Friday 17th….Forgotten Rod!

A rare Friday treat for me today , I had the day booked off work and a nice three hours or so planned fishing. It might have been a bit longer if I had remembered to actually pack my rod in the car before setting off. I managed to get all the day to the river before realising an essential ingredient was missing… what a Dufus.

The morning was really bright and a still fairly ..well very mild really for mid October, it must have been around 15°C still and no real wind to speak of.

When I eventually got back to the river , this time armed with my rod!!! I only had a couple of hours or so before I had to pick Mrs Blood up from work. Still, nice to be out on a weekday. I was fishing the Rowland’s Gill stretch today.

My little Shakespeare was loaded up with a GRHE on the point of the cast and Greenwell spider on the dropper, these two  flies have really done the business at the back end of the trout  season.. so why change?

Just after 1pm I started at the Weir pool at the top the club water on this particular stretch, the water did look ever so slightly higher than it has been for a while a very slight colour in it but really nothing, it was showing +1” on the fish pal website.

I fished these flies through the  weir pool with only one very very light pull oddly a slow  start after the last couple of decent session.

I walked out and had a little dabble in a very small streamy run on the right hand bank before the split, maybe only 3 foot wide and 10 foot long but looks maybe at least a few foot deep , I thought there might be something lurking in there but despite my efforts there was still  no fish to hand.

Hmmm now on the near bank of the river split, working  down almost to the area where the river rejoins and got my first of the day a nice small silver Grayling only small at 4” but still more than welcome; taken on the dropper, a Greenwell’s spider. and like busses another one almost  identical follows right at the end of the split and again on the same fly.

I did have a really strong pull  where the river rejoins , under the trees, but missed him. This is an odd area it almost looks like there is too much flow to hold any (big) fish but I have had at least one very good fish out of here … so always give it a good go now!

Crossing on to the left bank at this point, fishing through the “nice looking pool that never produces”…. strangely … never produced again!

Here you need to wade about half way across the river at there are a couple of groynes that create a couple of inviting swims… again nothing doing here. Following this run is one of my favourite pools on this stretch..also one of the most accessible to the public (unfortunately) !!  A nice deep pool on the right bank , nice slow eddying run, intermittently shrouded with tree cover giving plenty of protection and food for those pesky fish.

Here I took the third fish of the day, a slightly bigger Grayling this time coming in at 6” but foul hooked in the tail, quickly unhooked and left to get back about his business. At this point with  only about an hour left I decided to have a (rare) change of flies and being somewhat of a traditionalist.. or old fashioned old fart!…. I opted for a Red Tag…. a Grayling fly of some note apparently.

Nothing else was doing down this run so walking downstream I had a little swing through the deep pool that runs around a tree that hangs almost right into the river and is deceptively deep , again a tentative take but no fish.

I was now at the run just after another small island splits the river and my notes tell me that my  next fish was a 7” Brownie taken just by the “blue pipe” on a Greenwell’s spider just after 2pm. I did have the pretty rare-ish pleasure of spying a streak of electric blue zip downstream in the form of a Kingfisher, a real pleasure and more than half the enjoyment seeing wildlife like this.

With me having to leave at 3pm , I had a quiet 20 minute spell without any fish then things started to heat up at 2.30 or so. Fishing the rock pool I spotted a rising fish , cast to him and hooked him a scrappy 6” Brown again on the Greenwell’s spider Followed quickly  by another Brown, this one around 8” and taken on the Red Tag.

Next pool after the rock pool and I take another two fish first an 8” brown again on a Red Tag, and a rather pleasing 5” brown on the Greenwell’s. Pleasing because I spied a very gently sipping rise… cast carefully to where I thought he was and a hook up first cast.. only a small fish but almost  made me feel like a proper fisherman lol.

Almost at the end of the day now I had a run through the small riffly run on the left hand bank.. a run I normally never fish to be honest, very small , pretty shallow-ish you would just normally walk past it I guess, here I took the last couple of fish of the day  a 5” brown on a Red Tag and a 6” Grayling on the Greenwell’s.

It was a decent couple of hours today when I eventually got fishing, sort of a slow start until I hit the first river split then a few fish started to come to hand, especially when I changed the GRHE for a red tag. Fishing seemed to really switch on between 2.30 and 2.50 when I took five fish in quick succession, I ended up with 10 fish to  hand 4 of which were Grayling, odd to catch so many out of season Brownies at this time of year , there was nothing of any great size but seriously good fun on the river. Go to flies were the Greenwell’s Spider and the Red Tag…… certainly beats work!

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Over simplifying?

I think I own 3 fishing rods.. well three and a half I guess if you include the broken fibreglass one that my brother bought me when I was 13 (or so) that I cannot bare to part with.

I have one 7’ Shakespeare Odyssey, which is my go-to river trouting rod.

I have a 7’6” Shakespeare Trion (I think) that is a back up that I carry in case of breakages (see Sonik SK3 saga)

I also have a Diawa 9’6”  #7 that I use for reservoir fishing

So lets talk about reels… of which I own 4, I was always told that for river fishing the reel was only to hold line there is really no need to have a drag system that would stop a charging bull in 10 yards flat when in most river systems there just isn’t the requirement for it.

Of the four I own , I must confess to a moment of tackle tart weakness, in the Sonik Lite reel that I own, it is a 3-4# anodised finish and the only bit of kit that I have lusted after…for the princely sum of £80c off our friends at Ebay and that included a Snowbee floating line (in ivory if you are interested in those sort of things) and looks something like this…

I own a Reel that I use for reservoir fishing, with a couple of spare spools , and from my youth (my pride and joys).. I own a couple of Rimfly intrepid reels, one loaded with a DT sinker and the other a floater.

“Hardware” wise that is about the sum of things, these cover all the fishing I do or am ever likely to do.

“Ancillary” wise I have the following… Airflow waistcoat (which I bought with some vouchers I won), £15 scoop net again off good old Ebay. Scissors attached to one of the waistcoat zingers. Waders £24 Bison chesties off Ebay.. that is about the size of it… it needn’t be expensive

Rod…. £30

Reel and line £80 (my only extravagance)

Waders £24

Net £15

That is enough to get you away all for less than £150 notes.. and you can get considerably cheaper reels than mine!

However I think the absolute best piece of kit I have purchased over the last few years is a couple of small magnets with a length of elasticised cord which combines to attach my scoop net to the back of my waistcoat, the location of my net was a constant  issue and this £10 item has taken all those problems away!

I do wonder when I see some folk with rods costing more than three times my whole kit if I am going wrong somewhere!! Is it really that much better, I find my river set up more than adequate, the rod has handled brownies just shy of 2lb with consummate ease, I can cast it all day over a 6-7 hour river session without any issues, is a rod that costs 8x the price 8x better and in what way? Maybe an ounce or so lighter, maybe better rings?  Maybe I am just a bit tight with me cash?

I do tend to think I have a very simplistic view to fly fishing though, I must only use about a dozen different fly patterns a year, fish with 4lb straight through mono from a braided leader.. maybe that mirrors my views on expensive tackle?

We wont talk about fly tying feathers and silks though as Mrs Blood says I must have all of the world birds just about covered by now!! lol

8th January, a quick session

Just a quick session today with my official photographer to tow (otherwise known as the wife). Weather was very overcast and pretty mild for the time of year. River level was well up on arrival looked a good 6″-7″ up and a little bit of colour in the water.

Putting a red tag on the point

Started fishing from the butterfly bridge with a size 14 red tag on the point and a coch-y-bonddu on the dropper, no luck through the first run, second streamier deeper looking run and had a thumping hit and a decent fight from what turned out to be a decent Brownie of about 8-9″ a very nice wild fish.

A nice wild Brownie

Fished down to and through the run by the outlet pipe without any other touches, only fished for just under an hour for what I would say is an above average size fish (for me) for this time of year.

Carol's Handywork

So just a very quick session..more to get some nice snaps, didn’t expect to get any fish out with it being 11am when we landed so a nice brownie was a great bonus.