Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Fly Fishing - Fishing a small brook

Now it is no secret my eyesight has been bad a very long time, i credit it to float fishing for 11 years from the age of 3 with the water glare and focusing on a small float for several hours including in choppy water. So i came to decision to finally get glasses and some prescription polaroids while i was at it. On pickup day i decided to, i was up that way, seek out some of the smaller tributaries of the Irwell and endured a nice 80 minute walk.

I reached the small brook and noticed that the weather had certainly took it's toll, with no rain for a week the water level was low not helped by the fact the amount of silt that has shallowed the river off. It was a matter of scouting ahead then fishing the pools available. The tree'd sections held good pools last year but now they were only inches deep now, i spotted a trout but it was circling the pool and took flight once my flies hit the water, however in the next pool i faired better, again the trout was moving so i cast my nymphs ahead and it turned to face, a small opening on the mouth and i struck into it, it gave a good fight for its size under the rod and with the high banking in places i was lay down flat in nettles reaching down to net it. Once in the net i moved to a shallow bank were i could get the trout in the water.

Moving up the river i found less and less water, some bends held good depth but lay practically motionless, i jigged my nymph through these but nothing. Heading into the open fields i spotted a nice trout on the far bank, however several other trout lay there too and it became a game of little and large. I was fortunate in the fact there was a herln nearby as everytime i cast and jigged the nymphs through the pool and got a take, those that spooked would go no further than the heron and would after5 minutes of so, settle back in the pool. This continued for a couple of trout before they stopped taking. I suspect they grew suspicious so i climbed in. Now the water was only a foot deep at most yet the silt was really deep. At the side i sunk down to my knee and that taught me to be a little bit more careful, it was a slow process getting my leg out but with nearby banking it was very possible. After the mishap i was in the middle of the brook which is 8 feet wide or so, it was more stoney in the middle thankfully.

Now in the centre of the river i could get my nymphs to hit the water softer as i was no longer in a high position. It didn't take me long till i had the trout i was chasing and it was beautifully marked with its plentiful spots and bright red spots lining its flank. There were still trout in the pool but i wanted to see what else was around so up i continued to a more canalised section as it runs past farmers fields and public paths.

I saw a small shoal of perch which i would of chased had it not been closed season and continued upstream. Reaching the only pool for a distance i worked my way through it and was soon pulling trout out of it. Then i hit into a chub, only a pound or so (not good at measuring chub) but was very fat which led me to believe it was spawning, so i hastily put it back and moved on upstream as not to catch any more chub.

As it neared 2 o clock i eventually came to a more urbanised stretch and was greeted by an alley of rises. They were big splashes, not very inconspicious if you look at their location. Now fishing in a 6foot wide section from a high bank with vegetation either side and trees above it's never going to be easy and i lost half a dozen dries or so. A passerby had stopped to talk and was watching me chase two rises under a big tree, they were rising all around it with big old splashes.  Eventually one took the dry and i was into a nice trout, fighting it away from the banking i climbed down the 6 foot bank and eventually tired the trout out enough to land it.

It was a beautiful trout and of good size and the biggest of the two i did manage on the dry. After the rises stopped i headed home and stopped at a pool which i saw 2 rises from the distance.  I'd tied on a nymph as i'd lost the last dry i had on and after jigging it through the pool i got a big hit.
It tried to take me into the far bank and as it came up i realised it was an even bigger chub. After landing it and releasing it i decided to call it a day, as not to risk catching any more chub.

All in all it was a good day on a tiny brook. Witnessed a deer run past and had a small fishing match with a heron, which i won if i might add. Funnily it did look over when it heard the splash of the trout. The problems with small rivers like this and their build up of silt means the pools are smaller and easier to find creating a huge potential for poachers to have a field day.

So for anyone who witnesses illegal fishing remember to report it to the EA at 0800 80 70 60

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