition from March into April continued its very cold trend with all things in nature struggling to identify with spring, especially the youngsters we had out from a local school on their follow up fishing trip with Borderlinesbut I must admit we did get the best of the recent weather on the day. 

From there we were off back up to the river Tay, but this time to work, not to fish, as part of the AAPGAI assessment team, (Association of Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors) assessing potential new instructors for SANA (Scottish Anglers National Association) for their SGAIC qualification (Scottish Game Angling Instructors Certificate) and would you  believe it, considering it was still March, we were greeted by the purest (relatively warm) sunshine I had seen yet. A stolen day by all accounts, but very much appreciated. The outcome was a good one too with three passes from four candidates. (Report).

Beware that tangled Dropper
The first few days into April remained quite cold, but this didn't put the trout off and now that the weather is beginning to warm up a little the trout fishing is also beginning to improve. I have already enjoyed some fantastic fishing both for myself and with people I have had out on the river, with some days producing catches into double figures and fish up to 2lb, not to mention the fish we pricked and lost too. The best method to date though has definitely been the spiders, with nymphs and bugs not doing anywhere near as good at a time when you would expect the cold water conditions to contribute better to those methods.

A good Slab on a Waterhen Bloa
The dry fly has produced intermittently during  times of sparse hatches of Large Dark Olives, but to be honest a Waterhen Bloa in the surface during these periods received a much better response. There has been the odd March Brown spotted too and the odd Stonefly, but they have been few and far between. Spiders remain the order of the day at the moment and this should only get better as conditions improve throughout April and into May. However when using this method in these colder conditions I have found that a lower rod tip than the conventional method of fishing spiders, and a much quicker strike, has produced better results as the takes are by no means convincing at the moment, more investigative.

A good underwater shot
One of the downsides to spider fishing, especially when a light leader is employed, with two droppers, is the possibility of a tangle when the fish decides to leap and cartwheel in the air (often unavoidable). However these set backs are more than worth it when the trout are locked on to this deadly method. The above picture shows an underwater shot of a Brown trout that took a spider on the middle dropper whilst fishing on the Eden the other day (click picture to enlarge).

In the short video clip above I managed to capture a Brown Trout on underwater video whilst trying to play it at the same time, which wasn't easy. It is on the dropper fly which is a Partridge & Orange and if you look close enough you will be able to see it. A very good fight ensued.

Freeing the point fly to free the fish
Out again tomorrow and Sunday with a friend coming over from Norway for some casting tuition and as long as the rain that is forecast does not swell the river too much then more trout fishing on Monday will be the order of the day, although I am very aware that there is still a bit of snow melt yet to come as the warmer temperatures kick in. We will soon find out!