Friday, 26 May 2017

Mayfly Time Part 2 - Getting stuck into a few!

Gem of a Wild fish on a Mayfly emerger!
Over the last few weeks, the Mayfly have been picking up a little more on my local river. The first trip that springs to mind is in the very changeable weather we have had in the previous week: heavy rain, hail stones, thunder and lightning. After heading to Robjents in Stockbridge on a lovely sunny morning to stock up on some mayfly patterns, I headed for my local river. By the time I had made my way into the river and was working the pool, I could see the weather starting to turn. After no action on the first section, I made my way to a reliable section and opted to fish one of my favourite patterns, the CDC and Elk. I don't know what is has been about this pattern, but its provocative silhouette formed by the straggly CDC (Duck's rear feathers), and the elk hair 'wing' seems to trigger some rather decisive rises. I decided on this occasion to try a smaller variety and within the first straight on this section I had a missed rise, which was a decent sign. After arriving at a shaded straight on this section, I had a couple more rises and a couple of really nicely marked wild fish.
Another one on my favourite CDC pattern!
The weather then took a different turn: heavy rain, thunder and lightning. I therefore decided to head for home and wait until it cleared. Once it had done so, I got my bank rod out and decided to have a go with some nymphs. With the rain over the last couple of days stirring the water up, I was sure the fish would be in an active mood. Over the course of an hour, I managed six fish on the nymphs, four wild brownies and a couple of tiny little escapee rainbows. By this time, the sun had come back out and there were suddenly a fair few Mayfly duns hatching and fish reacting. After buying some lunch and having a chat with another angler slightly above me, I put on one of my favourite Mayfly patterns, the Mohican. What I love about this pattern is its robust build and the fact that it is resets itself effectively. After having a mosy on the lower part of this section I spotted a few rising fish against the walls. I knew that it would take some serious mends in order to get the presentation but knew a few takes were on the cards if I was to successfully do so. After some effective covers, I managed 4 fish, as well as a missed take and a lost fish. In spite of the changeable weather, a few fish were caught which amounted to a pretty action packed day.
Lovely dark fish!
On the next session, a catchup with my friend Mark Lindsay was long overdue, so we decided to give some fly fishing a go. Mark had not been in a while, so he was certainly keen to dust off his gear. I arrived an hour or so before Mark and had some great action in the first pools of the day. After losing a fish on one of my first casts, I made another cast slightly upstream and a big pair of lips came up and absolutely nailed the detached body mayfly pattern. I lifted into a turbo-charged fish which made several dashes for the cover. All I could do was point the 3 weight Streamflex at the fish and hoped that the forgiving action would deter it from cutting me off. After a fish final dashes, the first brownie of the day was landed, an absolutely glorious wildie around the 2lb mark. I made my way up river and managed a smaller fish which also attacked the fly aggressively. After getting this fish back I saw another nice rise just above of a good fish. Thankfully I managed to get the cast yet again perfect, and another big mouth emerged and absolutely engulfed my fly. Without hesitation, I set the hook and all hell broke lose. The fish shot off upstream and leaped clean out of the water. This was definitely on the same calibre as the first fish I had landed. After another ridiculous battle on the 3 weight, another beautifully spotted brownie was in the net.
Certainly was a question of holding onto this one on the 3 weight!
Over the next straight I managed a few more small wild fish just as Mark arrived. I was confident with all the action so far, that a few more rising fish were certainly going to be about. Mark was soon setting up and after straightening his leader with a few test casts, he informed me that he had already had a take. This was a promising start and it was not long until I heard Mark's fly line as he lifted into his first fish. It was great that Mark had also managed to quickly get a fish under his belt. We continued on, working our way to a few areas and we both got stuck into a few, Mark's being the best in this particular section.
Another cracker for Mark on the dry!
It has probably been the most productive fly fishing I've had recently, as I have learnt a hell of a lot. Big thanks goes to Rob at Robjents for his advice when choosing the waders and my friend Chris for some great guidance on wild trout fishing, teaching me some real fundamentals. It was also great to have caught up with Mark and to see that he had gotten a bit of his motivation back for fly fishing!

Tight Lines to all,


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