Monday, August 30, 2010

Good fishing

During one of todays patrols a familiar form of a regular visitor was spotted from the road, by the side of the river.
I heaved my bike over the gate into the field and rolled down the hill to see him, making sure to come up on the blind side so as not scare any fish. He gave a report of his day so far detailing his successes and failures, taking time to mention a 'family' of stoats hunting the riverbank and a very nice brown trout netted earlier on.
'I've scared these fish in front of us Warren'
During the course of the conversation, as is usual with this angler, neither of us took our eyes from the water for longer than two seconds, when he declared a subtle rise in a tiny pocket under the far bank. The spot seemed perfect; hidden under a small bush, well fed by a food lane, in-between two brown sticks under the bank. It was not possible to simply cast above and let the river take the fly into the hole, a small branch touching the water made that impossible.
I goaded him to have a go so he unshipped the fly from the keeper to oblige. After a single 'getting out cast', he dropped the fly on the water only a few inches from the previous rise form.
WHAM! A fantastic brown trout, with 'steel eyes' came quickly to the net.
There are five things that make this impressive;
  1. The rise was spotted in the first place
  2. The cast was attempted
  3. The cast was extremely accurate
  4. Trees had to be avoided on the back cast
  5. The leader was 15 foot long!

OK, I admit the angler was warmed up after four hours of fishing, very familiar with his kit, and tuned into the river despite me visiting, but there was no doubt I witnessed an expert piece of dry fly fishing today.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summers end

'We're only making plans and arranging things. Talking it over, you know-what route we are taking this year and where we'll stop, and so on. It's half the fun.'

Kenneth Grahames' wayerfarers now line the telephone wire outside the house. I can't look at them without imagining their chattering concerns over this years' route to Africa.

The first elm turned yellow prematurely over 3 weeks ago but now the sycamore is yellowing too and the trout are acting very strangely. Look into any crystal clear pool and you will see a dark, fish with mottled sides lying flat on the bottom. Her eggs are developing rapidly inside her and she has no wish to feed now until spring. Cock fish are all the time gesturing, with tails held high, sometimes breaking the surface, and swimming slowly alongside each other. If well matched in size all hell will break loose with each pair fighting it out every afternoon for a month. The season is changing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Peacock Fly Fishing Club

We have been working hard in trying to find a better letting arrangement for the club. Many hours have been spent leaning on gates, working out how we can provide free access to members but still keep our 12 rods/day capacity, enjoyed by our anglers and wildlife and part of the secret of our success.

We've cracked it and I'm really chuffed. The only problem is we have a limited number of places to take the club numbers up to 42.

The Olive Membership is from April 1st through to Jan 1st with the grayling season starting on October 7th. In order to make it more affordable to our fans the 'silly season' is reserved for Mayfly members and day tickets. Those Mayfly Members will be able to fish from April 1st through to Jan 1st.

Olive - £550 inc VAT
Mayfly- £850 inc VAT
and come when you like.

Day tickets will continue as before.

Please ring the Peacock (01629 733518) to reserve your place for next season.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Running out on the tributaries

It's been November since we had two days together of rain and it really shows. That snow, still foot thick under the walls at the start of March, and melting slowly through the ides, was a God send. Thanks to the cold spring and good early ranunculus, the algae has kept off, helped in no small part to our catchment farmers reducing their dressings of beaded fertiliser.

The to-ing and fro-ing along the bank, usually such an uplifting experience, now gives rise to concern as each day a new half inch of shingle is left high and dry by the receding water. Relief is found in places that have been narrowed and shallowed; here at least can be found flow and fining fish.

There hasn't been a day in the last fourteen summers that I haven't wished for pelting rain against the windows at night, or stepping out into a flooded yard in the morning, but this year seems different. Our traditional October relief date is too far off, too long to wait.

Diaries are made for going back over and I'm sure I'll raise a smile at this short post when we are again in times of plenty, but right now I'll trade anything I own for a day and night together of stir rods.

About Me

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Derby Uni LL.B.yr4 Birmingham Uni (field lecturer)