Czech Nymphs News

Time of Year . . . . Time of Life

Posted by Craig Gannon on November 19, 2009
Czech Nymphs News, Trout / Comments Off on Time of Year . . . . Time of Life

I understand from colleagues and from my own peepers that the rivers in the area were fine a few days ago, but given the latest deluges that didn’t last long and they are now running in spate again. Now normally that would be good news or bad news depending upon your view, but to some (such as me) it doesn’t make much difference at the moment!

Normally I would be chomping at the bit and would love to be out there casting my line and waiting for that gentle sip of the surface fly or the nagging tug (pardon the expression) of the deep nymph as the monster fish snaffles it, but at the moment I’m not fussed – which makes me rather sad!

You see there’s been a few things running through my mind recently which I think that I should share with you – sort of cleansing of the soul if you like, or generally just nattering on if that’s your view, but nevertheless I feel obliged to pop them down on paper (paper??).

I’m coming very swiftly to the conclusion that from the end of British Summer Time all fishing should cease and desist (except for Salmon). That’s not because I think that the fish should be given a chance to have a rest (and make baby fishes), but mainly because the days simply don’t exist for me from that point on. I drive to work in the dark, and drive home in the dark, which rules out any thoughts of mid-week trips to the river, lake, reservoir, or anywhere else for that matter. Weekends are similarly constrained, particularly from the end of August when the football season kicks in, as I’m busy most Saturdays and Sundays with the teams that my son is involved in. Now you could say that’s my own fault for getting involved, but I reckon that time is far too short, and being the active and interested father is more important than fishing. – Some of you will be rolling in the aisles at this as most people think that in my life the first priority is fishing (after all I have missed my son’s, my daughter’s and my wife’s birthdays in the past due to fishing trips), but you see, time IS too short – so it matters.

So, that leads me to my second conclusion which is slowly dawning on me – fishing (particularly fly fishing – ‘cos that’s what I do) is a craft and sport for the retired gentleman or lady, as at that time of life work doesn’t get in the way. The fact that the clocks have altered doesn’t matter a jot as a retired life is clock-free (at least mine would be). My good friends know that if I was retired I would never be seen as I would be down the river almost every day, not necessarily fishing, but learning the river as only the retired seem to have the time to do. Some of the best fishermen are the ‘older gents’ who seem to always be at the best place at the best time casting the best line. To me that’s no coincidence as they have the time to really learn the crafts that make them great fly fishermen.

Many would argue that this is complete poppycock, but deep down you know that I’m right, and it’s only by accepting this that I can get through the winter months without going crazy with constant pangs to be fishing. As I sit here looking out of the window, the wind is howling, the rain is lashing down, it’s almost dark, the river is flooding and it’s only lunchtime!

So. That’s it. At my time of life, at this time of year, trips to the river are as rare as rocking horse poo. I’ve come to accept that now.

Of course one day I will retire . . . . . . . . . . .

What do fish do. . . . . .

Posted by Craig Gannon on November 05, 2009
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. . . . . when the river is flooding into the surrounding fields?

There has been a veritable deluge of rain over the last few days here in the Dales and the rivers are bursting their banks. There is no boundary between the field and the river which is now steaming through  at the speed of an out of control express train. Next Stop France!
In this state the normal home of the fish is turned upside down. Yet when the flood is over the fish are still in the river!
Logic may dictate that the fish would end up in the fields or a mile or so downstream as they either get caught in the torrent or explore the new world of the surrounding pastures, but that doesn’t seem to
happen. So what do the fish do?
It’s very possible of course that some of the smaller or less experienced fish do get caught up and disappear forever, but I suspect  that the more sensible fish stay at the bottom or in hidey-holes where the current is slack and from there await the passing of the storm. Although the river may appear to be running through at a million miles an hour, under the explosive surface there are back-eddies, slower flows and even slacks.
Otherwise the better fishing would always be downstream or at the mouth of the river near the sea where consecutive floods have washed the fish away.
Perhaps you know otherwise or can substantiate part of my theory? If so then drop me a line, otherwise I will continue to speculate and think of the possibilities!

(Perhaps I may go field-stalking as the river reduces back to it’s normal container and ‘catch’ that elusive new species the field-trout or meadow-grayling)!

Traquair fish

Posted by Craig Gannon on November 02, 2009
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A fine 15 pound hen salmon – not too coloured, – a little mauve on the back.
She went back happily with very little fuss.
Incidentally this is my biggest salmon so far!

Sunderland Hall and the End of the Week

Posted by Craig Gannon on November 02, 2009
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Sunderland Hall is a weird beat, it has 1 mile of the Tweed on one bank and half a mile of the Ettrick with part of that both banks.
Unfortunately the Tweed is almost featureless for the mile, and consists of shallow fast runs where fish will not be holding up. Also the mile beat is unfishable for almost half of it due to the near bank terrain – you simply cannot get down to the river.
On the other hand the Ettrick looks fantastic and as a result was the river where we concentrated our efforts.
As the beat includes the confluence of the Ettrick and the Tweed you would expect that it would be the holding place where the fish decide which route to take. That is true, but unfortunately the holding place is another 100 yards downstream of the  end of our beat. We listlessly looked on at the salmon congregating out of reach, and then being hauled out by the anglers below us on the Boleside beat.
Don’t get me wrong, there were fish about, but the two of us (and another angler on the beat) caught zip for the whole 2 days. We lashed the water to a foam and I honestly don’t think that I have fished as hard for 2 days as I did there. I had a single take at midday on day 2, but lifted into it too early and missed it (you can imagine that the air turned slightly blue), and that was the only action for the whole 2 days.

In summary Sunderland Hall isn’t really a great beat, there are few holding spots for fish and I would prefer Traquair as it has more to it, however the good thing about Sunderland Hall is that nearly all of the fish seen were silver, whereas at Traquair they are usually coloured.

Well that’s salmon fishing. I will be hoping to rebook for next year!
in the meantime here’s a piccie of the Traquair 15-pounder.

Traquair day 3

Posted by Craig Gannon on October 29, 2009
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They say that a moving fish won’t take and they were damned right.
Everybody blanked even though at last the river had some height to it.
A foot up first thing but dropped a few inches during the day. Not the most sucessful 3 days!
David and I now have 2 days at Sunderland Hall. Let’s hope that we catch fish!

Planned Trips and Others

Posted by Craig Gannon on January 25, 2007
Andros, Czech Nymphs News, Trout, Varzina / Comments Off on Planned Trips and Others

I don’t know about you guys but I like to have a few things to look forwards to in the Close Season, so I usually try to make sure that I have some trips lined up.

So far I am looking forwards to the annual trip to South Andros for a weeks Bonefishing in June with some friends – probably the most exciting time that I have had with a fly rod. I hope that this is an ongoing annual event – and I may extend it to organise other weeks there if I can find the space!

Also I am looking forwards to the annual trip to Scotland for Salmon on the Tweed at Traquair. – A regular very enjoyable week with a fantastic bunch of chaps – sometimes the Salmon fishing gets in the way!

It seems a bit selfish but I would love to go back to Russia for the Trout on the Varzina – I may organise a trip there – but also there’s Norway/Finland etc – which perhaps may be a better alternative and something a little different.

Lastly – I am tempted to talk she who must be obeyed into a trip to Canada for the Salmon and Trout – but there’s a lot of house points needed before I can broach that subject.

After all of that I have anew season on the Wharfe to look forwards to – and I am always willing to help people with that if they would like a trip guided or not.

Conatct me if you have any ideas or need any help.