Friday, 17 October 2008

Full On Fishing

Its been a hectic few weeks and so much has happened on the water and up in the sky. One minute it was wall to wall rain and then suddenly the sun came out! Just last weekend I was guiding in shirt sleeves and enjoying flat calm conditions.

Speaking of which during a trip to London I caught up with Alasdare Lambert of Shirlaws and we grabbed a couple of hours on Syon Park Fishery near Richmond in stunning conditions. Can you believe such scenic fishing is available so close to the heart of the capital? The endless planes landing at Heathrow make it a bit of a novelty but all in all it is amazing to have fly fishing of this quality in such an urban area. Alasdare and I enjoyed a couple of quick hours with dries and buzzers flicked under overhanging trees to Rainbows that were only too happy to snaffle our offerings.

Alasdare is fast developing into a fishing junkie and I am very pleased to have him along on my next fishing adventure with Aardvark McLeod to Los Roques, Venezuela in search of Bonefish. If you are interested in coming along too give me a shout as there is just one space remaining, you can find out more here.

Just before my trip to London Neil Frost landed this very good looking Rainbow at Exe Valley Fishery during a half day course. The fish weighed in at 8lb 8oz and was his first ever Trout on a fly rod!

After this it was time to try and nail our last sequences for a programme that I am presenting for a new online fishing channel. As soon as I have more info regarding the channel I will add it to the blog. But for now here is a head shot of a very tough cock Salmon that was non too pleased to be hooked during late morning on Monday! Full story here.

After a great deal of charging around to meetings while also hosting courses and guided trips I was pleased to drop everything for a day and head to an amazing reservoir high on the Exmoor Hills. Situated not far from my old hometown of Exford, Nutscale Reservoir is owned by the National Trust and operated by Wessex Water to pipe water to Porlock village and as a back up resource to Minehead. A mysterious place I used to gaze at this high altitude lake from afar during my many bike rides and walks when I was a kid. I have had to wait around 25 years for an invite to fish it so when David Draper (a guest I taught to fly fish a couple of years back) invited me along for a day I had no hesitation accepting his generous offer.

Arriving late morning on Wednesday the wind was howling over the hills and the fishing proved to be tough. I caught a small Brown in the first hour but nothing more until well after lunch. After some experimentation I settled on fishing with a yarn indicator and two Buzzers. Nothing happened for a while and then a sudden take resulted in an explosive few minutes as this 6lb Rainbow shredded line from the reel. This fish hit the backing and had my Demon rod under yet more pressure as it also had to deal with the Monday morning Salmon. In fact I have to say that the Hardy Demon Rod range is right up there as one of my favourite rods of all time ... it just does everything so well.

Eventually the fish was netted and I admired the full fins. These fish are only trickle stocked and so naturalise well, hence they don't throw themselves at everything and take some landing ... if you manage to hook one. I lost a couple more and landed two later in the day by long casting with an Airflo 40+ Di-3 line which I had never used much. After seeing the huge distances possible with this product I will now be stocking them in the shop and adding some more densities to the tackle bag. Which leads me nicely to these ... The Greys GRXi Waterproof Tackle Bag which is very well thought out, does stay dry, its lightweight and the padded carry strap works, unlike those that always fall off the shoulder.

Finally, this time of year can seem depressing as the days close in, the leaves fall from the trees and rising Trout on beautiful rivers seem so far off. There are Grayling of course and I will soon be Fly Fishing for Pike but if you need even more of a fix check out this awesome new online magazine. Henry Gilbey is a contributor to this very cool fish porn that is bound to get the juices flowing!

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