Of course I am being ironic with the title of my post today. The season has sadly closed on many of our West Country Rivers. To this day I still feel that dull feeling sweep over me as the realisation kicks in that summer has gone and the Wild Browns have a 6 month holiday to look forward to. Back when I was a young kid it felt like the end of the world.
Fortunately we now have a season extension on the Exe, Barle and Torridge while the Grayling provide some amazing sport through the winter. Not to mention Pike, let us hope the canals remain clear this year and I have also found a new lake to fish. Further afield there is the Los Roques trip taking place in February 2010 and I also caught up with an old mate a few days ago who has invited me to Florida. It sounds like he has some incredible fishing there in an area infrequently visited by guides and home to plenty of double figure Bones. I love the Keys, so this has to be investigated!
I spent my last official day of the season on the beautiful stretch of the Mole that I guide upon for Salmon and Sea Trout. The weather was beautiful .... but the water low. Aubrey and Kate were hoping for a Salmon (even after their encounter with the King of Tweed the day before) and so we set off in the truck full of hope. Arriving at the river confirmed more than my worse fears, the water appeared lifeless, accept for the constant rises of Trout. However, it was the Salmon we wanted and there just wasn't the flow to provide effective fishing. We had a go in some turbulent areas and were almost about to give up when I spotted a fish, and then another ... and another. 7 in total, all lying in clear water, close to a deeply undercut bank.
For hours Aubrey tried to fool those fish with a huge nymph variant thrown up stream and then lifted in front of the fish. We provoked some response but not a hook up. Unfortunately the fresh fish in the pool would not settle and the specimen we were after (that would have been pushing double figures) looked stale and uninterested. Even so it was hugely entertaining and exciting to watch these fish have the odd glance at our offering, especially when an unseen fish that would have been well into mid doubles shot out from under the ledge and towards our fly!
This "lifted nymph" technique is something that I am going to try much more often in the future as I have been thinking of a number of circumstances in which it will work. So much of our fishing can be based around the text book, but it never hurts to think out of the box. Check out this stunning 12lb Sea Trout for example taken by William Daniel earlier this year while fishing in Iceland. He tempted the fish on a size 16 nymph and landed it on just 6lb leader! Anglers don't come much more enthusiastic than William, who runs a brilliant guiding service on the southern chalk streams, check out Famous Fishing for details.
I have a lot more guiding to look forward to and thank those of you who have written to me during the last few weeks regarding our days spent together fishing. Its great to get your feedback and I look forward to catching up with you all again soon.
1 day novice course
Cornwall, Sept 2009
1 day novice course
South East, Sept 2009
1 day guided fly fishing and survey of River on behalf of owner
Thank you so much for such a wonderful day on the Mole last weekend. I’ve never had so much success in a single day but the most important thing I come away with is a new belief… that the river is actually full of fish and that i should expect to catch lots of them! Your guidance on every detail was awesome and i can't wait to get fishing again to apply it all. I realise that it's all for nothing unless I can nail my casting technique and so I look forward to booking in a session on this. Thank you also for all your advice on managing the rights and the banks.
Southern England, Sept 2009