Sunday, 17 February 2013

Bushy Lures at Bushyleaze

The 'home tied' fly box is filling up nicely with various patterns, mostly copied but some made up and I have been itching to get out there and get them wet. I have promising myself a fly session for a few weeks waiting until the river was unfishable again and this weekend it was exactly that. Most of my fluff chucking lately has been on Lechlade so it was time to try it's sister water Bushyleaze. The average size of the fish is not as impressive as Lechlade and it is a much bigger water so it represents a bit  more of a challenge.
A 'pea souper' greeted me on arrival, the far bank was barely visible but that's where I headed on the advice of the ticket lady.
With little fly life around in the Winter months I decided that lures would probably be the best approach. We have no idea exactly what fish see and there has been talk of red being the first colour to 'disappear' underwater but I think thats a load of rubbish. Red maggots nearly always out fish other colours, Carp find red boilies without any bother and Trout love red flies. First cast with a red lure and I had a follow but the fish turned away last minute. Several others followed without conviction until after about ten minutes I had a take. It wasn't a huge fish but it put up a cracking fight trying to bury it's head in the nearside rushes several times. As my arm began to ache I netted a 3lb 2oz Rainbow, immeasurably satisfied to have caught one on my own creation.
 I decided to move away from the swim thinking the commotion of the battle would have made the fish do the same. Again the lure went out and a few casts later I was playing another fish but the hook pulled. I stuck with it and within minutes I had another take and landed another Rainbow weighing exactly the same as the first, 3lb 2oz.
I had only bought a three fish ticket and I was seriously in danger of landing my quota and being home very early so I changed tactic and area to make the session last a bit longer.

A fruitless hour followed, my patience waned and I wandered back to the original spot and put the red lure back on.
The lure has a lead underbody so sinks fast and fishes deep if it is retrieved slowly and the next take was right on the bottom. This fish was either foul hooked or of a serious size as it sped off like lightning stripping me down to the backing before disaster struck. The braid backing was embedded in itself and the hook link parted like cotton. I didn't let that disappointment get me down, setting up again with another red lure and within no time I was battling another Rainbow. This time it was my turn to win and I filled my ticket with a 4lb 2oz Beauty.
Time for an alternative trophy shot and I packed away in the now brilliant sunshine and still made it home in time for lunch.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pastures new

The conditions were spot on Friday, the sun came out, the river levels had dropped back and there was a tinge of colour to the water. There could be no excuses.
This week I had decided to try a new (to me) stretch of the Warwickshire Avon, Wasperton's Manor Farm or 'Man A F' as the sign states. I know this stretch is familiar to a lot of bloggers who have trod it's banks many times and now I know why. It is a beautiful section of river and it looks fishy, really fishy!
Today I was chasing Chub (again!) and there are so many overhanging trees, a favourite haunt of Chub that I didn't know which one to cast towards first. I started off upstream of the car park.
I set up well away from the water, simple running rig, cheese paste as bait and having cast out I opened the flask and was just pouring a brew when the tip flew round. Inevitably I missed it. Why do fish bite at the most awkward moment, sod's law I guess. That turned out to be it for that peg and an hour later I ventured downstream to the next likely looking spot.
Within ten minutes the tip gave a small indication, I hovered ready for a strike and then it wrapped round again. This time I connected and played out a spirited battle before netting a chunky Chub. Putting Chub straight back is a sure fire way of killing the swim as they seem to spook all the others in the vicinity so they are one of the few species that I will put in a keepnet.
I carried on in this swim despite a lack of further action as I felt confident of catching more and eventually I did. The next fish hooked shot off downstream and my main line became tangled around a nearside bush. I managed to carefully pull the fish back to netting distance and fortunately landed another chunky specimen. I was not as lucky with the terminal tackle though, it had become way too tangled and I lost the lot.
 I set up again and fished on for a bit but the commotion of the previous fish had put paid to any further sport.
A pretty pleasing day, it is always nice to catch especially on a first visit to a new stretch.
3lb 8oz and 3lb 12oz

Sunday, 3 February 2013

A Session of two halves

As I finished setting up the sun rose above the trees beautifully illuminating the far bank. An overnight frost meant it was still chilly but a decent day weather wise was in prospect.
The venue was Coppice pool and the target big Perch. Two rods were baited, one was to be a sleeper rod, half a lobworm coupled with chopped worm in a feeder cast over towards the island, the other float fished Prawn.
The first indications came from the worm and after a lot of unhittable twitches I struck into a fish, not the target but a decent Roach close to a pound. Following that there was nothing, not a sniff. The worm remained untouched, the same as the Prawn. I swapped about a bit, even trying maggot but strangely even they remained untouched. By 1pm the sun was blazing high, not ideal for Perch fishing and I had had enough. Time for a change of plan.

The Avon has been full of snow all week and although it is dropping I did not fancy the colour of it so stayed away. In the next village to home there is a tributary of the Avon, an overgrown diminutive brook that is full of surprises so I decided to venture there.
In the summer this waterway is almost inaccessible due to the vegetation and human sized nettles but with it being Winter and the recent floods almost all the bank is fishable. I found a lovely glide that ran under some trees and around the bend and fed some maggots while setting up. Initially I had planned to trot for Grayling this weekend but the Wye is washed out so this would do nicely as an alternative. Second run through and it was fish on. A plucky battle ensued until I landed a nice wild Brown Trout, out of season so quick photo taken and carefully released.
This disrupted the swim and no further bites were had for about half an hour but eventually I landed my real target, a Dace. After that they came thick and fast and they were almost peas in a pod. I  lost count of how many I caught but it was well over 30, none weighing less than 3oz and none more than 6oz. I really enjoyed myself and every time I hooked one I thought it was going to be a biggie(8oz).
Stunning little fish and a few of them had obviously been pigging out recently, good bellies on them.
As the light started to fade I had four more out of season Brownies and decided to call it a day. I really enjoyed the afternoon's fishing and cannot wait to target the stretch with a fly rod in the summer