Thursday, 30 September 2010

~Grant Breckell brings another fish to hand~

~San grayling are both handsome and plump at this time of year~

Water Fines Down:

Our second morning greeted us with much clearer water and fish were active on our arrival. Targeting fast water, Grant Breckell and Kevin Moran connected with some fine San trout using small nymphs. Liam Spencer and myself preferred to search out smooth, flat glides, looking for dimpling fish amidst the ribbons of foam. The first hour proved slow, but once a hatch got underway, fish were rising all around us. Size 18 dries were the winning formula though fickle as ever, grayling seemed harder to tempt than trout.


~Lunch and a warm fire by the river are good for the soul~

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

~The Boys tackling up~

~Ready for battle~

Mucky Water:

Heavy overnight rain rendered the San a mucky brown for our first morning. To add further insult, a cold northerly breeze pegged back air temperatures. Nonetheless, there was plenty of excited chatter and banter as the Boys prepared for their first full day on the San. On arriving at the water, we were met with BWOs streaming off and the occasional caddis hatching. Our biggest problem was deciding on which method was going to be most profitable, as nymphs suited turbid water, yet emerging fly had encouraged a few fish to rise................


~Sadly, this caddis didn't quite make it~
~The San has it's share of beavers, which are gradually gnawing through this tree!~

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

~Safely arrived and unpacking in Poland~

~A quick coffee before hitting the water~

Poland Adventure:

We arrived safely in Poland to find balmy weather. And following a good hours drive from the airport, a strong coffee set us up for some evening sport. The boys fared well with everyone catching fish on our first outing. Grant Breckell took the hounors for the largest fish-a cracking 2lb San Brown Trout. Better still, there was evidence of BWO spinners and I managed a couple of fish on my para-spinner. Though, as we left the river that evening, heavy rain clouds filtered down the valley, let's hope it doesn't come to much.............


~Master at the Vice, our host Wojtek Gibinski tying a killing fly~

Friday, 24 September 2010

~Webbed feet and five toes points to otters~

Up and Down:

Cumbria has suffered its fair share of rainfall this last week and consequently river levels have constantly fluctuated, making it tough to pin down a day. Albeit high and carrying colour, a few hours on the Eden one afternoon saw a handful of trout come to hand. Although a nymph was perhaps the better choice, I searched out pool tails where the odd rising trout could be found. a size 14 CdC dry did me proud and most of my catch consisted of trout rather than grayling. Judging by the signs, otters have been active of late, preying on crayfish. Poland beckons once more and with my trusty laptop, updates should be posted throughout the trip. Fingers crossed, we won't experience snow this year..........


~The remains of an otter kill, our native white clawed crayfish~

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

~Neil feels the resistance of his first ever trout~

A Nice Introduction:

There's a certain thrill to be gained from introducing newcomers to the sport of fly fishing. A recent day spent on Bigland Hall with beginners Neil and Karen couldn't have gone better. The pair picked up casting fairly quickly so in no time they were able to present a fly some 15 yards out, which is enough to put you amongst fish. Neil was the first to score and he was surprised how hard 1lb 8oz of rainbow can actually pull. I'm sure it's to do with the direct contact you have with fish when fly fishing. No to be outdone, Karen was close on his heels by tempting fish with a near static presentation (a skill in itself).


~Karen studiously retrieves her nymph.....a picture of concentration~

~Neil attempts to tame another feisty rainbow~

Sunday, 19 September 2010

~Moving into my new tying quarters~

Rain Stops Play:

This morning, my rain gauge showed over an inch of rain had fallen overnight and checking the usual riverline reports confirmed what I already suspected-the local rivers were rising rapidly. In fact, our region has flood alerts on three rivers just now. With rain pelting the windows there was nothing for it except some indoors work. I'm trying (it's an uphill battle) to reorganise my fly tying room and have well and truly opened the proverbial can of worms! A spot of fly tying for an upcoming trip to Poland helped put things in perspective once more.


~Another F fly signed off~

~Slender CdC Shuttlecocks are all the rage in Poland~

Friday, 17 September 2010

~Thirsty work this fishing......!~

Bosnia in the Mist (part 4):

I'd like to report that on our final day we were up with the lark and down by the Ribnik at first light. However, since upwinged flies didn't start emerging until a tad after 10am there really wasn't any need to rush. Better still the hatch we experienced was simply one of the best I've seen. And, with a thick blanket of duns drifting past, our biggest hurdle was maintaining focus to target individual rise forms. I can't remember how many fish we caught that final day, all I know is everybody had a great time and we eventually dragged ourselves from the water just before 5pm. Weary, yet extremely happy, we popped into a riverside cafe to discuss the events over a beer, we're already planning a return visit for September 2011. Anyone who is interested should contact myself or Mat McHugh:


~We had a great taxi service back to the lodge-after a beer or three!~

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

~Shrouded in mist, pale wateries carpet the surface~

~Peter Legge casting to rising fish in crystal clear water~

Bosnia in the Mist (part 3):

As I was saying, despite foul weather (we didn't see any sunshine for 3 days) the Ribnik was treating us to some truly amazing fly hatches. And once you'd rid yourself of "buck fever" (casting randomly), it was possible to start connecting with some notable wild fish. Generally speaking, small CdC flies were the order of the day with size 18 patterns dominating our campaign. In fact, so dense were the fly hatches they lasted from 10am right through until 5pm when chilly air descending from the surrounding mountains brought an abrupt end to the days events.


~Grayling like this featured daily~

~Steve Grimes sets loose a nice Brown Trout~

~On paper dense mist is not the best of conditions.........!~

~Steve Grimes checks his knots before making those initial casts~

Bosnia in the Mist (part 2):

Mike Collins and I looked in horror as a thick layer of mist carpeted the river Ribnik., both of us grumbling to each other on how such conditions aren't conducive to good sport back home. Yet here, it seems both upwinged flies and fish are happy to continue their daily routine-good news for us then. By 10.30am the first morning, pale wateries were hatching in vast numbers and that satisfying slurping noise of rising trout could be heard all around us. Of course, a wealth of fly littering the surface made for challenging sport, as fish could pick and choose what they ate. Presentation was the key, when total drag free drifts were required to tempt either trout or grayling.

~Mike Collins finds early success despite the cold mist~

~Mike steers another Ribnik Brown Trout to hand~

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

~The sign that greets you on arrival~

~Paul Maxwell surveying the conditions from the Lodge~

Bosnia in the Mist (part 1):

Arriving in the Ribnik valley of deepest Bosnia recently, it was fair weather that greeted us. However, a low pressure system saw conditions quickly deteriorate and cold air hanging in the bottom of valleys resulted in mist lingering over the water for hours at a time. Undeterred and keen to get at them, over coffee (strong stuff......) we discussed tactics for our adventure.


Left to Right:
~Pete Legge, Steve Grimes, Paul Maxwell, Ardo (guide) and Mike Collins enjoy Bosnian coffee~

Sunday, 5 September 2010

~Ian May setting up for a roll cast as the boys look on~

Flexing Carbon:

Jim Williams and Ian May made the long trek north to spend a few days in Cumbria with Tony Riley and myself. Naturally, when four AAPGAI instructors get together the main talking point will always be casting and teaching methods. A great way to develop, is spending time flexing carbon with friends, which definitely helps iron out any wee niggles or faults. And if the weather happens to be sunny then so much the better.


Saturday, 4 September 2010

~A handful for my son Andy~

Hot weather is great for carp:

Finally, a spell of weather resembling summer has arrived in Cumbria and whilst day time trout fishing has suffered the carp are going bonkers. Feeding them hard, it's possible to have several fish on the go at once. My son Andrew was even dragged away for his Xbox.........and out into the fresh air.