5 June 2015

Wild browns on the River Darent

Had an hour on the river at lunch time today, between meeting the farmer about some fencing and heading home for a conference call. The crazy lives we lead!!

3 fish in an hour, all to adult Mayfly imitations. 

Life is good!

3 June 2015

Mayfly madness on the Kennet

I was very lucky to get an invite from a very nice man to fish a very nice stretch (8 miles!) of the Kennet last Saturday... slap bang in the middle of the Mayfly season. Thanks Phil!

While tying on a spinner pattern a spinner lands on my hand!
Actually, while there were good numbers of duns coming off sporadically the main feature was a huge spinner fall that built from about 3:30 and peaked at about 7 in the evening. The week prior, Phil tells me, there were no spinners about and the fish were focussed on the intense dun emergence.
Long shallow riffle heaving with mayfly and rising fish...

I went for a pee in the woods mid afternoon and found myself in a massive mating column of mayfly. This video barely does justice to the density of the swarm.

Video of one of the mating columns

This fish ate a dun imitation and tore off upstream, I thought Phil would be spooled!

The spinner fall hots up

Iron blue spinner?

Amazingly, there were fish that were not on the mayfly but focussed on the sporadic olive/iron blue hatch (not sure which it was).
Close up of a piece of stream at the end of the spinner fall... unbelievable!

25 April 2015

Mayfly spinners are go!

Prepping for the Mayfly (Danica) hatches to come...

Inspired by Oliver Edwards and others I've added this spinner pattern to my family of Danica imitations. 

The recipe:

Hook: #10 light wire scud/emerger (yes, this is a big fly!)
Tail: Pheasant tail fibres 
Body: 2mm white foam worked into shape using a tube fly needle mounted in my vice.
Hackle: Cock dyed Iron Blue
Wings: White Tiemco Aerowing with mottling created with a dark brown marking pen 

The spinners on my home water, the Darent in South East England, are normally mainly black and white, with little of the tan and green left that we see in the dun: So I've used an Iron Blue Dun from Christina at Chevron Hackles for the hackle. Better than black. 

I've used an extended body because long shanked hooks in large sizes offer a long lever for angler and fish to become detached. A short shank hook will hold much better.

I like the realistic effect achieved by pheasant fibres but they're so brittle! Anyone got a better material for this? Please let me know.

Only a month to go to the mother of all hatches!

15 April 2015

Goodbye Simms G4 Guide boots, hello Simms G3 Guide boots

I've used Simms wading boots for over 20 years. I still have my first pair of Simms Guide boots as spares.

Today my new G3 Guides arrived so I can finally toss the G4 Guides which are the worst wading boots I've ever owned from any manufacturer. Bad design, bad materials, bad build quality.  

The G3 Guides look and feel great! Comfortable and seemingly hard wearing... I'll let you know in a few months.