Saturday, 17 March 2012

One target done (several to go!)


At the start of 2012 I set myself a series of targets that I wanted to achieve during the year. Today I annihilated the first of those. 
It has been four weeks since my last outing due to family commitments, work and visitors. It has been great catching up with family and old friends but the downside was missing the last two weeks of the river season and reading everyone's blogs has not helped in the slightest. In fact they all made me pretty jealous. 
One of my 2012 targets was a 3lb Trout, a new personal best on the fly. This branch of our sport is really exciting me at the moment, variety is the spice of life and I love trying new places and methods. I have been reading and absorbing all things fly for the last few weeks.
This morning I set out early for Lechlade fishery, a renowned big Trout mecca boasting double figure Rainbows and Brownies set in the Cotswold countryside. The lake itself is a lot smaller than I imagined but being fairly new to fly fishing it was plenty big enough for my amateurish casting efforts. I arrived about ten minutes before the gate opened and had a chat with some of the other anglers that were obviously as keen as me. They were really friendly and told me what flies had been working and what they had been catching. It was a bit of an eye opener that they were so willing to divulge information. Imagine if I had asked a carper what bait he was on. In response would be a grunt and a twitch and I would be none the wiser. The fly consensus was lures and flashy colours.
The gates opened and I got a two fish ticket, and some flies as recommended by the others plus the fishery owner.
My fly fishing is still in it's infancy so I headed to a quiet corner where I could thrash the water to a foam without too much embarrassment. To my amazement on the fifth cast the line tightened and it was fish on. I could not believe it! It was a good fish and just as I was getting control of the fight I reached for the net. Fatal mistake, the hook pinged out as I took my eye off the prize-gutted. It did my confidence good though just having hooked a fish.
I persevered with the same fly for a couple of hours but apart from a couple of tentative 'follows' nothing happened. At lunchtime I had a wander round the lake chatting to anglers on the way and one lad was having success with a yellow lure. I checked my fly box and had every other coloured lure bar yellow so I tied on an orange and green thing(no idea what any are called!) and chucked it out. It wasn't long before it got nailed. The only fly rod I own is a 5weight Orvis clearwater so is light and whippy and therefore leaves me a bit under-gunned for these big hard fighting Trout but with a bit of care I managed to land my first Lechlade Rainbow. I was elated. Easily a new pb and almost bigger than the net. I had to sit down and have a brew to stop my body shaking.

6lb 9oz of battling 'Bow'


The killer fly, 'a gold bead head green and orange thingamajiggy' just above the handle


I pulled myself together and moved swims away from the disturbance of that fish. I stuck with the same fly and kept chucking it toward the island opposite and slowly retrieving it back. For a bit of variety I had one cast along the edge and could see the fly working all the way when out of the depths another fish came up and nailed it. It was so exciting to see the whole take in the clear water and the fight was just as nervy as the previous because I knew this fish was bigger. I said over and over to myself "stay on, stay on" and thankfully it did. Twenty minutes later and I had raised my pb yet again to 8lb 5oz. I was and still am thrilled. Fish limit reached, target done, a superbly enjoyable day.

8lb 5oz

11 comments:

  1. That is a tank of a rainbow, very nice!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great stuff Joe, a fantastic brace there

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good result and nice write up as well.

      Delete
  3. Joe, well done a great brace. Next step I would recommend is to try your fly rod on some rivers. Not only do brothers of the fly on the rivers divulge the winning patterns they'll probably give you a few flys as well! Coupled with a socialable Kelly brew it is a very different world to the cloak and dagger stuff.
    Regards,
    Dave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dave, I was thinking of starting on the rivers for some true wild Brownies, invested in some waders so any tips and hints are very welcome!

      Cheers
      Joe

      Delete
    2. Joe, for tips check out the dryflyexpert blog. If you do as Richard says you won't go far wrong.
      Regards,
      Dave.

      PS I will be back for some tips myself come 16th June on rolling meat!!

      Delete
  4. WELL DONE JOE ON YOUR NEW PB's,
    Made up for you Joe i could see the fish rise to take your fly just reading the story, What a great time you had, As for the 5WF rod its a good all rounder but when you can afford and you know the waters your fishing then it would be good to upgrade, Old rule of thumb is look at the sky, Light sky Dark fly Dark sky light fly, Most fly fisheries keep a book for you to log what you have caught and on what fly used, If you also keep your own book to put weather, Sky colour, Fly used, And so on, Then when you visit that venue again you just check the notes, Fly fishing is second to none and as you have aleady said the fishermen will help you, Not at all what you expect at first as Dave Cross has already said,
    Thats a fantastic catch from a wonderful looking place Joe,
    Very well done mate,
    Long may it continue,
    ,,,Paddy,,,

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Paddy, the light dark sky etc makes good common sense. Will upgrade the rod when I can and keep the 5 weight for the rivers.

    Cheers
    Joe

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well done Joe, I'd have a guess that if the fly had a hackle then it would be a green/orange goldhead dancer - or some kind of variant

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice one Joe
    My biggest Rainbow is over 7lb and it looked no where near as fit or impressive as your fantastic catch. Good result joe

    Darren

    ReplyDelete