Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Ready or not, here it comes!


As the old saying goes, time, tide and trout seasons wait for no man. At last the opening of the season can be counted down in days instead of weeks, and it seems that we have been preparing for this forthcoming season since the close of the last one. The rivers and streams are looking good. A bit on the low side maybe, but I would prefer this compared to a flooded river on the day. Fingers crossed that we don't have buckets of rain prior to the big day. Our original plan was to get out for a few wild trout up on the moorland streams, but due to a meeting later in the evening we have opted to fish up country a bit and cross over the border into Somerset.

It was good to catch up with Derrick at the weekend. He has been busy sorting his kit out for the season and it was only right that he brought it down to play around with. We often get asked why we have so many different types of rods and fly lines? This is mainly down to two reasons. First, and most important is the type of fly fishing it will be used for. We tend to have a selection of rods dependant on the species of fish that we are hoping to catch, with different lengths and line ratings (AFTM) designed to cast and handle different sizes and styles of flies. For example, you would be hard pushed to cast a 2/0 pike fly on a #3 fly rod. And vice-versa, it would be a massive overkill to cast a size 18 dry fly with a #9 fly rod. So everything is in proportion with the style of fishing that we are doing at the time. Rod length is again determined by the style of fishing. On a small overgrown stream, a rod that is too long will end up getting caught up in the bank side vegetation and trees whilst casting or walking. On a wider river when fishing longer lines or perhaps when Czech nymping, then the extra length of rod will aid line and fly control, and enable easier mending.

The second reason for having a wide selection of rods is 'Why not?'. Deep down I think most fly fishers are tackle tarts. We all like to get our hands on a new rod or reel, cast a new fly line or step into a new pair of waders. We may not have needed them, but we still ended up buying them! Derricks new choice rod is the Vision Cult 8' #2, matched with a Rio Gold fly line, which is perfect for the small moorland streams that we will be encountering.

Derrick practicing a few trick shots with his new rod!

At one point he let me have a go, but soon had it back!

With this bit of nice weather we have been having of late, (apart from the cold breeze), I decided to have a ramble over the moors and see where I ended up. I'm glad I did. I know there is some stunning fly fishing to be had on most of the Dartmoor streams. Get the weather right and your blessed with it all. OK, your not going to break any records for the size of fish you will catch, but this isn't what fly fishing is about in my opinion. If you want to catch a monster fish, then you have to fish water's that hold monster fish. These streams hold small, wild trout. If you catch a 10" fish, then this is your equivalent of a 20lb pike or a double figured trout from a big fish water. If you are into wild fishing for wild fish, in a wild location then this is the place.

Wild water, wild fish, and wild times ahead.

It was nice to see a few fish on the feed. Unfortunately they were still safe for the time been. Due to the pH level of the streams, food is often small and at certain times sparse. But saying that, there is more food in these streams than a lot of anglers give them credit for. As I have mentioned in past blogs, fly selection isn't anything complicated. The majority of food in the higher reaches of the stream tend to be small flies such as midge, stoneflies, sedge and small olives.

A typical, non discript parachute pattern. Used in a
variety of coloures and sizes will be productive all season.

When to go and fish high up on the moors is down to the angler. Most often choose to wait until things warm up slightly. I don't blame them, it can sometimes be quite a bleak place at times. But I prefer to target these waters before it gets too warm. As all anglers know, high temperatures, low skinny water, bright sunlight and the fish will seek shelter and wait until later in the day before they show themselves in numbers. But with such stunning scenery it is always nice to work along a stretch of stream and find feeding fish. Even if the fishing is challenging it is always a pleasure.

With scenery like this, it is never a chore searching for fish.

For anyone wishing to try their hand at a bit of wild trout fly fishing we will be running regular tuition and guiding days for those who fancy a chance of a wild fish. Alongside the regular tuition that we do at 'Adventure fly fishing UK', we will also be running a series of Bass, Pike, Beginner and intermediate fly fishing open days at various locations throughout the South West. For more information please feel free to get in touch or drop us an email.

The kit is ready, the season is nearly here, don't forget to
get yourself a new 2010 rod licence.


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