Wednesday, 28 July 2010

~Tony Riley waiting for carp to show as the light fades~

Carp on the Feed:

With fluctuating river levels and moody trout, it was time to try for a summer carp. The CLA Game Fair didn't help matters either, as our local rivers hit optimum height whilst we were down in Warwickshire doing our bit! Warm summer evenings will see carp venture to the surface, especially if a handful of free offerings are scattered in a quiet corner. Then it's a matter of being patient and waiting for wary carp to gain confidence. Of course this is only half the battle the real fun begins when you connect with one of these hefty creatures. Pulling like a small train, even on an 8-weight outfit, carp can be more than a handful.


~A delicate cast, tight in against the reeds~

~Grinning like a Cheshire cat... a huge common carp is finally subdued~

Sunday, 18 July 2010

~A crisscross of foam points to rising water~

It Never Rains but it Pours:

Months of dry weather finally came to an end this week with heavy rain pounding my local rivers. Rising levels made getting out difficult, in fact yesterday was the first window of opportunity since returning home from Iceland a couple of days ago. Although still coloured the Lune had dropped to a fishable height. That said, persistent rain was sure to bring it up again, giving me a couple of hours of sport if I was quick out of the blocks. Spiders and nymphs scored well and a surprising number of upwings hatched off. Modest trout came to hand though I did have hold of something that bit more special before it came unstuck-the big ones always get away! Despite the damp, my day was brightened up by a close encounter with a badger. Undisturbed, obviously, poor light had encouraged this creature out to forage for grubs. I watched him turning over dried cowpats before greedily snaffling up worms, beetles and slugs-amazing stuff and my trip out was worth it purely for this. Rising water eventually pushed me off the river a tad after 4pm.


~Now, where did that worm go?~

~Dropping in from above~

Thursday, 15 July 2010

~The bulging rise of a hefty trout, stationed upstream of the break of a boulder~
~5lb 6oz of Icelandic muscle~

Our Prayers are Answered:

Day 3 on the Minni and we awoke to flat calm conditions. Orvis endorsed guide Toby Coe and I walked the lower beat to encounter rising trout in most pools. The still air was just the window we had been waiting for, as midge hatched all round us. Size 18 black Klinkhamers were rarely refused, so long as the presentation was delicate. With fish to throw at, we simply took it in turns working up the river and every so often, something a bit more special could be found rising on the smooth tail of a pool. Nerves of steel and a steady hand were required though, otherwise these huge trout quietly slipped away, never to be seen again. Thankfully, we remained composed enough to winkle out a few larger fish.


~Toby Coe lays down a measured cast~
~Bingo-fish on~

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

~Into a trout under the midnight sun~

Fishing 24/7:

July brings 24 hours of daylight in Iceland. Obviously this throws the evening rise period into turmoil. With that, it's easy to burn the candle at both ends and pretty much fish through the night. Toby Coe and Judy Bourton managed to last until 3am one morning and were rewarded with rising trout. Lee Watts and myself retired for a nap around 1.30am in readiness for our 3.30am alarm call. It's an eerie feeling wandering the banks of a remote Icelandic stream at such an hour with only the call of nesting curlews as your company. As for the trout they had other ideas at this time!


~A flat calm on the Minni at 3.37am~

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

~Storm clouds gather over volcano Eyjafjallajökull~
(Note the two twisters in the distance)

Strange weather around Volcano Eyjafjallajökull:

I'm just back from a jaunt on the river Minnivallalaekur in Iceland, close to volcano Eyjafjallajökull which erupted in April. Interestingly the weather trend here was strange, perhaps influenced by the volcano's recent activity? What I can report is we experienced stormy weather on most days and that included three twisters rattling up the valley. On the fishing side of things, our arrival coincided with some pretty fierce winds that aren't really conducive to good dry fly fishing-not in my book anyway! This restricted our early efforts to nymphs and streamer fishing as we prayed for a calmer conditions.


~Two pots of gold......~

~Breezy conditions ruffle the Minni's surface~

Sunday, 4 July 2010

~Old wading boots and trousers put to the test~

Try Wet Wading:

I was lucky enough to spend 3 weeks in NZ early this year where Wet Wading is considered the norm. Admittedly, my initial wettings were tentative affairs, but in no time at all, I took to it like a duck to water! The advantages are obvious in hot weather, or when covering a lot ground. So, following our current heatwave, it was time to give it ago here in the UK. Water temperatures on the river Wharfe topped 17 degrees C, which were very comfortable. In fact, at this temperature wet wading was surprisingly enjoyable. On my home river the Bela, temps came in a little lower at 13 degrees C. And although a little more refreshing, everything was still fine, as I didn't feel any chill at all. Understandably, it's not recommended if you aim to spend long periods up to your waist in water, But, if like me, you're forever popping from pool to pool, it rids you from the shackles of chest waders. Why not give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised.


~A pair of neoprene socks between boots and feet definitely help~

~Easy does it-one step at a time......!~

Friday, 2 July 2010

~Andrew Gibson taking advantage in low water~

Low and Clear:

Despite a splash of welcome rainfall, many of our streams remain unaffected. Low, clear water coupled with bright overhead conditions have made for tough fishing. Good friend Andrew Gibson too advantage though by creeping around the margins. Pitching dry flies to sighted fish, Andrew managed to bag a handful of welcome trout. Although pleased with his haul, he did have a little moan about aching knees later.

~A beauty from under the trees~