August 16, 2015 Leave a comment
You simply will not find a better film about fly fishing than this it tells more than a story about catching fish it shows you the journey, captures the sense of adventure. This is what fishing is all about.
Putting the arse back into coarse angler
August 11, 2015 Leave a comment
Aviemore is an outdoorsman paradise, it straddles the mighty River Spey perhaps one of the most famous salmon rivers in the world. Its the main hub in the Cairngorms for mountain bikers, hikers, fishers and shooters. Whilst the prize fishing around Aviemore is obviously the Spey, I would be focussing my attentions upon the lovely Rothiemurchus Fishery.
As a family man myself my first impressions of the fishery were excellent, the fishery is in a very touristy location and the owners have obviously made efforts to cater for the whole family. There are 2 main ponds, there is an any method pond for kids to experience fishing for trout and a larger pond for the big boys in big boy pants, who want to catch big trout. This larger pond also has a small any method section, during my visit one of the guys from the fishery was teaching a family how to cast a fly. I think this is great seeing young kids introduced to the sport in such a manner.
The horseshoe shaped big pond was really well established and a real mix of open water combined with lots of knooks and crannies to try and stalk out some fish. One of my favourite features of this fishery is the amount of fresh water flowing through it, in places it feels as though you are fishing a small stream it really aids in your presentation of small nymphs and dries.
I was fishing with Jamie on the day and we arrived at midday and fished to around 4pm also known as the worst part of the day for fishing. We spent the first couple of hours blind casting the open water using a combination of lures and nymphs, it must be said we were not overly successful throughout this spell. I eventually decided to have a bit more of a stalk around, with my main target being a secondary inlet on the opposite side of the lake from where I had spent much of the day watching trout rising and taking flies just below the cover of an overhanging tree.
I slipped on a little black buzzer and a Diawl Bach and snuck up to the inlet keeping low so I wouldn’t spook the fish in the shallow clear water. Crouched a yard or two from the waters edge, I threw a few false casts and managed to land my flies right at the mouth of the inlet, the flies sunk quickly as the line drifted a foot or so downstream. Almost immediately, the line pulled tight and I knew a fish was on. I struck into the offending fish and after a perilous fight I managed to pull the fish over the lip of the net. It was a tidy fish of around 2lb, in case your wondering the black buzzer was the fly the fish succumbed to. It was the first fish of the day to come out of the lake. Victoriously, I let the swim rest for 10 minutes before smugly recasting into the flow of water. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to coax another fish out of the little inlet so I decided to go for a wander.
As I walked around the lake I came across an angry Yorkshireman whipping the main inlet to a froth. Jamie was casting to a pack of 4 ‘bows in a few feet of crystal clear water. He was fishing a pheasant tailed nymph and receiving lots of interest from the submerged trout one of which was an absolute clonker. Despite a few good takes Jamie didn’t manage to land anything, so reluctantly I strolled “downstream” to see if I could find any chunky fish cruising around. I decided to leave the net with Jamie, this proved to be a significant decision.
I didn’t have to walk far until I found a lump of a fish cruising about 6 yards out, just under the surface. I eagerly prepared my rod and cast out, unusually, my flies gently landed about 10 inches in front of the fish. The fish turned and there was a flash of white as the trout gulped down my only just submerged pheasant tailed nymph. A long fight ensued with the fish making constant dashes for the margins, the battle was made all the more difficult by my aforementioned lack of net combined with a thick barrier of reeds about 4 foot deep. I tired the fish out as much as possible before hauling him through the reed where I managed to tickle him out with my hands.
As I laid the trout on the ground and caught my breath, I quickly realised this was my P.B. rainbow trout, a fish which on any other day, I would put back but I decided to keep him as me and Jamie were wild camping and a big fat trout like this would fill up our big fat bellies nicely.
August 7, 2015 Leave a comment
The most intriguing thing about the Isle of Skye is its attached, albeit by a bridge, to the island which I call home. Nowhere else within the UK has the same ancient; almost mythical feel about it. I visited the island a few weeks ago with my old pal Jamie. We parked Storm (07 Citreon Relay 2.2 HDI 100 L1h1 medium panel van) in the large lay by just after Kilamarie. The destination was Camasunary Bothy, a 3 mile hike over a small hill.
The hike took me and Jamie around an hour and a half, mainly due to our severe fatness and all round general poor health. It is an absolute cracker of a walk, for such a small hike it really is staggeringly beautiful. Of course, we were both armed with sea fishing rods. After cresting the hill and walking down to Camsunary we stopped to recover our breath on some rocks by the sea.Almost immediately upon our arrival small fish were jumping just yards out from the rocks upon which we were perched. I eagerly tackled up a spinning outfit and got stuck in, then the darndest thing happened….
An entire family, two adults, 3 kids and dog emerged, in the sea, from around the headland to my left, swimming frantically with a rather large log in tow, all supported by a couple of buoys. Straight through my swim. Now, bear in mind, this isn’t an inner city park lake full of people and dogs, I had driven for 14 hours, to one of the remote parts of the country where you don’t expect to see anyone for miles and 5 minutes after arrival, two generations of an entire bloody family with pets swan through my swim.
It turns out that the offending family live in the house of Camasunary, which it just so happens has no access via road and the only way to get wood for heating is to swim it around from Elgor. To think I get pissed off when I have to put my beer down and walk 3 metres to the heating programmer in my house to pop the heating on. Despite killing my swim, the family seemed really nice and I take my hat off to them for their efforts, although I do think really you should only do that once and then invest in a boat.
The fishing eventually recovered and despite having 5 takes in 5 casts I couldn’t get a fish to stick. Probably need to sharpen a few of the hooks on my old lures to be honest. It must be noted that throughout my short session there were sea trout jumping everywhere. I would love to come back with a fly rod and some waders, but I most certainly would not like to do the walk again especially carrying my knackered old waders.
After fishing, we retired to an already half full bothy. The Camasunary Bothy comprises of 5 sleeping rooms and 2 lounges both with fires. One of the main rooms was already occupied by 3 Frenchman, a German, and a guitar playing Czech. Naturally, we opted for the empty room. After a long day we got our Trangia’s out and started rustling up some dinner. Whilst Jamie cooked up some Pasta N Sauces, on the menu for me (due to a logistical error back at Storm), was a delicious mix of mushroom soup, processed peas and rice. As I was polishing off my disgusting dinner, 4 merry Czech men walked through the door. After briefly sizing each up (always a wise move in a shared bothy to make sure your new roomies aren’t “murderer looking” types); we all tentatively started small talk. Soon, a can of Stella was offered to me which I readily accepted. This was a really kind act, I would certainly not carry beers over that hill and then give them away, willy nilly, to a fat Englishman, whom, I had just met in the middle of nowhere, especially one eating one of the weirdest dinners anyone has ever seen.
As the night progressed, slowly, more and more booze was produced and eagerly consumed. I contributed my vintage bottles of Aldi London Gin and Napoleon Brandy. These went down a treat, you would have thought they were bottles of Hennessy Cognac or a nice cold Taittinger. I suppose when your out in the wilds these little luxuries go a long way, just ask swimming log family.
May 20, 2015 Leave a comment
As the name implies, errr kind of implies, this post is a report of my recent attempts trying to catch some roach, a pursuit in which I have always enjoyed very limited success. With this in mind I set my sights on a real “bagging up” water, Tri-nant Fishery’s mixed lake really fitted the bill. Fishing at Tri-nant Fishery in Llantrisant is always a real pleasure, last time me and Ben enjoyed a good short session on the carp lake. The lakes are situated amongst some lovely fields and best of all its right next door to a pub!
So onto my session, i really fancied fishing a float, it is so soooo much more intriguing watching a float drift and bob on the waves instead of waiting for a feeder tip to pull round or even worse waiting for a ghastly electronic bite alarm to beep beep beep. Many fisherman have said it before me and many will say it after but there is something magical about a float dipping below the surface.
Of course, floats do have their downsides, you have to use abit more watercraft, plumbing the depth is essential and a stiff breeze can cause some serious presentation issues. You could probably write a book on shotting patterns but this is something i am sure would make tiresome reading (even more than usual), as I consider myself far from an authority on the subject I suggest finding aforementioned book and reading it cover to cover.
So finally onto my session, I initially fished the island margins at about 15 foot range but I really struggled, the wind was blowing back towards me and pulling the float out of position. Casting closer to the island resulted in a lost float and getting snapped off in a few submerged snags. I did eventually hook into a fish or two but all these takes resulted in me getting smashed up trying to bully fish away from the snags.
I eventually wised up and moved to the margin to my right; fishing under the rod tip. I had been trickling in freebies to my back up area whilst fishing the island, and it seems fish had been attracted to these offerings as i was instanlty having a few enquiries relayed to me by a wibbly wobbly float after a minute or so the float tanked under and i had a fish on. After playing the fish for a minutes or so I was convinced it was an eel. mainlybecause of the unusual fight of the fish, on my light 4lb gear it was a proper battle, and I didnt see the fish until about 10 minutes into the fight. After about 20 minutes a beautiful mirror was sliding over the rim of my net. A cracking fish on the light stuff!
I was interchanging between some krill soft hookers and single sweetcorn on the hook fished over a bed of mixed pellet and some sonubaits groundbait. I did change hook size a few times to match different baits but I eventually settled on a size 14 guru waggler hook. Combined with my little Drennan reel on my avon style quiver I eventually homed in a decent set up, and I started to connect with some good fish. The trouble was they were all carp full of spawn and the biggest was easily into double figures. Unfortunately, The closest I got to a roach, was a beautiful little rudd which was a new pb, as I can’t recall ever catching one.
It seems this trip, will fall amongst my pile of failed roach trips but I must say it has definitely been one of my one of the finest failed trips I’ve ever been on.
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