Saturday, 26 January 2013

Winter Session and Fly Tying Update

Snow melt. Definitely the worst possible conditions to try to catch a river fish. If you are out this weekend I wish you the best of luck, you're going to need it.
Comes into it's own in this weather!
I managed a mid-week session in the freezing temperatures pre-melt and to be honest I faired no better. I fancied my chances of landing a Pike or two and set my stall out accordingly fishing low resistance running rigs in a deep back eddy on a bend of the Warwickshire Avon.
The bait bucket was filled with Mackerel, Lamprey, Roach and Herring to cover every angle. I also fished three rods wanting the odds as much in my favour as possible.
All bases loaded
Four hours and several bait changes later and not a sniff, not even a dropped run. I was sure that fish were in the area but they were not interested in the slightest.
I hate blanking. With this in mind I usually have a back-up plan. In this weather it almost always involves Chub and to that extent I had chucked a load of cheese-paste in the bucket too. I moved upstream to a slightly quicker stretch and tried the cheese on my usual simple running rig. First cast a bite, I think my reactions had been dulled by the cold and I missed it. Within the hour I had another bite but struck thin air and that was the end of the action.
Disappointed to get a blank but at least I got to admire the first visible sunset of the year.

Fly tying update

Cold winter evenings, snow falling outside, roaring fire in the logburner, Mrs C watching crap on TV (Eastenders!), my time for messing about with feathers and thread. Mostly tying lures because they are easy but then you have to walk before you can run!

Also trying a few other patterns, a coch-y-bonduu

a pink buzzer 

and a rough house fly which needs work on getting the eyes right!

Any tips from the experienced fly tiers out there gratefully received!!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Chub in the Snow

With the Vale shrouded in snow I decided not to venture too far and so popped down to a local stretch of the Avon. The conditions dictated that I should be Chub fishing and armed with cheese paste I did just that. Not the most exciting of sessions but as usual a Robin visited, scrounging food. A brave little fella who would come right up to my feet for a bit of cheese.
I tried several different swims with little success until finally I located fish and landed this pristine fish of about three pounds. 
That was it for the day.

Monday, 14 January 2013

It was worth it

Overnight snow was forecast and the weathergirls got it spot on. Two extremely excited children running around the house woke us up early and they insisted on making a snowman before school. I did the right thing and obliged, after a coffee!
The next delay in my mission to get to the river bank came in the form of a family friend in need of a jump start, luckily he lives in the next village to the stretch of river I had in mind so I loaded the gear and set off on a rescue mission.
When I finally made it water side it had started to rain, heavily-also forecast. Now rain does not bother me but snow melt bothers fish so I cast out knowing that the chance of sport would be now and it would dwindle as the day went on and the river filled up.
Chub were the target, what else in these conditions? and I had a batch of freshly made cheese paste to tempt them with. Simple running rig, 4lb line and size 10 paste hook.
Cheese paste can be a hit and miss bait, Chub love it if it stays on the hook but the bites can be lightning fast and missable. I missed a few before finally connecting and a slow, dogged determined fight ensued. I was sitting atop a steep bank with the main part of the flow directly below meaning that when I got the fish to the net it wasn't easy to guide it in, I managed at the second attempt. As I peeked into the net I could see an old warrior of a Chub, it had been round the block several times but it was a big fish. I let her recover while I sorted out the scales. My personal best was a 5lb 8oz fish caught over twenty years ago from the River Ure in Yorkshire.
Floppy haired teenager catches big Chub
I never thought I would beat that mark with a fish from the Warwickshire Avon. I have caught plenty of 'fours' and some small 'fives' but I was elated when the scales pulled down to 5lb 12oz. I was cold, wet through but couldn't care less, new pb.
It would have been a 'six' in it's heyday but that was definitely some time ago!
Nothing more came from the swim so I went for a wander to warm up more than anything else. I tried several more swims without success, the snow melt was killing sport and to make it worse the sun came out to melt some more.
I fished on but only because it was a lovely change to have the sun on my back but the pb Chub remained the only fish caught today.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

I have a new hobby!

Claire(Mrs Chatt) bought me a fly tying kit for Christmas, what an angel she is! It is rammed full of everything a novice fly tier needs to get started including various marabou, seals fur, feathers, whole wings, squirrels tails, tinsel, CDC, Ostrich Herl and a whole host of other stuff that I have also never heard of. There was also tools included most of which I had never seen before.
Boxing night I jumped onto You Tube, found a few tutorials and started tying. Quickly I learnt how to tie on, whipping tie off and a bit of thread management. I got excited and picked out some bright orange materials and put together a lure: marabou tail, silver bead head, chenille body and far too much thread holding it together, Claire named it a 'Joey Jaffer' and my first ever self made fly went in to the box.
Following that bit of fun I followed another tutorial learning about Peacock herl and hackle and put together a more traditional looking fly which I was pretty proud of......
not sure what it is called, the chap on the video didn't mention it's name so I will get Claire to make another one up.
Confidence now high I dug out a couple of books and put together a Black and Peacock......
a Spider.........
and a Cat's whisker.........
None of them perfect but I thought they would be good enough to catch fish. I have been itching to try them out so today I ventured off to see if they would work.
Maybe they would have worked if I had managed to keep them in the water long enough. The Cat's Whisker was lost in a tree second cast and Joey's Jaffa fell off inexplicably during the third cast, I think I got excited tying it on and therefore didn't! I went back to the shop bought ones thoroughly annoyed with myself.
The fishing was fairly uneventful, the overnight drop in temperature had sent the Trout down deep and they were difficult to spot but I did land one fish.
A great start to the new year, a 10lb 4oz Rainbow just a shame it was not on a home tied fly, never mind there's always next time!
Must go got to tie some more flies!-loving it!