Welcome to my Fishing blog. This is a record of my fishing activity. Most of the subject will be based on Fly Fishing for coarse, sea and game fish. The aim is to record every trip I go on whether I blank it or not. I can then build a record that will help me improve and also remind me later on. There is information on tackle, fly tying and equipement and materials and anything else I think may be useful.
We headed to Itchenor for an 8AM meet on Tempus Fuget with skipper Dale. We had a prompt start and headed out of the harbour and sat in Hayling Bay between the entrances and sand banks for Chichester Harbour and Langstone Harbour. We got given the gear on board and set to work with Rag and Squid as bait.
Shortly after starting Dad hit into a fish and pulled it up and with a nice surprise, it was a Thornback Ray.
The best I managed was a few hungry stones... A while after dad hooked into his next fish of the day in the same area, a Dogfish.
We stayed here a while longer and the headed out to an area where we would drift over waters climbing from 65ft to 40ft or so. We had to keep the lead just off the bottom, but close as possible still. I managed to pull up a tiny Whitting, about 5 inches long. That was returned very quickly and so no photo of the fish, but the colours were very very good. In quite quick succession Dad pulled up a Ballan Wrasse and that was returned to the water quite quickly after a picture.
For our last part of the day Dale took us to a deep hole for us to go for something a bit bigger. So on with thicker traces and heavier leads. We dropped them over the side and waited. I hooked into another Whitting, but it was still too small really to keep.
Where'd it go???
The poor thing leapt for freedom only to hit the bottom of the boat and concuss itself.
There it is...
We popped it back in the water and it took nearly 2 minutes for it to kick into life and swim under before the gulls got to it. Dale pulled up a small Pout with lovely markings and colours and sent that back to the water.
Dad hit into another fish and Dale got very excited when he saw it come up. He shouted "don't try to lift that bloody rod..." and ran for a net. He got the fish in and was very excited...
It turned out that this was the first to be landed on the boat. And that the skipper had never caught one before. It also turned out that all the local skippers have a species competition and this was a rare bonus point. Dale took a few photos of Dad and the fish for his records. The fish was then sent back to the sea.
The wind started picking up and a fog bank started to hide the Isle of Wight, then the Nab Tower and then headed for us. Not long before we packed up, Dads rod bent in half and seemed to drag him along the boat and then it was loose. Dad seems to think it was a fish, all I can say is, if it was then it was pretty blooming' big...
The Winner Bank
We headed back to Itchenor, paid up and said thanks and headed home.
All in all it was disappointing we didn't get anything for the freezer, but we both had a great day out and caught 6 species. The winter has had a toll on the fishing and the fish are returning later than normal. There is always next time.
I headed out late this morning for my first fly session on trout. I decided to head back to Meon Springs which is where I did my introductory day last year with Dad. The weather was rainy and misty and a windy 6 degrees. I was aiming for three fish today to stock the freezer and have some fun.
I turned up at the lodge and checked in and got set up. I had asked what was catching at the moment and was shown these two flies:
I bought a couple of each for good measure and headed for Coombe lake. I started with the olive christmas tree imperonator and with in 10 casts fish number one was caught landed. It was swiftly despatched and popped into its bag. It didn't fight very hard which was a little disapointing, but lets face it they usually don't get too much practice fightingfor their lives...
I carried on fishing on Coombe until about 12:30 and then headed to Whitewool lake in front of the lodge. I headed for one of the areas that stick out into the lake and set to casting. I couldn't see any fish but switched to the black fly incase that improved the visibility in the poor light. I had a few follows but nothing touched it. So off that came and on with the christmas tree again around 1PM. One cast in the other direction and bang into another fish which, this time, gave great aerial acrobatics, but didn't manage to get off the hook. That was landed and dispatched again very quickly.
As it was cold I headed to the lodge for a cuppa and chatted to a few of the other fisherman for a bit whilst warming up.
I headed out to Whitewool again and moved around the lake looking for fish in the gin clear waters. I did see loads of frogs/toads at it in the shallower waters and the irst lumps of spawn in the weedy areas at the edge of the lake. I managed to just about get a picture of a frog right in the middle of the photo.
I then headed up to Coombe lake again for another crack. I found a big group of fish and spotted two that I wanted to catch and set on targetting them. I had a few close shaves with other fish but the two I wanted never seemed that interested at whatever and however I threw the flies at them.
Here is Coombe Lake:
I moved up to the fist place I had fish and had a few takes and lost a fliy and entire leader to a biggish fish. So on with a new leader and fly and back to casting. I got another take and the fish ran with it and spat it out again. The next take was more solid and finally into my third around 4:15PM.
I dispatched that fish and with my target filled I headed back to the lodge to pay up, weigh the fish and set off home.
The weights were not big but I had fun.
Fish 1: 2lb 0oz
Fish 2: 2lb 0oz
Fish 3: 2lb 11oz
1. Catch a Pike
2. Learn how to handle
3. Any info/tips I could pick up along the way (Thanks to Steve and Dave for their input)
Friday 19th March
I started work at 7AM in Bromley with the car loaded with gear ready for the weekends fun. I was supposed to finish at 3, but due to all hell breaking loose at work I got out 45 minutes later, although not much later, I hit the Friday rush hour. after just over 4 hours I arrived at the Blue Bowl Inn. The place looked nice enough and was suitably surprised at my room. I had tried to arrange meeting up with James and Steve for a presession drink, so running late and my battery on the phone dying quickly I was glad to have arrived. Anyway, I got hold of James and he headed over to the Inn for a bevvy. I got hold of Steve also who seemingly got lost on the M6 toll road and was running very late. As we were chatting away in the bar, two slightly strange flella's were earwigging and one said "you with the PFFA?" We answered yes and it turned out to be Dave Smith and Guy Eldrige. We all started chatting and was good to meet a few more members before setting out in the morning.
Shortly after Ben from PikeTrek turned up and joined us for a drink, chatting about fishing and the company. I thought it nice to actually meet someone from the company I got my rod from. After a few pints everyone headed back for some sleep.
Saturday 20th March
It was an early rise for a good breakfast before heading off for the day. When I arrived at the lodge James was already there, as was Steve and Andy. Dave and Guy turned up about 5 minutes later, just before 9. After a meet and greet, we headed in and got the boats sorted.
The boat pairings:
Steve and myself
James and Andy
Guy and Dave
We all headed of in in different directions with a positive feeling. Myself and Steve headed to the entrance of Villace for a chuck and drifted a bit there, with no action. We headed around Nunnery and into the next big bay and fished along the northern bank. By this point Steve said it would be easier if we had an anchor in the boat to stop the drifting. It was alomost comedy timing as we noticed the bright orange buoy in the boat with an anchor on the end. Needless to say we put it to use. We continued to work the length of the north bank, Steve had a follow from a trout, but that was it from that bay. We also tried the very very calm quiet bay at the end of the larger bay, I hit the tree twice, but got my flies back with out snagging. Whilst lovely here it did not produce anything.
We moved over to south of Wick Green point. We fished our way along the reed banks at about 20 yards from the reeds casting in all directions, but again nothing. We continued on around the corner past Wick Green point and fished a few spots along the reeds there. In the last spot we were in I had a biggish flashabou self made creation on. I had just retrieved it to about 2 feet from the boat when all of a sudden a reasonable size Pike came from nowhere and went right over the top of the fly. It scared the be-jesus out of me, making me jump. I just wish the Pike had had better aim...
We stayed a bit longr but nothing more came of the area. We were both suffering for the long day in the oat and headed back to the lodge. We unloaded and met the other members.
The catches for the day:
Andy, Steve and Myself 0
We sorted out meeting up for a feeding over at the Seymour Arms in Blagdon, once freshed from the days sport. Andy headed off, which left 5 of us. We met up at the pub and had a good feed and drink, and discussed the days success's and failures. Steve turned up last after kind-heartedly rearranging a locals rockery for them. It was a really nice evening and a good chance to chat to everyone. All being slightly knackered, we headed off for sleep in preperation for day 2.
Sunday 21st March
Again, we met at the lodge and there was a slight alteration to the previous days boat partners. I didn't meet any of the extra 4 on Sunday.
The boat pairings:
Steve and Guy
James and Andy
Dave and Myself
Ben and Greg
Dave and John
Heading out to drift near the island:
Myself and Dave headed out south of the island and drifted towards it for a while. I loaded up my depth charge line and found this filled my rod a lot better than my intermediate and floating lines. This was to be the only line I used all day.
We then headed towards where I had seen my fish the previous day to give that a quick blast, no joy. We then headed along past Wick Green point to fish the reed banks I had the day before with Steve. It started quietly here and then Dave was on. It was a Jack of about 4 or so pounds and seemed very lazy when it came in. It was in the boat for under a minute whilst unhooked and then sent back to the depths, all 5 feet of them, although it went back just as lazily as it had come out. It was nice to see a Pike up close and handled quickly and safely.
A short time later on a back cast Dave hit into another fish. Again this was a lazy one that didn't fight very much. That was chinned and pulled up for a quick pic.
Fish two being unhooked in the net:
Fish two for Dave:
Once the net was packed away, Dave cast out the the front and BANG, into another fish. This one had a bit more scrap in it and was a good size.
Fish three for Dave:
A little time later Dave spotted some eggs on the oars and also the sling which meant that two of the fish were females as they came in on different sides of the boats.
We stayed along the same oatch in a few of the natural bays. It got to about 3PM and we moved on to try near the island again. We anchored up and moved again quite quickly in search of Guy and Steve. Once the tour of the lake was finished to track them down, we spotted them. We had heard that Ben had seen the Pike in Villace spawning aggresively, so we headed over there and James and Andy were on the edge of the bay already, so we all headed in. All spread out we started covering the water. I looke around and saw Guy hooked into something and Steve ready with a net. A few minutes later a single word echoed across the bay "YES!!!". Guy was a happy man. This turned out to be the 18lb beasty.
Myself and Dave decided that was it for the day and headed for the lodge. During the time we left the bay, Steve caught his first of the weekend. Shortly after that Guy and steve headed in and we packed up and headed home, leaving James and Andy in the bay.
It was great to put faces to names and meet a great bunch. And all in all I can't wait for the next meet I can get to. I learned a lot and found a few holes in my fly collection. That will be sorted shortly.
And lastly, Some people were never meant to take pictures, Dave Smith is one ;). I don't think any of us have seen such blurry images from a point and shoot camera, but then i guess thats why he fishes and not takes pictures...
I found a link to this on Complete Fisher Forum. It appears to be a the SBS from a member of the PFFA, Dougie. I thought it looked pretty good and gave it a crack and I don't think it came out too bad for a first attempt. I was lacking the red hackle feathers so I used soft stemmed marabou so it would wrap around easily.
The recipe is in the "Fly Tying Recipes for Predators" section.
Here it is:
This looks like it should have plenty of movement in the water and plenty of flash from the Flashabou tail.
I had a load of Slinky Fiber arrive today in a bundle of colours.
I haven't used this before so it's yet another thing to learn to tie with.
Having tied only two flies with it I am finding that there a small gap between too little and too much, it is a very fine line. It is very easy to control once you have the bundle in your fingers. I just need to find a couple of patterns to learn from to get a better idea of what it can do.
Here are my two attempts:
Namely "Tequila Sunrise" and "The Patriot"
I am yet to see this stuff in action, lets hope its as good as its supposed to be
Having got some flashabou - here are my first 5 attempts. They range from about 6-8 inches in length. Its very easy to tie with it seems but annoying to split away from the bundled materials without taking more than you need. Guess that takes practice.
I have now bought an Apex Anvil Vice and I have to say WOW, I get on with this one so much more than the previous one which was a snowbee one.
Apex Anvil Snowbee
I found with the Snowbee one I couldn't get the head to stay still whilst trying to tie. Also I could not get the hooks to stay still in the jaws.
Now, as for the Anvil, ITS GREAT...
There are grooves in the jaws that you can place the hook into, one for small hooks nearer the opening and larger at the back. Once the hook is in a wheel it turned to tighten the jaws and then the lever at the back is pushed down to totally secure the hook in place. Nice and easy.
It comes with a G clamp to secure the base to a surface or the main part of the vice can be removed from the base and put directly in the clamp so that the base is no longer needed.
I am a happy tyer with this and my tying has improved big time with this keep the hook where it should be.
Having bought the rod over a week ago today was the first chance I had to get out with it. I headed out to my usual haunt, the local canal.
Here she is...
I was using a #9 weight floating line due to the canal only being 3-7 feet deep. I was worried that the line might be a little too light for the rod and it did appear like that sometimes. There are a few areas where I can get a full cast going and the flies flew a lot further with a bit more line loaded into the rings. I think with a bit more room and some better casting from me this beasty will propell the flies great distances. The turn over I had from it was excellent and the flies that caused issues on my #8/9 rod have gone. It feels light and has a very comfortable grip and action. I am no expert by any means but the quality is felt in each cast.
I did manage to cast the last section into the canal but got it back, luckily the line did not snap. Note to self - put the bloody rod together properly or there'll be tears...
Here are the flies I tested out today with the rod:
Can't wait to try it out on the Chew Valley trip next weekend. I will report on it then as well.
On the 20th and 21st March 2010 the PFFA has a members outting to Chew Vally Lake for 2 days of Pike fishing from boats. This is my 2nd time in a boat and the first potentially with a boat partner.
The hotel I have booked is http://www.thebluebowl.co.uk/ which is close to the lake. I get there Friday night and get some rest before the days of fun. It will be good to meet some of the PFFA members and put faces to names.I think I am pretty ready.
The mission on this weekend is to learn as much as possible and also obviously catch a Pike. I have the cigars at the ready to celebrate.
2 reels with 4 spools
Sinking Line (6"-7" ips)
Intermediate Line (1.5"-2" ips)
Currently around 40 flies
Disgorgers (6" and 10")
80lb shockleader (for tracer)
Proleader 26lb (for tracer)
Extra loops for the end of the fly line in case of breaks