Thursday, 30 September 2010

Best Finlaggan Brownie of the Week

Not big fish but beautiful in colour and markings. This one came to a large red-tailed muddler twitched gently through the Finlaggan ripple.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The Islay Anglers Return

From back to front...Jase Snape, Mark Williams, Ian Gould and last but by no means least...Peter 'Pollock' Dracup on Calmac's Isle of Arran nearing Kennacraig on Kintyre....
David Wood, The Wine Shop, Leek 01538 382408. Mob 07875 405 980.

Another Fine Trip to Islay

I've not had chance to update on Angling and Dramming, we've never really stopped for more than 5 minutes between each fishing session.
On Monday morning we set off for Dunlossit estate office to buy tickets to fish Loch Ballygrant. We used two boats on the loch and set our drifts so as to cover as much of the water as possible. Ballygrant is a stunning location, totally tree lined with the Paps of Jura as the backdrop.
We set up with various teams of traditional wet patterns but the fishing proved to be quite difficult and it was only down to the skill employed by Peter Pollock and a wee black sedgehog, that a few brown trout were managed.
Peter and Ian decided that it might be a better idea to get in a spot of sea fishing so it was off to Bunnahabhain to enjoy some fine pollock sport from the rocks beside the wrecked trawler 'Wyre Majestic' . Between them they managed no less than a dozen of these hard fighting fish from racing waters in the rocky depths in front of the distillery.
Mark and I made our way back to Loch Finlaggan. I felt that we'd not taken advantage of the loch, particularly as it had been literally on our doorstep and Mark, writing an article for a fishing publication, needed more pics of the stunning location. So we made our way up the West bank, past the visitor centre and the remains of the ancient causeway that once was the only way of reaching the fortifications on the two islands at Finlaggan.
Once again the fishing was tough and the wind was strong and fresh in our faces but we managed a few fish on our way around the loch. We decided to make our way over to the East bank in search of more favourable conditions and this involved crossing the narrow but incredibly deep burn that flows out of the loch towards Ballygrant and Loch Indaal. We made our way through the trees and high reeds and picked up many a tick on the way and eventually found the tiny footbridge over the burn constructed of just two planks. As soon as I saw it I thought we would have to turn around and return the way we had came as the footings of the bridge on our bank had given way and it was a gamble as to whether we'd make it across without getting wet but Mark convinced me that it could be done and with a little swearing and a bit of a adrenalin rush, I was eventually over and we battled our way through the incedibly tough terrain and fished the other bank in much better conditions and winkled out a few more wee broon troots.
We returned to the house and tucked into a huge lamb stew that Pollock had kindly put together and washed it down with several pints of Saligo Ale.
Yesterday was a chance to show a couple of the lads some favourite spots on Islay, and so, after delivering one or two cases of wine to customers on the island, we made our way to Lagavulin distillery where we enjoyed a dram of the distillery only limited edition.
Lunch was had at Kilchoman distillery and we had the chance to taste their fantastic summer release along with the famous Kilchoman Victoria sponge. It was good to catch up with John Mac and tony, my pal on a free transfer from Bunnahabhain.
Last night we enjoyed great food and the best pint (Saligo Ale) I've ever had on Islay at the Port Charlotte hotel.
And now we're on the boat awaiting a Calmac full breakfast and preparing ourselves for the mainland and the dreaded M6. It will be good to be home but it has been another wonderful trip to Islay in great company and we've stayed in sheer luxury at Finlaggan House.
Our next angling trip will be in April followed by a visit in May during Feis Ile 2011. Places are still available for both trips so please get in touch ASAP if you would like to join us on the magical Isle of Islay.

David Wood, The Wine Shop, Leek 01538 382408. Mob 07875 405 980.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

David Morris, Ian Gould and Me @ Finlaggan

Nice pic of Ian Gould trying to convince David and I that he'd just dropped a 6lb wild brownie @ Finaggan....
David Wood, The Wine Shop, Leek 01538 382408. Mob 07875 405 980.

A Tad of Frost @ Finlaggan and The Prospect of a Great Day's Fishing on Loch Gorm.

What a day our first full one on Islay turned out to be. Our journey to this beautiful island was a nightmare. An overturned lorry at Lochgair on the A83 not far from Lochgilphead meant that the road was closed and we had to turn around and make our way North to Oban before arriving at the ferry in the desperate hope that, having missed the 1pm ferry, that there would be space for us on the 6pm Calmac.

We're staying at Finlaggan House and all that I can say is that it is simply stunning in terms of the quality of the accomodation, and it's amazing location..I cannot recommend it enough.

On Friday night, Peter, Mark, Barny, Jason and Ian of Errwood and I tucked into the 2 barrells of beer kindly delivered to the house by Islay Brewery. One cask of Saligo Ale and one of Black Rock Ale. Plans for the fishing were made, tales were told and one or two wee drams were enjoyed before we retired after our mammoth 18 hour journey.

Yesterday the fishing began and Ian, David Morris and I fished Loch Finlaggan. Conditions were bright and breezy but the troots were eager to come to our muddlers, black pennels and snatchers and I managed my best day on the loch yet with 18 fish.

Today we have boats waiting for us on Loch Gorm. The weather is glorious and we're not sure whether this is a good or bad thing in terms of the fishing but either way, I'm looking forward to steadily drifting accross the loch and having the craic with the lads.
David Wood, The Wine Shop, Leek 01538 382408. Mob 07875 405 980.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Islay Bound

David Wood, The Wine Shop, Leek 01538 382408. Mob 07875 405 980.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Islay and Finlaggan House....Here We Come.....

That's it. The car is packed, all the final arrangements have been made, ferries booked, fishing boats sorted, and we're off to the wonderful Hebridean Isle of Islay once more.

This trip is more than anything, an angling outing and I will be joined by a couple of familiar faces and some lucky folks for whom the trip is the first to this magical Island. The weather looks set to be good, and if it is anything like what Glen, Peter and I had this time last year, we're all in for a treat.

I've ordered a cask of each of Saligo Ale and Black Rock Ale from the Islay Brewery, that should see us through the weekend until Monday, and Peter (aka Pollock) has kindly agreed to be chef for the week. I'm looking forward to his superb cooking as much as I am to the fishing.

On Saturday, we have boats booked on Loch Ballygrant and on Sunday, on Loch Gorm. We'll also be fishing Loch Finlaggan and may even have the chance to get on to the River Laggan as I'm told by my David Morris that there is some water in it and the salmon are running.

I'll be posting pics from my mobile of all of the action and a full report upon our return.....


David, Peter, Ian, Barnaby, Jason and Mark

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Don't Tell 'em Pike!.jpg

@ Goodwood.

David Wood, The Wine Shop, Leek 01538 382408. Mob 07875 405 980.

Tesco Take World Domination One Step Further....jpg

and travel back in time to the 1960's at Goodwood Revival....whatever next...
David Wood, The Wine Shop, Leek 01538 382408. Mob 07875 405 980.

Medicated Izal @ Goodwood!.jpg

David Wood, The Wine Shop, Leek 01538 382408. Mob 07875 405 980.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Weather Forecast for this Weekend

Monday, 6 September 2010

Early September Angling on the Rivers of Staffordshire and Derbyshire

What a mixed bag of fishing the last week or so have been. I've been out and about nearly every evening and yesterday, for a full day on the Derbyshire Wye.

Earlier last week I had a walk down to the upper Churnet upstream of Leek, only a field or two away from where I live. Whilst I did see quite a few fish, rises were few and far between. Cattle are grazing nearer to the river than I've seen then before and there are quite a few sections where I usually do quite well, that the cattle now use to wade in and drink so I wonder whether this has moved the fish about a bit. I still managed to catch a few on the dry though and can't help noticing that they seem to be growing rather quickly which is great news for the seasons to come. In the next month or so,  after the end of the trout season, I'll enjoy walking the dog down there and keeping my eye out for the odd, much larger silver fish that may make it there...and don't tell me there's no chance as that's what folk said when I asked if it were possible for these large silver fish to make it to the upper Dove, or if sea trout could be running in the Dove, which they of course are...I know, I've caught one.

Anglers of Derbyshire and Staffordshire will recognise the fisherman in the pic above, and he and I visited Ellastone and Eaton Dovedale last week too. Many anglers have found it tough on the Dove this last few weeks, largely due to lack of water. We tried Ellastone together and other than dropping quite a large Grayling in the fast water at the top of the DRAC stretch, we had no luck at all.

On a couple of occasions, I headed down to Eaton Dovedale and had more success on the nymph for the Grayling than on the dry and the trout do seem to be hiding away

I bumped into Brian on Saturday night, he'd had quite a bit of success on tiny dry flies during the daytime but he noted that rises began to disappear during the late afternoon period. Light conditions do seem to be changing and Autumn is definitely on it's way and fishing, especially late on in the day just seems to have gone a bit weird.

Yesterday I had the last minute opportunity to meet up with Glen and JT at the Peacock Hotel in Rowsley in preparation for a full day's fishing on the Derbyshire Wye.

John took me to a couple of places I hadn't visited before, where, because of the tricky swims and bank vegetation, we took it in turns to cover the grayling and brown and rainbow trout that were abundant there. We had some great sport on the LTD sedge and other sedgy flies. Among others, I had a cracking grayling of about 1lb 1/2 and JT had a huge brownie. Cheers for the help JT..

Again, late on in the afternoon rises were few and far between, but wherever we saw them, we'd creep up and carefully present our tiny dries to them, hoping to induce a splash or two.

Late on in the day, Glen had great fun on a run where fish were switched on to a spinner fall and he managed about half a dozen fish in 10 minutes or so.....

Next Sunday, there's quite a few of us on the Wye and a couple of weeks after that, 7 of us head up to the Isle of Islay for trout, salmon and sea fishing.



Friday, 3 September 2010

Islay Here We Come.........

That's it, all the arrangements have been made, the ferry is booked and 3 weeks today our party of 7 anglers heads off to the Hebridean Isle of Islay for another angling adventure. This trip is now full but if you'd like to join another one, please contact me ASAP to get your name down.....

For this next trip to Islay, with a little help from some friends on the island, we've managed to secure Finlaggan House which has to be situated in one of the most breathtaking spots in the whole of the British Isles. If you expand the pic below, you'll see a rather large house in the trees...that's Finlaggan House.....

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Fine Grayling Sport at Eaton Dovedale Farm

Had a trip out to Eaton Dovedale last night after Brian tipped me off that he'd had a great day's fishing there a couple of days ago.

The Dove upstream has struggled of late with the water levels being so low. Also, whilst day time temperatures have increased since the weekend, night time temperatures are much cooler, and so, when I was deciding where to spend my evening's fishing, I opted not to go to Dovedale as I knew that temperatures would drop quite quickly as the sun dropped behind the valley tops. And so, It was off to the Dove at Eaton Dovedale where the flood plain is wide and where I'd have the benefit of the warmth of the sun for just that little while longer, and hopefully, there would be a few rises.

I called in at Ellastone on the way and had a quick look over the bridge. First thing that was evident was the herd of stirks that had given chase to Brian a couple of weeks ago, and second was that there were quite a few rises along the margins of the Dove. I decided to leave it for today and stick to my original plan....that way I'd avoid an encounter with the playful stirks!

And so I tackled up at the car park at Eaton Dovedale and kept a look out for a rise or two. Most of the fish that were showing seemed to be tiny but there were a couple of more promising rises under the far bank so I walked down stream a little, quietly got into the river and slowly made my way up towards them. The most noticeable rise was of the head, tail, fin variety and so, having tied on rather large, Griffiths Gnat that I had liberated from an unsuspecting angler on the Wye on Monday, and made a cast to it. Initially, I didn't feel too confident about attracting a take as recently, I stupidly made the decision to try a different type of mud for my tippet, moving away from my usual choice from Orvis. This newly purchased mud refuses to sink my tippet, no matter how much time I spend smoothing it along my tippet, and no matter how much of the damn stuff I choose to apply. (Email me if you would like to know the brand of this mud that could easily be substituted for Gink!).

Anyway, back to the head, fin, tail rising fish. I cast about 3 feet in front of it, and within a second or two there was a splash, and the fish was on...a good sized Grayling to my surprise. I'm sure that this was the fish that was rising. Do Grayling rise like that or did it just happen to be sitting beside a rising trout before it walloped my Griffiths Gnat?

I took another Grayling and a Salmon parr, and all went quiet...well...on the fishing front that is...I could soon hear an old van rattling it's way down the lane, accompanied by the sound of "Wwwooodddyyy!", shattering the still evening air. "Wwwooodddddyyyy!". A white van sat on the bridge, it's 3 occupants overlooking the river. "Glen Pointon Electrical Contractors" emblazoned on the side in a broad potteries accent. "Wwwwoooddddyyyy!"

Glen arrived with his girls. He'd promised to take them to see Wwwoodddyyyy catch a fish as they'd never seen one caught before, and so, the pressure was really on and the fish had stopped rising. So we decided to move upstream of the Derby Railway Angling Club stretch and fish the water upstream of the bridge which belongs to Leek and Moorlands Fishing Club. Very few people fish this lovely stretch of water and the banks are very overgrown but, once in the river, you can wade the whole stretch.

Pointon persuaded me to fish with nymphs and what a method this proved to be in the absence of any rises. I began wading slowly up the river running the nymphs through slowly and started to take fish after fish. Loads of Grayling of various sizes and the pick of the bunch, a lovely little Chub that was an absolute delight to catch. I was please to see the Chub as years ago I fished under the far bank here with a swim feeder full of maggots and corn on a size 16 and one day had 5 large Chub in as many minutes, one of my all time best angling moments, what beautiful fish and what a scrap they give.

Anyway, another fab short fishing session...with loads of fish...where to tonight Pointon?