Sunday, 27 January 2019

Taff Grayling and Trout

I'm not sure the advertising gurus at Starbucks had thought this one through!? It did amuse us though when we called in for a coffee on our way to South Wales. Grayling being the target on the river Taff.

Although I had never fished the Taff before it felt very familiar. A Deja Vu moment as it reminded me so much of my childhood river, the river Ure in North Yorkshire. Short riffles followed by deep runs, home to Chub, Trout, Barbel, Dace and Grayling. I felt at home.

Being close to the sea the Taff seems to be under constant attack from Cormorants, several of the fish showing signs of narrow escapes and we spotted loads of these vermin birds as we trudged up and down the river searching for fish.

Trotting maggots is the only way to fish for me in this sort of river and this was the downfall of several Grayling. All a good stamp of fish, the lack of small ones probably a sign of the excessive predation.

As is often the case the occasional Trout is bound to come along, they can be a nuisance but I don't mind a long drawn out battle with a biggie. The one below gave me such a run around, leaping like a salmon on several occasions and nearly stripping all my line off the reel on one run. Careful cajoling helped the 2lb hooklink stay intact and the best fish of the day was beaten, 3lb 15oz, to cap an enjoyable day.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Mojo Returning

Blue skies and beautiful sunshine but blimey was it cold!
I seem to be getting my fishing mojo back with a second session in under a week, the first a disappointing blank but undeterred I grabbed what was left of my cheese paste and headed back to the river.
The sudden overnight drop in temperature made me feel that Chub were probably the only viable target.
An hour fishing and the cold was beginning to get through my thermals, just the one Chub to show for my efforts and not a biggie.

I needed to move to warm up the bones and hopefully find a bit more action.

Found the perfect spot. First cast fish on and that one was followed by several others at regular intervals.

I managed a respectable bag of Chub all falling for the paste before I ran out of bait, coffee and the will to brave the elements any longer.

We made our way back along the beautiful river to the comfort of the car. A thoroughly enjoyable peaceful little session.

Monday, 31 December 2018

A Tough 'Test' of Tackle

I have definitely lost my fishing mojo this year having only been out on a handful of sessions but, Martin and Andy persuaded me that the annual end of year trip to the wonderful chalk streams of Hampshire was an absolute must. I'm glad they succeeded.

This year we changed venue but we were still on the famous river Test, the Godfather of all the chalk streams. Much lower downstream than last year so as well as the Grayling and Trout there was the chance of some good coarse fish. 
I plonked myself into the first likely looking swim, dispatched a few handfuls of mashed bread and when the float dipped on the second trot through I struck in almost misbelief. I expected bottom as I was still working out the various depths but the rod bucked and a powerful fish in the strong flow gave me quite a scrap. As it is a new venue I had no idea what I was attached to but when it made several bids for the nearside snags the culprit could only be a Chub.

What a start to the day, 5lb 1oz of chunky Chub, I collared Martin in the next peg for photo duties.

The big man was soon back in my swim with a large Brownie worthy of a mugshot, out of season so it went back unweighed.

What followed was a fabulous day's sport with four more Chub all over four pounds...

A surprising amount of river Bream the biggest of which I weighed at 4lb 4oz...

The unavoidable Trout, all Brownies and a pb which I shouldn't have weighed but it was over four pounds

A couple of deer grazed nonchalantly over the far side...

when the float dipped and I struck into something completely different from anything previously hooked during the day.

My first thoughts were Salmon but it stayed low so I changed my mind to Barbel....

Martin went click-happy with the camera taking plenty of shots of the fight...

and finally after more than twenty minutes I slipped the net under a stunning Carp. Not what I suspected in this fast flowing river, they really are everywhere!

The smile hides the relief

Not the biggest Carp I have ever caught but a stunner in all her winter glory and she 'test'ed all my skills on three pound line, a trotting rod and fast water. 

One of New Years resolution is definitely more Angling like this!!

Catch-up Winter

Just the one session in November. Again Max was with me so we feeder-fished maggots to make sure there was enough action to keep him interested.

The first swim was dead so we moved to the ever productive weir pool. Max was happy with a succession of Chub, Roach and Perch.

The smile says it all!

Catch-up Summer and Autumn

Summer 2018

A couple of sessions over the ridiculously busy summer with Max in tow. A short evening session blanking on the river and an enjoyable afternoon session targeting silver fish initially...

and then we changed pools to chase the Carp in the glorious afternoon sunshine. 

Dog biscuits floating across the surface is my favourite way of catching Carp and is fast becoming Max's favourite too, so much so I recently bought him a 9' stalking rod at the local auction which will also be good for much of his other fishing.

Autumn 2018

A rare afternoon off the week before the Parish Games saw me heading off to the Avon for a practice session. A couple of pints of maggots were dispatched into a watery grave and I helped myself to a quality bag of Perch and roach. A pleasant pleasure session getting my eye back in ready for the match.

The annual Parish games, the only match I ever fish. Previous visitors to the blog will recall how frustrating this has become to our team of three, three second places and a creditable fourth in the last four years has given us a feeling that we might never get our hands on what is a spectacular trophy.

Not the most salubrious of pegs but for once I had been put in a decent place for fish. A decent net of Chublets. Perch and Roach, most caught in the first couple of hours and I knew I would frame in my section.

A section win for me and the same for Don plus a creditable fourth place for Ady in a barren stretch meant that finally we had our hands on the trophy that has eluded us for so long.
Cue the Celebrations!!

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Elusive Grayling 'Test' Us

It was time for our annual pilgrimage to the famous river Test so we battled our way through the Cotswold snow and ice down country to beautiful Hampshire. The sun had just risen as we arrived and the beautiful wisps of mist were swirling above the river as we chose swims. Martin headed straight for a well-known deep hole that he hoped harboured Pike. Andy passed by him to a rumoured big Roach swim and having bid them 'tight lines' I ambled upstream to a lovely fast glide between fallen trees. I travelled light as mobility is important when trying to find Grayling.
The freezing overnight temperatures meant sport was sporadic but eventually the float sank and the centre pin sang to the tune of a stunning hard fighting Brown Trout. Several more out of season Salmonids followed and although they weren't the target species they were good fun on light tackle.

Several swims were tackled but sadly the Grayling remained elusive, plenty of Trout were up for a maggot or two mind.

Martin fared slightly better on the Grayling front. Using corn he landed three of the target species but was still plagued by the inevitable Trout or two. A couple of times he got exited by movement in his Pike float but sadly they were Trout too!

We will no doubt return next year but hopefully next time the lady of the stream will be more obliging.
Happy New Year to one and all.