Well, it's fare to say that summer is on its way out. The past few nights I have reluctantly been forced back home, due to it going dark early! It only seemed like last week when I was still out at 10pm messing around down the river. I got in at about 7:30 last night and I nearly tripped over the doorstep. It was already dark, and there was a slight nip in the air. That reminds me, next time I'm in bed, I'd better swing my arm over and turn the electric blanket up another notch! It's been a a tough week, the fishing has been quite good, but I've ended up with a kidney infection, and I'm sure I've broken my back!! But the fishing must go on. Nothing a packet of pills can't put right.
I mentioned in an earlier blog, that I was waiting for some of the new Rio wire to arrive. Well it has arrived from the States, and hopefully it's gonna get a good hammering next week. Over the years I have used AFW which has served me well, but I wanted to give the Rio wire a good try over the winter. I decided on a couple of breaking strains to try, 20lb and 30lb.
Rio wire to be put through its paces.
As it says on the spool, it is knottable. So this will be perfect for fly fishing for pike. I have tried various wires over years, and found that some claiming to be knottable can sometimes be too springy for the job. When knotting wire, it is always best to work the knot tight. Unlike co-polymer or fluorocarbon etc, wire doesn't tend to slide as easy when pulling it tight. If you try and slide the knot tight, the wire tends to pig-tail and can damage the strands. The Rio wire knotted well, and the outer coating didn't strip off when I tried to slide the knot.
So with the nights drawing in, I have been tying a few more 'Chewed Up' flies for our forthcoming adventures. I have been using some of the new materials from ' Funky fly tying Products'. In days gone by, a lot of anglers would of spent a lot of the 'old' closed season tying flies for the following season. Nowadays we have the luxury to fly fish all year round for a wide variety of species, so we tend to tie flies for the following session. It was good to meet up Derek again for a cast and a catch up the other day. The river Exe had given up a few decent grayling to him, with a beaut of about 17". When I lived in Somerset, I used to love the grayling fishing near to Dulverton, not far from where he was fishing. He's also been pulling a few big bass out as well from along the North Devon coast. Been a coast guard he has got his finger on the pulse and has found a few new marks for us to try. Right, that's more grayling, bass and pike flies that will need tying.
As well as tying flies on these dark lonely evenings, I have dusted off a few books that I fancied a re-read. I'm no book worm. Since Devon has switched over to digital, I'm hooked on them shopping channels. It amazes me how they can spend an hour talking about a piece of tat. Then I realise that they have sucked me in, and Ive ordered two singing snowmen, and a roof-rack that won't fit my car! Anyway a few choice buys in my time are a few books that are always worth a browse. If you are into your fly casting, and want to progress as an angler then have a look at........
One book that is always good to have for reference is a copy of..............
At least learning to identify a few basic, but important insects that live in your local rivers and streams will be a bonus. This will help you to select the correct pattern of fly and hopefully catch you a few extra fish. John goes into great detail and has excellent photo's to back the text up. If your not too concerned about it all though, if a green fly comes buzzing past you, just tie a green fly in and go for it! You might still fish. But reading and understanding books like these will bring consistent catch rates.
Another buggy book is 'Trout and the subsurface fly', by Lou Stevens. It's true that between 75%-80% of a trouts feeding life is sub-surface. So it pays to learn something about the insects and the fishes behaviour. Some people thrive off catching fish on a dry fly, and others love to fish nymphs. It's a good job really that everyone has their own preferences and styles, or else we would all be standing in the water like robots all doing the same thing until the fish wised up to it. Lou Stevens book is easy to read, and is ideal for all anglers starting fly fishing or moving onto running water.
One last book that I often thumb through the pages of is Simon Gawesworth's 'Spey Casting'. Whether your in double or single handed Spey casting this book looks at the subject in great depth. Spey casting is continuing to advance with new rods and lines. But without doubt this book is still one of the most up to date on the market.
For those who don't like to read or the youngsters out there who don't seem to come across books anymore, there are plenty of good DVDs out there. The best ones that Ive seen recently and certainly worth a view are:
Running down the man! (Rooster fish fishing in Baja)
Trout Bum Diaries Vol 1 and 2. (New Zealand and Patagonia)
Sexyloops (The instructor). www.sexyloops.com
Raising the ghost. (Wild Steel head fishing)
Location X. (Big Tarpon fishing)
Chasing silver. (Big Tarpon fishing)
Fly fishing tuition. Fly fishing in Devon. Guided fly fishing. AAPGAI. Mark Bailey. Adventure fly fishing.Rio pro guide.