Monday, 4 August 2008

Sea Trout by Day

A week has shot past since the CLA gamefair and there hasn't been a moment since to update the blog. The show was a great event as always and I enjoyed demonstrating the comparisons between fly fishing and lure fishing alongside Henry Gilbey. The crowds this year were huge and the weather was fantastic. I got to look at a lot more of the show than usual along with my wife Sue and little lad Chester who behaved incredibly well during the weekend, despite the soaring temperatures. In particular I was amazed by the products offered trough Bass Lures
and I had to stay well away from the various 4x4 sales areas as my truck needs replacing!

What has happened to the weather since that glorious CLA weekend? It has been shocking to say the least although a week ago today I did manage to bag myself another session on the Sea Trout. That night really hammered home to me once again that no matter what text books, DVDs and general theories there maybe ... the fish make the rules. It was a really warm evening, the cloud rolled in and the River Mole was literally pitch black. Perfect Sea Trout conditions. I did get a couple of fish, small school peal and lost another bigger as did Neil at around 1.30am, but following on from the high octane action from our moonlit session the week before it made for a puzzling session. Which leads me neatly on to yesterday.

I was guiding Jim Parrot and Alex Beattie on a Grand Slam. This is an action packed day spent fishing for Trout, Bass and then Sea Trout ... all in 24 hours ... all on fly. However based on the conditions it was just not possible to take up this challenge. The Atlantic around the North Coast is milky to say the least and our main estuary was chocolate Brown due to flooded rivers flowing in. Both guys had done a fair amount of Brown Trout fishing and so I decided we would take a look at the River Mole on the off chance that the colour was clearing.

It was! There was certainly colour to be seen but this can actually be very good when fishing for Salmon or Sea Trout. Setting up with single handed rods we were soon casting with Midge Tip Lines and Sea Trout patterns. Yes, in the daytime! Twenty five minutes in and Jim was hooked up into a lovely little peal that gave a great account of itself and after a photo was carefully returned. During the session both guys got a number of takes, a typical Sea Trout habit that keeps the adrenalin levels running throughout the day. But it was Jim that converted another later in the early evening to once again catch and release another sprightly Peal. It was a shame not to be able to do take up the slam but completing our day in the Anchor Inn over a pint both Alex and Jim have vowed to return. Let us hope the weather shines upon them in 2009 and that they get chance to achieve the exciting challenge of taking a Wild Brown Trout, Bass and Sea Trout all in one day and on the fly.

Another slam turned into a slap on Friday as Tim Watson and Tony Kaye embarked on their day. All be it the smallest Browns I think they have ever caught during their many guided sessions with me, it is a day not about size but species. On schedule a couple of little Wild Browns were in the bag although Tim did also get another bigger and an escaped Rainbow before we headed out to the coast.

A howling South Westerly greeted us as we neared the estuary which was a disturbing colour. Both the River Taw and River Torridge were blown due to the huge amounts of rain and gushing sediment into the usually crystal clear waters that Crow Point has become famous for. The Bass in this area are rarely large but it is usually possible to catch a few and it is a great place for saltwater virgins to cut their teeth. I am not sure if the Browns were bigger but both Tony and Tim got loads of Bass from one clear lagoon. We could not fish the main areas because there was so much colour and so now that we had at least contacted a Bass I drove the guys West to find something bigger. Again we were scuppered by conditions finding a milky sea that did not invite fly tactics.

Gutted. But we had a couple of species, even though small and so we remained inspired that a big Sea Trout was on the cards. But I was worried. Looking across the valley as we drove inland the scene looked bleak as dark clouds enveloped the hills before us. All the way we tried to keep our spirits high but nearing the River Mole our suspicions were confirmed. Storm drain after storm drain had blown and the Mole was now a dirty brown mess. Full marks to both Tim and Tony who still took a walk upstream and had a cast or two. Reality soon set in. The challenge was over and it was time to drown our sorrows by filling our tummies with perhaps one of the finest meals I have ever had at our local Thai restaurant, Tongdam. So two grand slams that didn't go to plan, but fun was had, fish were caught and it still leaves us with some unfinished business in the future! Like I said at the beginning of this piece ... the fish make the rules!

I have some exciting news about the fishery and details regarding our open day to post up, but right now I am off home to tie up some Sea Trout flies, I have to make the most of the rest of the season! I am also going to be having a look through some of my huge collection of fly rods as I need to make some room. I have a confession to make. Thanks to Henry I am about to buy myself some lure fishing kit!

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