Wednesday, 28 October 2009

~Jim Lees straining to spot his #18 paradun through heavy snow~

Hardy Soul:

Hailing from Scotland, Jim Lees has to be one of the hardiest fishermen I've met. Withstanding sub-zero temperatures, Jim literally had to be dragged from the water at the end of each day. He even managed to fish without gloves, amazingly his fingers still functioned in biting winds. Granted, his sheer determination paid off time and again as Jim got amongst some nice grayling, even late in the day when BW-O spinners returned to egg lay. What took some coming to terms with was the fact that female spinners were still prepared to egg lay, who would have believed spinner falls in Arctic conditions.......


~A nice grayling steered towards Jim's waiting net~

Thursday, 22 October 2009

~Heavy snow pelts Richard Tong~

Braving the Elements:

With lunchtime temperatures struggling to the heady heights of 2 degrees C, we weren't exactly rushing to the water first thing. Amazingly, hatches of fly continued despite the snow and by 2pm good numbers of BW-O duns had grayling dimpling at the surface. However, it was a bizarre and somewhat mesmerising experiencing trying to spot your dry fly through a wall of snow flakes. The rewards however were rich with some stunning grayling falling to our dry flies.


~A handsome San grayling in freezing conditions~

Snow Time:
Our second day saw heavy rain eventually turn into snow and with biting winds, we were soon facing blizzard conditions. At least the lying snow wouldn't affect water levels! Our journey to the river was however a different story. Still in leaf the trees couldn't cope with the weight of snow, which brought many of them crashing down, blocking the road. Determined as ever, an axe and some serious manpower shifted the heavy boughs.

~All hands to the deck~
~Just enough room to squeeze past~

~30 yards later, another felled bough~

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

~BW-O Duns carpeting the San~

Incredible Fly Hatches:

I'd been talking the San hatches up on the flight out and thankfully she didn't disappoint. Around noon on the first day, Blue Winged Olives began emerging in huge numbers. We'd caught a few fish on nymphs and spiders prior to the main event, but once things kicked-off, everyone switched to dry fly. Interestingly, a number of adult caddis could be found along the margins, not bad for an October day. The hatch of Olives lasted until 4pm-giving us a good 4 hours of blistering sport.


~This large caddis would make a decent meal for trout~

Monday, 19 October 2009

~Tackling Up~

First Day:

The San river in Poland flows from the Carpathian Mountains and boasts some of the finest fly hatches known to man. So it was with a degree of anticipation we tackled up on the first morning of a recent trip. Above, the boys discuss tactics and flies on a typical Autumn morning.

~Richard prepares lunch~

The clean Polish air certainly puts an edge on your appetite, especially following a couple of hours wading in cold water. Our guide Richard was a dab hand with the griddle and rustled up some traditional Polish sausage-delicious. Funny how wafting smoke summons everyone from afar... Wedged between fresh bread this meal certainly kept the wolf from the door.

~Autumnal Colours~

Ancient woodlands in South East Poland mainly consist of deciduous trees, resulting in a spectacualar fiery show at this time of year. A watery sun helped lifted these colours, making it a pleasant experience as we awaited the first BW-O duns to emerge.


Saturday, 10 October 2009

Poland Beckons:

Heading off to the San river in Poland first thing tomorrow morning. Forecasters are predicting some arctic weather moving in next week with snow too. Back next Sunday, so will updates following thaw-out........


Friday, 9 October 2009

~Searching a nice run~ photo: Rod Calbrade

Time for Grayling:

With tumbling leaves and the threat of frost, it's time to seek out those grayling. My first grayling foray took place on the Ure and following recent heavy rain the river was carry a tinge of colour. Thankfully, this didn't deter grayling from feeding and although cold temperatures delayed any hatch of fly, fish could be had on a team of spiders worked through boisterous runs. However, by early afternoon aphids (greenfly) carpeted the smooth glides, resulting in plenty of dimpling rises. A size 18 black Klinkhamer worked a treat though the fly had to drift unfettered, otherwise fish would snub it.


~A decent fish returned~ photo Rod Calbrade

Saturday, 3 October 2009

~A size 16 Paradun fresh from the vice~

Confined to Barracks!

Forecasters were true to form with the weather today, gale force winds have confined me to barracks! Not such a bad thing I suppose, as flies desperately need tying for a trip to Poland next week. This olive paradun is arguably one of my favourite patterns when upwinged flies put in an appearance. Low riding and buoyant, it suits both fast and slow water situations. Although the parachute hackling technique is a little tricky at first, any effort is well worth it , as the finished article is quite stunning. What's more, it's absolute muster when grayling are "knocking off" newly emerged duns.


Thursday, 1 October 2009

~Leaf litter on the surface~
Last Cast:

I spent the last day of the trout season on my local river the Bela. Breezy weather tumbled Autumn leaves onto the water making for challenging, if not interesting conditions. Constantly fouling our leaders and flies, it's easy to curse such surface debris. However, "every cloud has a silver lining" as they say. Tired leaves are home to countless terrestrials, which are just as readily deposited at the surface, resulting in a beanfeast for the local trout population. A wee, black dry fly cast to dimpling rises was just the job and despite leaden skies threatening rain this closing day was one to remember.


~This beauty couldn't resist a #20 black Klinkhamer~

~Crimson red spots-a well marked trout~