Just a nice place to be ….
I was very fortunate that a kind friend of mine Cliff gave me a Sonik SK4 9 foot spinning rod. Armed with this I set sail last evening wondering how the rod would perform with a Pike attached to it. It terms of the rod I have always been a fan of the cork handle; the SK4 comes with a foam type handle, split in the middle. This I would have to get used to. Nicely finished with a rather neat down locking reel seat which was in fact the upper part of the handle, the rod is nicely finished. Fishing predominantly with multiplying reels (pre 1980 ABU classics of course) the only comment I would make is that I would have preferred the lower part of the handle to have been 3 to 4 inches longer. The reel of choice last night for the SK4 was one of ABU’s real classics, the Ambassadeur 4600C, black and silver with a red thumb bar; a legend in ABU terms (the other rod was fitted with another classic, the ABU Ambassadeur 4500 in red and silver).
Trolling two small Rapalas, it wasn’t long before I had three Pike in the boat but not one on the SK4 (so disappointed). I chose to spin at a favourite location on the far side of Bassenthwaite but was not hopeful; it fishes better towards September. Armed with a Heddon Lucky 13 (Natural Frog colour), the SK4 was put into action. As with any new rod, it took a few casts to get used to; with a tip action it was just delightful to use, I knew I was gong to like this rod. Letting the Lucky 13 move tantalisingly across the surface, it wasn’t long before old Esox lucius attacked the lure. A fish of only 6 lb, the rod performed really well. With two other fish in the boat both on the SK4 the evening total was six and lost three. Not a bad evenings sport. All fish had recovered well from spawning and were in good condition.
My two other favourite Hardy rods will be retired for the time being as I purchase two additional SK4’s. These will be road tested for the rest of the season so that a complete assessment can be made. Well done Sonik, welcome to the Pike fishing world of Mr. Little, it’s tough but I am sure that you can stand the pace, only time will tell.
Nice view of the Deveron …
Just had a good weekend, returned from sunny Aberdeen giving a trout fly dressing workshop and fishing the Deveron. Had a great two days with good friends Kevin Muir and Buchan Chesney, The weather was bright but cold with only a sparse and spasmodic hatch of Large Dark Olives. The river was stuffed with salmon parr. I fished the XP 4 wt with a guideline presentation line (such a sweet combination).
Size doesnt matter (look at the size of the thumb !)…..
Most of the fish came to spiders and woven Baetis nymphs. Saw one salmon two pools below the railway bridge, fished over it with a small thunder stoat without success. What a delightful river the Deveron is; not wide but lots of nice pools, I particularly like the junction pool of the Deveron and the Isla. The workshop on Sunday consisted of 8 participants with the usual enthusiasm, all patterns bar one were classics; the remit was that winged wet flies were to be included; the Silver Invicta was the selected wet and after 4 attempts to get the wing right, the final product looked nice. Also dressed a traditional Red Tag which also came out quite well. Pictures of the demonstration flies will follow shortly.
The Fish Quays ….
Well it was a busy weekend; 600 mile round trip to the Sportfish open day, another day dressing flies for Casting for Recovery (CFR) and framing a set of flies dressed by young Dylan Hooley of Fly Only. The Ladies from Ladiesfishing were engaged in tying salmon flies on Partridge gold hooks, and a good effort they made of it as well. The day was complete with a nice steak (in a hot spicy tomato sauce, just yummy) at the Italian, Sambuca’s on the Fish Quays; best steaks in town!
Really enjoyed the Sportfish day, met lots of old friends, watched a classy casting demonstration by Simon Gawsworth and saw a few flies being dressed (unusual for me to be on the other side of the tying bench).
A nice Blue on the damsel ….
On the way home from Fly Only in Huddersfield stopped off at a local syndicate water where I put the Sage XP (best range ever, some would say and I would agree with that) four weight and a Guideline presentation line (a great line by the way) into action. A green headed Viva (someone’s got to fish them) in a flat calm was the order of the day. After a couple of chances, the rod buckled and a lovely 2lb Rainbow was cavorting around. Nice fish, good fight and returned safely to the water. A change of fly to a google eyed damsel and it wasn’t long before a 2.5lb Blue trout was also brought to the net. Note the reel, a Lamson, only the best will do ….
Three of a kind ….
Could resist the picture of the three Oyster catchers eggs; bless them, the crows usually get them before they hatch but they do try each year to get a brood.
Off to Aberdeen this weekend fishing the Deveron with two good friends, then a trout fly workshop on the Sunday. Winged wet flies will be prominent in this course; a forgotten art in fly dressing.
A day shared is a great days fishing …….
With a north east wind blowing it was a cold start to the new season. Experience told me that trolling would be the order of the day. I was right. Some may find this method of fishing boring but an intimate knowledge of the lake is gained using this method, and it is highly effective in these conditions.
A welcome addition, a Perch on the CFR fly ….
A 10 am start was unusually late, but as it happened it turned out to be perfect. When your boat partner has never fished for Pike before, there is always a sense of trepidation as to whether they will catch fish. I should not have worried. Fascinated by the Simon Shimomura custom made gold Ambassadeurs, Anne soon got into the swing.
Fish on, just look at that reel …….
It was not long before she took over the oars (at her insistence) and was rowing like a seasoned campaigner.
My turn on the oars …..
The end tackle consisted of two small Rapalas with a tube fly 3 ft above the lure. Long lines of approximately 120 yards were used as the trolling commenced. Would the lake have changed much after the floods last year I wondered, not a lot, if any was the answer. The first take in Church Bay, the 3lb Pike was very welcome.
First Pike ever ….
The next in Bowness bay of 3.5 lbs meant the day was well under way. Several unsuccessful attempts at spinning in various bays put us back on the troll. Two seven pound fish and one 5lb fish, one on a fly designed for Casting for Recovery made the total up to 5. As the day came to an end, cooler weather meant that the fish were harder to catch. However, the last fish of the day again to the small Rapala was to be our and Anne’s first double figure Pike. A good fight off Blackstock point produced a 10lb fish.
It just doesn’t get any better …
A great end to the day; a day shared with a good fishing companion is a great days fishing. Just look at the expression on Anne’s face, it says it all!
View across to Bowness Bay
Not been active on the blog lately, very busy time, lots of fly dressing gigs. Nothing like the start to the new season on Bassenthwaite Lake, yesterday was no exception the anticipation was almost unbearable. Armed with small Rapala lures (ignore small lues at your peril on this Lake) and a couple of tube flies attached to the line three above. Our intrepid anglers set sail. Slow at first but after a short while in the cold northerly breeze it was game on. A small 3lb fish came to the lure to the delight of my boat partner, Anne, she was delighted especially at having to hold the fish for a photo. In summary, we finished with 7 fish, biggest 10lbs, 4 on the lure and three on the trolled fly. Pictures of the 10lb fish will be posted soon.