Saturday, June 30, 2012
With June nearly at an end, opportunities to fish recently have been few and far between. My job has ripped out the heart of my trout fishing season, the best four weeks of the year strafed away in the blink of an eye with very little to show apart from another wage slip and the sense of having been beaten about the head with a cricket bat.
I did manage to sneak to the river one night a week or so ago. Recent rains had boosted flows and I enjoyed struggling upstream against the renewed vigour of the current. In truth, many of my usual haunts were borderline unfishable; but I did find sport on the wide, shallow flats of the lower Eamont, where the resident brownies proved eager to rise from the sanctuary of thick ranunculus beds to the prospected dry fly. Late on - 9pm, maybe later - a hatch of grey flag (hydropsyche) caddis, and simultaneous fall of yellow may spinners, brought fine sport in the gloaming and I happily enjoyed a field day until the light went altogether and the temperature dropped away. Once again, I had failed to locate any of the river's larger residents (the best of the fish will have nudged the pound), but on this occasion I was grateful just to be there at all. The fact that my dry fly reflexes had received a good warm up was the icing on the cake.
Finally things look to be returning to normal and I am at last able to look forward to a couple of weeks time when Rob and I will be heading north to fish the lochs of Skye. I snatched a couple of hours at the vice this afternoon and concentrated upon topping up my arsenal of deer hair sedges. Most were simple concoctions of seal's fur and roe deer, tied semi-muddled - smuddled as Rod Tye once called it - on size 12-14 hooks. These will serve admirably as either dry flies, or top dropper wets given a bit of ripple. I did introduce a couple of additional elements to a few flies, such as the one below which sports jungle cock cheeks and some glistery stuff at the head; but generally I've gone for a simple, robust formula which I hope will be sufficient to fool a few loch 'bandies'.
Hook: Varivas IWI T-2000 #14
Thread: sheer tan 14/0
Rib: copper holographic, twisted into a rope
Abdomen: blend of olive seals fur - brown, sooty and golden
Wing: dark roe deer with JC splits
Head: blend of seals fur as above, with pinch of brown olive 'bug dub'
As far as river sport is concerned, well the dog days await. Activity will be restricted to the last couple of hours of the day (which suits me fine), but a spell of settled weather would be nice. Heavy thunderstorms hereabouts have put our spate streams into a state of flux and personally, it's difficult to see where the next session is coming from. How quickly the solstice passes and sends us sliding inexorably once more towards autumn!