Posts Tagged ‘Greys’

Fly fishing, you’re doing it wrong (sort of)

0, December 29, 2009
Posted by james

On the 27th of December I should have been hauling monster Pollack from the wrecks littering the English Channel. Force 8 winds soon put a stop to that.  Rather than waste another day lounging around eating turkey left overs and imbibing mulled wine we decided to go Fly Fishing.

The cold weather of winter is advantageous to those looking to scratch their fly fishing itch while waiting for the official season to begin in early spring. Most small still water trout fisheries remain open all year. They fish just as well as they do in the warmer months (if not better) and are nearly always void of those water whipping summer enthusiasts. Exe valley is one of the best small still water fisheries in the southwest. I am convinced the quality of fish to be experienced here is down to the high throughput of water.

We began fishing sunburst blobs (a killer fly here) on a slow retrieve and within a matter of minutes all three of us had landed a fish. The idea was to see if we could catch a fish using the most unconventional method possible. Lures had to be retrieved as slowly as possible while buzzers and nymphs were only allowed to be retrieved as fast as humanly possible. I managed to hook into a fish by ripping a gold head hares ear along the margins.

James turned his fishing up to ‘Eleven’ and tried a sunburst blob under a site indicator. As he very very (very) slowly retrieved the fly the water erupted and a fish tail walked 10ft across the surface of the water. “Woah woah woah” Mark yelped “that’s a good fish”. Jim managed to get the fish near the bank and at first it looked like a salmon. It was however the weirdest coloured brown trout, all 14lbs of it! A couple of minutes later Jim was in again, this time it was a ‘mere’ 9lb rainbow. While J. R. Hartley was rolling in his fictional grave we were rolling on the floor laughing.

It is extremely interesting (funny) to see how the trout are willing to take a fly fished in completely the opposite way you would traditionally work it. we wanted to try a team of blobs’n'boobies but as a previous experiment concluded they don’t cast too well.

Meanwhile during a double hook up I threw down the ’speed catch’ gauntlet and was mercifully whooped by the superior pulling power of an 8wt rod. My 5wt greys clicker-drag reel was making a noise like Donald Duck as I battled with my fish in an attempt to land it quicker than Mark.  It is another interesting reminder of much pressure you can apply to a fish with a fly rod, all too often you see fly anglers with barely a bend in the rod allowing the trout to speed towards a weed bed at warp factor 10.

Is there a conclusion to this awesome display of fly fishing? Not really, but do get out fishing, do go with your friends, do try something outside the ‘traditional’ fly fishing box and most importantly make sure you have fun. It was a short session but between the three of us we had 15 fish  (lost another 4 or 5) ranging from 2-14lb. Excellent.

For more info on Exe Valley Fishery look at my previous post found here

Here are some of the photo’s – Nikon D90 ;)

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

p.s. Another angler managed to land a 15lb fish

Exe Valley Fishery

Exe Valley Fishery

Towards the end of this week I am traveling up to Arnside, just south of the Lake District for a short break. I am staying in a plush static caravan which is so close to Morecambe bay sands I could cast from the balcony therefore making it a heinous crime not to fish.

I have fished this location before, but that was during the month of February under the influence of champagne while celebrating my 30th birthday. I managed to catch some nice sized flounders but also snapped one of my carp rods (yes carp rod) after becoming snagged on some immovable object.

I hadn’t been sea fishing for years and so I was forced to use some carp rods and leads of only 3oz. Now, if you have fished Morecambe before then you will be aware of how the tidal ‘bore’ rips onto the sands. Having no idea what I was really doing the first time around chucking a 3oz lead into that tide resulted in either the soft carp rod ending up bent double or the lead being carried merrily along taking hundreds of yards of line with it.

After letting the tide reach it’s high point I was able to hold ground and start to catch some Morecambe bay flounders. I think I actually did ok considering the time of year, lack of knowledge and carp rod/reel. Although I must confess Ian of Exeter Angling fame gave me a crash course in knots, rigs and bait which was probably the only reason I caught.

Flounder caught at Morcambe Bay in feburary

1. Flounder caught at Morecambe Bay in February

This time around I have 4 days to fish and so will be better prepared in terms of tackle and knowledge. I have the following to take with me..

A Shimano Titanos XSA 5500 reel loaded with 15lb Sufix Tritanium monofilament. Attached to this using an Albright Knot is a 50lb Sufix Superior shock leader. The rod all this will be rigged through is a Greys 12ft GRX-S Bass.

Shimano Titanos XSA 5500 reel

Shimano Titanos XSA 5500 reel

Sufix Superior 50lb mono shock leader

Sufix Superior 50lb mono shock leader

Greys GRX-S Bass 12ft rod

Greys GRX-S Bass 12ft rod

At the business end I am being horribly lazy and have purchased a number of pre-tied rigs from the Greys shore range. They include the standard 2 hook Flapper rig (1 up 1 down), a 2 hook loop rig (for impact leads) and some Pulley Rig Pennel just in case there is any cod or bass lurking.

Greys shore range: Flapper Rig, Pulley Rig Pennel and Loop Rig

Greys shore range: Flapper Rig, Pulley Rig Pennel and Loop Rig

As well as my 12ft bass rod I am taking a 2.75lb TC carp rod which has 12lb mainline and 30lb shock leader so I will be needing a range of leads. I am also going to be trying out a “Dvice casting capsule”, which is essentially a large plastic tube with a lead attached to the bottom. You place the bait/hook into the plastic tube and cast it out, water rushes into the tube on impact and expels your bait/hook tangle free. They are quite expensive at £3.50 each but worth trying to see if they are any better or worth the extra money over a standard gripper lead. It is worth noting that I have modified the gripper leads by bending the wire tips up and exaggerating their angle. I am told this makes them more effective.

Dvice casting capsule and various other sized leads

Dvice casting capsule and various other sized leads

I am going to be using frozen baits and have decided to take crab, sand eel and black lugworm. On my last visit to Morecambe I had great success using half sections of black lugworm and crab. I am hoping (but it will be unlikely) that the summer months will draw in a wider range of species so taking 3 different baits will give me more opportunity to experiment.

Wish me luck and I shall let you know how I get on.