Saturday, 17 November 2012

Late Autumn Update..

Late autumn, early winter... whichever way you look at it, it's been a long old stretch since I posted here, and even longer since I posted anything truly fly fishing related.
Well, sorry to disappoint you readers (if any of you are still there!) but you'll just have to wait a bit longer. I haven't wielded a fly rod in anger since the start of September when a friend and I went on a wee jaunt to Angle Tarn in Patterdale before starting a new university year. It was an achingly beautiful place but the weather was horrid - a total blowout with gales ripping down the length of the tarn. Casting was nigh on impossible, and although I did get a few snatching takes from little wildies, I failed to get anything to stick.
After that, university work, an inability to get home and fish the Wharfe and some shit Cumbrian weather conspired against me, so the trout season of 2012 - something of a mixed bag - ended without another chuck.

Cracking view over Angle Tarn, Patterdale. Shame about the fishing..

Battered and blown away in the fells - not a great day to be camping! 

 Since then I didn't fish at all until earlier this month when I managed to find the time to dust off the trotting gear and snatch a couple of quick sessions back on the Wharfe. It was a mixed bag really, with a lot of lost fish including some very nice grayling - very frustrating, but that often seems to be the case when trotting in fast water, especially when ladies are the quarry. Increased pressure from the force of water when trying to tease fish upstream often leads to a lot of hook pulls.
Nevertheless, I did manage to close the net over a few unwitting victims. Some were the ever present and unavoidable out of season trout, eternally eager to snaffle maggots. A few more delicate fellows were fooled though - beautiful grayling, including one male specimen in particularly fine fettle, his blood red dorsal and silvery flanks iridescent in the steely November light.

A couple of autumn grayling from the Wharfe.

Along with these I also tempted a belting chub from a deep pool under the shade of a willow as the light faded. The bite was tentative - an inscrutable dip of the float as it idled past a tangle of roots. I lifted gently, expecting the frantic head-bumping tussle of a small grayling or trout, but instead there immediately appeared a substantial boil on the surface and my rod buckled under a strong, ponderous pulling. Instinctively I loosened off my drag as the fish charged deeper before beginning to sulk, slowly circling on the bottom. Due to my light tackle there was no way I could bully the fish, so instead I patiently applied steady pressure, and after a few minutes the fish seemed to begin to see my side of the argument, slowly emerging for the depths and allowing me a glimpse of its brassy flank before diving, sending my clutch into squeals once more. Despite this continued vigour I knew I was in the end game, and soon he was sliding over my net. I laid the fish down in the net and breathed a little sigh of relief as I realised just how tenuous the hook hold had been, with just the tiniest of nicks in the chub's rubbery top lip. I held him up to the late sun and admired him - around 3 and a half pounds. Not a monster, but a lovely fish to end a day.

An unexpected, splendid chub.

I shot some video of my second session of the weekend (including the chub) so there's a wee linky to that below!

So, what's the plan for the coming weeks? Well, I just mail ordered a nice big sack of worms and some groundbait in the hope of getting out for a spot of perching on Ullswater before the weather becomes too bitter - depending on how that goes, expect a post or two on here. As to when I'll be hitting some Yorkshire waters again, best estimates would suggest some time around Christmas when I get some time off from my studies. Ideally I'll be able to hit a few grayling on the bugs, but depending on the weather it might have to be some more trotting, or perhaps a spot of deadbaiting after a big canal pike.
Also, I'm in the process of looking for a headcam set up, ideally by next trout season at least so I can get some nice first-person shots of my various piscatorial farces.
Whatever happens, I'll be sure to chuck a post or two about it on here when time allows.

Until then, tight lines!