Archive for October, 2009

Wychwood Truefly SLA: Got my hands on one

0, October 26, 2009
Posted by james

You can purchase the Wychwood Truefly SLA reel from Hart Fly Shop

I received a text from James at Exeter Angling Centre informing me the Wychwood SLA reels were in stock. As soon as Jim had hit ’send’ I appeared at the door credit card in hand.

Lifting the reel from it’s presentation case I knew I wanted one. The SLA is everything the Wychwood promotional material promised it to be. Beautifully crafted, incredibly light with a stupidly low price tag. I wasn’t keen on the Titanium Finnish opting instead for matte black.

The styling of the reel dictates a little more creativity when choosing flyline and backing. In addition I wanted something a little more special in terms of performance. James recommended I look at the Hardy Mach range. ‘Liquid slick’ lubrication system and twin coloured finish, yup, that sounds high tech as well as looking ‘pimp’. Combing this with luminous orange backing, when loaded it looked awesome. If I don’t catch anything, at least I will look good while doing it.

Having 3 spools in total I decided to purchase a fast(ish) sinking intermediate line. The Hardy Premium range seemed like a good choice. Slightly cheaper than the Mach range but still a high quality fly line.

While taking the following photos I had a quick cast in the garden. The Hardy Mach flyline is very easy to cast and showed hardly any signs of line memory. Even the cheaper Hardy intermediate line felt excellent and again had very little line memory. I am sure a few large fish will make it lay like a laser beam on the water.

I will let you know how it fishes, I now have the perfect excuse. For more technical information take a look at my previous post .

You can purchase the Wychwood Truefly SLA reel from Hart Fly Shop

Wychwood Truefly SLA reel

Wychwood Truefly SLA reel

Wychwood Truefly SLA reel

Wychwood Truefly SLA reel

Wychwood Truefly SLA reel

Wychwood Truefly SLA reel

Wychwood Truefly SLA reel

Hardy Mach Flyline

Wychwood Truefly SLA reel

Hardy premium flyline

Wychwood Truefly SLA reel

Hardy flylines

Exe Valley Fishery in the Autumn

0, October 22, 2009
Posted by james

Fishing in Autumn is magnificent. The unpredictable weather and glorious shades of the British countryside act as a dramatic backdrop. Sitting behind the wheel en-route to Exe valley fishery the mist rising from the lush green fields I had feeling today was going to be a good one.

In the car park handling fly fishing tackle felt somewhat alien. I focused on sea fishing towards the end of the summer and become accustomed to using 100lb mono and size 8/0 hooks. The 4lb fluorocarbon leader was as fine as spiders silk while the rod had been fashioned from air filled will helium. What was this witch craft? I wasn’t sure, but I like it, I like it a lot.

The lake was calm, almost too calm. Casting my fly through the rising mist and onto the smooth water created what seemed like tidal waves. Within a few minutes I managed to spook the lakes residents, newts and all. This was going to require ninja like stealth and a seriously gentle approach.

I fined up as much as I dare and flicked a size 16 green buzzer into the shallows and made a gentle figure of eight retrieve. Something plucked the fly, before hitting it like a freight train. After lifting into the fish it decided to jump 3ft into the air. Kaboooooom, I let out a little chuckle as the fish landed broadside shattering the silence. The 3lb fish made some powerful lunges, using light tackle in these situations is like riding a bucking bronco, uncontrollably exciting.

Although it was flat calm and bright sunshine the fish were switched on. Taking pretty much anything I presented them with. Excellent fun but soon I had landed 4 fish and decided it was time to make things a little more difficult for myself. I began trying some of the more unlikely flies, the weirder the better. The 5th and final fish had a soft spot for a water boatman imitation fly retrieved rapidly, the take was brutal.

Fast and furious fishing at Exe Valley fishery. An excellent way to ease myself back into fly fishing after the heavy duty world of wreck and rough ground sea fishing. For more information regarding Exe Valley Fishery take a look at my previous post or visit http://www.exevalleyfishery.co.uk/

Exe Valley Fishery - Autumn morning

Exe Valley Fishery - Autumn morning

Exe Valley Fishery - Autumn morning

Exe Valley Fishery - Rainbow Trout

Exe Valley Fishery - Autumn morning

Exe Valley Fishery - Rainbow Trout

Exe Valley Fishery - Autumn morning

Exe Valley Fishery - Rainbow Trout

Exe Valley Fishery - Autumn morning

Exe Valley Fishery - Rainbow Trout

Exe Valley Fishery - Autumn morning

Exe Valley Fishery - Rainbow Trout

English Channel Dolphins

0, October 11, 2009
Posted by james

Encountering a dolphin in the wild or captivity has always been a humbling experience for me. Their incredible intellect and playful charm forms a bridge between us and their mysterious underwater world.

All of my dolphin encounters have been in and around North America, some engineered and others unexpected. Florida is a great place to see large numbers of dolphins, in some places you can pretty much guarantee a sighting. If you were to ask me where to see a dolphin in the wild the UK would be one of the last places I would have suggested. However after this summer, if you asked me the same question again, the answer would be very different.

On the return journey from a days fishing wrecks aboard the Anne Clare, the skipper spotted a large pod of dolphins. 30-40 common dolphins looked as though they were herding bait fish. Swimming and creating a large circle and taking turns to eat the disoriented fish in the centre. A number of dolphins broke away from the pod and started to ride the bow wave of the boat. Leaping, rolling and enjoying the ride. After 20 minutes or so the dolphins re-joined the main pod and continued to hunt for fish.

Seeing such a spectacular display, especially in the UK was a privilege. I didn’t expect to or hope to see them again. On the way back from the Channel Islands unexpectedly we were joined by yet another group of dolphins. These were bottle nosed dolphins, twice the size of the common dolphin. A young calf swam next to it’s mother, jumping from the water when needing to draw breath.

When I look at these pictures it is a great feeling to know that they are out there now, in the English channel.

English Channel Dolphins

English Channel Dolphins

English Channel Dolphins

English Channel Dolphins

English Channel Dolphins

English Channel Dolphins

English Channel Dolphins

English Channel Dolphins

English Channel Dolphins

English Channel Dolphins

English Channel Dolphins

English Channel Dolphins