Monday, 23 September 2013

From Iceland to Eden

My fishing partner Trev in Iceland
Well my trip to Iceland is now over, yes I know it doesn't seem that long ago that I mentioned in my last blog that I was looking forward to going. However I was definitely not disappointed this year as Iceland certainly lived up to the recent reports we were receiving for the 2013 season as our party managed to land exactly 100 salmon (on the fly) for 10 shared rods over a period of three days fishing, pretty good going, not to mention the multitude of fish lost during our time there. 

Rob plays an Eden trout on a clearing water
We had some fantastic sport on the Midfjardara river, all catch and release too, which has certainly proved itself to be one of the contributing factors to the excellent fishing experienced in this magnificent country. When you consider that conditions on the river were not ideal when we arrived, with rain swelling the river a bit too much, which also added some unwanted colour to the mix, not to mention driving winds and sleet on the final day and a half, dropping the river temperature to 1 degree at times, the results were not bad at all. Imagine the potential given the right conditions. That said, we were certainly not complaining. 

Nigel with a late season Brown
Since returning home I have certainly been kept busy on the river Eden with a range of people taking tuition and fishing for both trout and salmon, and during the short time I have been back we have been catching some good fish too. The trout fishing has continued in good form with temperatures remaining above average for September, this is a definite bonus at a time when colder conditions can often suppress much of the remaining insect life, and with water levels much more stable than last year, the trout are also more likely to oblige. That said, we have had a couple of good lifts in river levels too which certainly helps the salmon anglers during the latter part of the season.

A well formed fish for John
There are fewer salmon showing in the system than usual for this time of year, but there are definitely fish about as both Christian and David (regular visitors of mine to the Eden) discovered to their delight over this weekend as they landed two very good conditioned fish of around seven pounds and eight pounds respectively. Both fish were taken on a falling water following the most recent spate.

Christians fish came to a Cascade
Chris and David have been coming now for the past five years and incredibly they have always caught fish. "I need to bottle whatever it is they are transmitting". This time around they had one of each, a cock fish (on the right) and a hen fish, (seen above) both fish were promptly returned to the water after quick photographs. John also caught a couple of nice brown trout on the first day of his trip.

Alan into an Eden Brownie 
Only one week left now until the end of the trout season on the Eden and three weeks until the end of the salmon season, but plenty of sessions left between now and then, so fingers crossed that things continue in this positive vein for those of you who still have your trips to come and that there are still plenty of successful days left between now and then. "Tight Lines".

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Fresh Water Stirs Them Up

Phil & David
On Sunday 1st September I was out with two keen salmon anglers on the lower river, Phil and David. Phil has been out with me a couple of times before and was much improved in his casting techniques, and David was indulging in salmon fishing for the first time, although he was really getting to grips with it. There were plenty of salmon showing on the lower river, but with low water conditions hanging on they were reluctant to take the fly, and with only a couple of days to go before another of my regular groups arrived I was willing the rain to come.

Unfortunately the rain held off, and when Andy, Alan and Andrew arrived a few days later, the water was still very low, and although they can now cover the water very well with a variety of casts for differing wind directions, the fish still wouldn't oblige. Quite frustrating too, as there were plenty of salmon in attendance showing throughout the lower beats. We then spent a couple of days on the middle river with no success, but on day one the rain decided to come, putting the river up on day two and making conditions very difficult in the early stages as the colour thickened up throughout the system. High hopes for the following day though as we returned to the lower beats. The only down side was that they had to wait for a good part of the day for the colour to diffuse offering them a much better chance of a fish. 

Andy through the net
Mixed fortunes ensued as the water did begin to clear slightly and Andrew hooked into a very good salmon on the fly as we watched it crash about on the surface briefly before seemingly behaving itself for the next 5 minutes, but then came the twist as the fish parted company with Andy not far from the bank. If anyone deserved a fish it was one of these guys as they had covered the water relentlessly and very methodically too I might add. In all fairness, they only really had two half days when the water was good and they certainly made the most of that. "Don't worry guys your day will come".

I have since had reports from up and down the river that Andy's fish was not the only one hooked that day, and apparently as the water began to clear there were several other fish caught that day, and landed too, which included a couple of fish over 20lb, so hopefully things are now beginning to happen. It's surprising how a bit of fresh water can trigger these magnificent fish, but the difficult bit is being there just at the right time as water levels are dropping and clearing after a spate when these fish become agitated and much more aggressive, or is it anticipation?

Alan in full concentration
Unfortunately for me, if this recent fresh water has improved things, which it certainly seems to have done, then I am about to miss the results, as I am off to Iceland on Thursday to indulge in a bit of salmon fishing of my own, however with reports coming in of bumper catches in Iceland this year I may not miss out on too much after all. We'll soon see, I have been at this game long enough now to know not to count my chickens (or salmon) before the event, so I will let you all know how it went when I get back. "Here's hoping".