Well it seems like I've neglected the blog a little so time to put fingers on keys and try to find something interesting to say about the fishing at the start of the 2011 trout season. Help.
Over the last few days, I've found myself scrambling for excuses as to why my fishing trips have been so unsuccessful in terms of how many fish caught...."Worst time of year for fishing" I've said to at least a couple of folk. The grayling, who up until so recently, were happy to take any wee nymph that trickled downstream towards them are now very out of season, and spawning and the trout, even though we are nearly two weeks in to the season a few and far between.
Best to treat the start of the season as an excuse to be out and about in the countryside, that way lack of fish can't spoil your outing.
Conditions on the Dove have been testing. The river is lower than I've ever seen it and running gin clear. Like most anglers, I've spent the whole time since Christmas, counting down the days until the start of the trout season, imagining how I'd be catching a dozen or so eager wee broonies on the dry fly every time a stepped foot near to running water....I imagined the sun beating down and the warm evenings and how wrong I was...all this built up anticipation makes the start of season experience of this novice river angler all the more challenging.......It may be time to regroup, retreat, and head off for a little stocked stillwater fishing at Westlow Mere.
Don't get me wrong, I've had some enjoyable outings with Pointon and Wesser, and spent a delightful afternoon strolling up as far as Ilam Rock with John Tyzack, the pair of us determined only to fish if we saw a rise and consequently the inevitable lack of rises gave us the chance to have a good blether and to put the world to rights. And it's given me a chance to get to know the new stretch of the river that I can now fish thanks to my invite on to the LTDFFA syndicate, and I'm sure that all the standing and river watching that I've done may help me later on in the season when the rises will be so plentiful that I won't have time to stop....I hope!
This morning a met up with Wesser at the Hotel and after coffee and bacon butties it was on to the LTDFFA lower beat to see if we could coax a troot or two. We had a little rain last night and I was desperately hoping that this may have lifted the river levels a fraction and added a tinge of colour that the Dove desperately needs to encourage a little fishy activity.
Once again, we found that the river was incredibly low and we could tempt nothing to our nymphs. I tried the duo method and casting to a spot that I know holds a good brownie, I managed to tempt a rise from a decent sized fish to my black klinkhammer but I didn't connect and we moved further upstream, encouraged but becoming more and more irritated by the freezing rain that was now directly in our faces....I tied on the trusty LTD sedge and managed to persuade another splashy rise but again could not connect...it started to look like it definitely wasn't going to happen.
On the way back downstream, Wesser had another chuck at the first fish that I had missed to the klink and once again, the big brownie came to the fly, this time an LTD sedge, but again, instead of taking the fly, it kind of battered it and then was gone as quick as it had arrived and disappeared into the watery nothingness....
Ah well, the Wye opens on Friday and I can't wait, but I must admit that more than anything, I'm looking forward to fishing running water that is a little closer to home, just as long as the sun is on my back, and the birds are singing, I'll be happy with any we troot that takes a fancy to my dry. You can keep spring if it's going to be like this.....bring on summer.
I'm a keen angler and whisky enthusiast. I'm lucky enough to have lived and worked on the Isle of Islay in the Scottish Hebrides, angling and dramming paradise! I fish for wild brown trout and sea trout whilst up North, back in Leek in the beautiful Staffordshire Moorlands I like to meet up with my pals and fish for wild brown trout, grayling and other river species in the Dane, Dove, Churnet, Manifold and Wye.
(firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to contact me)