The season started in earnest on the Taw yesterday. 1st March is the start of the salmon season with fly fishing for trout on the 15th. I wanted to mark the occassion and fished a couple of pools on the Taw and although it felt like I might have been going through the motions it was really nice to be on the river I love so much. I seem to still have the lurgy thing I picked up on my return from NZ and I could only fish for a couple of hours without feeling a litle tired out. I am sure there is a lesson there which is probably along the lines of fishing hard for 2 weeks without either eating or sleeping properly isn’t good for your health. I tell you what though it was worth it!
I didn’t have any interest from a salmon but there is plenty of time, with the weather turning it might bring some water and a few fish with it. I’ll be waiting……
Our team member Graham who is up country was fishing the Avon for a last grayling session with his fishing buddy Robin. I have met Robin a few times now and had the pleasure of having a fish with him in Mexico. The thing I’ll always remember about him is that, like I, on any fishing trip he wants to squeeze the most out of every day that is possible and so it would often be the case that when the flats boats would come in at the end of the day he and I would pop our heads in to see how everyone had done and then grab a rod and shoot off and fish from the beach. the one memorable thing I remember is him snagging a lure (he was plugging for barracuda) on a mooring post but instead of breaking off he stripped down to his pants and swan out and retirieved it. It was a pretty brave feat considering the sand flies and mossies that were around!
Anyway Graham sent me a report that I have popped below…
My last jaunt out grayling fishing had been a dismal affair as it was during the cold snap just before the UK was “snowed in”. Anyhow, the fish were not in the mood, the water was high and coloured and my rod rings kept icing up. So to make up for it I thought I could squeeze one more day before preparing myself for the opening of the trout season.
So it was with high hopes Robin and I drove down to a middle beat on the Wiltshire Avon in conditions that can only be described as virtually the complete opposite of my previous visit. The river was high but falling and the air temperature was a sweltering 12C. I tackled up with a 8ft 8in #4 and put on two gold bead nymphs to start with. Activity was slow but I was getting the odd knock and picking up the occasional small grayling. Somehow I felt a change was needed and so converted to a New Zealand dropper with a knlinkhammer as the dry and a micro tungsten bead ptn on the tail. Immediately catches improved and the size with some of the better fish nudging 1.5lbs. In addition I caught a lovely out of season wild brown that spent more time in the air than under water. There were a few dark olives on the surface but very little were interested. I managed to rise 3 fish and missed every one of them; with style if I may say!
The wildlife down here is
superb and today I watched 4 buzzards circling above me, saw 2 kingfishers zip along the river and the coup de grace was was watch an egret slow fly upriver. Robin saw a water vole which can only be viewed as encouraging for the future as these little fellows have had a torrid few years.
I noticed a few pike during the day and mentioned this to Robin as he always has a rod in the car for these critters and within one hour he had two on the bank, best 9lbs, and several swirls and rushes to his fly. The recent high water must have flushed these fish into the beat and the keeper was only too pleased to see a couple on the bank .
All in all a good end to the grayling season. Now let’s hope 2009 is a corker for all us trout bums!
Main website address: www.devonschoolofflyfishing.com