Posts Tagged ‘Sunburst Goldhead Blob’

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

The end of the season is fast approaching and looking at my diary over the next couple of months it was quite clear I needed to pay a visit to Kennick trout fishery while I still had the chance. The weather on Sunday was stunning, clear blue skies and an extremely comfortable temperature of around 21c. While it wasn’t ideal trout fishing conditions I am always up for a fishing challenge and what better way could you spend a Sunday afternoon?

Arriving at Kennick around 12 I looked out over the water, flat calm with not a sign of any trout rising or moving. As I made my way to the far side of the reservoir I spoke to a few fishermen, all confirming it was going to be a tough days fishing. I took two rods, a 6wt 9ft Greys GRX-I  rod equipped with a GRX-I reel and sinking line. The other rod was an 8ft 4wt Wychwood Truefly rod equipped with a Pflueger Trion reel and a floating line. Looking in the margins there were plenty of pupa cases/shucks. As I began to work my way through the water depths, fly box and various locations I struggled to find the fish.

A few clouds started to appear and a number of fish started to rise, primarily brownies the occasional rainbow could be seen. Encouraging though it seemed I still failed to get a response, so I started to reach for the less traditional fly patterns. After 2 hours I eventually had a take, the fish came off as quick as it took the lure. I really don’t understand why the goldhead blob in sunburst works so well but whenever the conditions have been tough it consistently produces.

I read a number of articles about the ‘blob’ and how it has caused almost as much controversy as the boobie fly. While it is never my fly of choice I still think it is a valuable addition to anyone’s fly box especially if you are struggling after trying a whole host of traditional patterns. I am certainly not a ‘yob with a blob’, nor am I an ‘Elitist traditionalist’, just being there on the water is enough for me but with hungry cats to feed I feel obligated. Anyway back to the fishing..

Kennick Trout never fail to impress me, each one in perfect condition and always willing to put up a hell of a fight. The stock levels are spot on and I have never come across a fish that has fin damage commonly found on other stocked waters. After landing 3 fish I decided it was time to go home, another happy day fishing at Kennick reservoir.

Although the fishing was tough (I wasn’t alone) Kennick reservoir looked and felt stunning in the beautiful weather. I kept losing myself in the moment, bird life and hypnotic ripples moving across such a vast area of water. As the days shorten and the colours of autumn begin to develop, regardless of catching or not you will get to enjoy an amazing example of the wonderful Devon countryside.

For more information on Kennick reservoir please read my previous post

Kennick Reservoir Trout

Kennick Reservoir Trout

Kennick Reservoir Trout

Kennick Reservoir Trout - great condition

Kennick Reservoir is without a doubt one of the best trout fisheries in Devon. I will make a post about the fishery in more detail at a later date but all you really need to know is that it offers fin perfect rainbow trout in a spectacularly beautiful setting for an extremely reasonable price.

I have fished Kennick around 15 times this year and have had on average 2-3 fish each visit. For some reason I found that the more unusual fly patterns (traditionalists stop reading) have been extremely reliable and effective in all conditions. On one visit I managed to catch 6 and lose another 6 in 1 hour and 20 minutes using a sunburst goldhead blob. So for my own amusement I decided to purchase a large selection of the most awful looking flies I could find and see what I could catch.

Armed with this spectacular selection and a 6wt Greys GRXi rod and reel I set off to see what I could catch.

Hideous Fly Selection

pic 1. Hideous Fly Selection

I started off by ripping a sunburst goldhead blob back across the shallows on a sinking line, after 4 casts I hooked into something solid. I knew it was larger than average because of the way it remained deep and kept making powerful lunges stripping off line faster than I could put it back on. After 10 minutes the fish was mine, it was a beautiful conditioned  6lb rainbow.

6lb Rainbow Trout caught on a sunburst goldhead blob

pic 2. 6lb Rainbow Trout caught on a sunburst goldhead blob

Over the next hour I tried the black blob, orange blob, blood worm with marabou tail, and the different coloured gold woolly bugger style patterns. They were not very productive at all with the exception of the yellow goldhead wooly bugger which recieved a few plucks.

The last fly to try was the odd looking Red Apps Beaded Bloodworm pattern. I fished this on a floating line with a 9ft leader, casting it out and letting it slowly sink then occasionally using a very long pull of the line to raise the fly up a few feet and then let it fall back down again. On my first cast I hooked into a fish on the drop, and from that point on I couldn’t stop catching. In total I managed to land another 5 fish and lose 4.

2lb Rainbow caught on a Red Apps Beaded Bloodworm

pic 3. 2lb Rainbow caught on a Red Apps Beaded Bloodworm

So in conclusion what does this all mean and what have I unscientifically proven? On the day the sunburst blob produced the largest fish and the Red Apps Beaded Bloodworm pattern landed the greatest number of fish. What was also interesting is that the yellow goldhead woolly bugger recieved a few plucks and based on what colours I have used before at Kennick I am convinced yellow has the edge on other colours (in terms of consistency).

Sunburst Goldhead Blob and Red Apps Beaded Bloodworm

pic 4. Sunburst Goldhead Blob and Red Apps Beaded Bloodworm

I revisited Kennick on another ocassion where I was failing to catch anything although the conditions appeared to be pretty much perfect. I reached for the Sunburst Goldhead Blob and the Red Apps Beaded Bloodworm patterns both of which caught on first casts. Give these two patterns a try if you are struggling at Kennick and let me know how you get on.