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Monday, 18 June 2012

An Unexpected Catch at Barnsfold....

It's been a while since I've had a day out at Barnsfold so decided on a trip one (what turned out to be sunny) Sunday afternoon.

The fishing was very tricky, with not much happening all day!  With a slight hangover I soldiered on but managed only a few tugs and lost two fish to sloppy knots, not my best effort!

My two fishing buddies had more luck than me, fishing on opposite sides of the water our Dunc managed to bag 3 fish, with Daz managing to land 6 throughout the day.

It was towards the end of the day when Daz had come to laugh at my bad luck that something odd happened.  I cast out from the small platform near the lodge and began my retrieve when my line tightened up, not in the way when you get a take, but in the way it does when you're snagged on the bottom!

"That just about sums my day up!  I've just put that fly on and it's a goner!!!" I said.  

As I slowly tugged on my rod I felt whatever I was snagged on begin to move, very slowly towards the surface.  "Ah, it's maybe a branch or something?" I thought.

As I started to reel it in slowly, my line suddenly began to move in a very slow direction towards my right.  There was some confusion here as I still could not feel the tell tale `tug` of a fish swimming, so it was a moment or two before I realised it was indeed a fish!

This is it we thought, this thing felt HUGE!  A fish of a lifetime I think one of us may have metioned (obviously getting very carried away at this point).

As we brought it close (which did take some time) there was the odd, what I still swear was a silver flash under the water.  Ever nervous, I gently brought it home, aware that my line might break at any moment!

Then, we could see it, in all its alien glory when it did finally surface.  The biggest, ugliest, creepiest creature I have ever seen!

I had managed to foul hook an Eel!  The little beggar was unhooked in the net and safely returned.  I'm still not sure if I was excited or not about this catch, on the one hand I thought it waas a huge trout!  On the other, it was nice to say I was able to land such a fish after quite a long and intense fight.  At least my knots held, which was something to say for the day!

At least some of us had some success, here is our Dunc with a nice brownie caught towards the end of the day.  Just before we were about to pack up!  Still a great day out!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Burnhouse Lochan Fishery...

While working in Scotland recently I came across this nice little fishery, Burnhouse Lochan Fishery.  Having spent so much time there over the last 18 months I can't believe that I didn't know about it sooner.

A stones throw away from my hotel, it's perfect for an early finish from work and a few hours fishing until sunset.

Unfortunately, as it was catch and return I don't have any pictures of my catch, but I had a great few hours there.  It is a shallow water, only 10 - 12ft deep at the most and there are areas where you can get snagged on fallen trees.  The bailiff will tell you where not to cast and it does only affect one or two of the pegs.

On my visit I fished using 2 black buzzers with a beaded nymph on the point, this had some success.  I managed 6 fish in all over a 5 hour period, which I was quite happy with!

A place I will definitely be returning to on my next trip up north, if this summer ever arrives!!!!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

An Afternoon on the River Tame!

This year I have set one of my targets to get out on the Rivers and see what all the hype is about!  After a recommendation from the chap who I bought my Fly Tying Vice from I decided to make a trip to the River Tame in Stalybridge, Manchester.

With little experience and little tackle I took my Guideline #7Wt that I use for still waters and a small selection of river flies bought from the tackle shop, purely based on what I think the fish might like! (I have no idea what I am doing!!!)

The plan was to weigh things up, decide what it looked like, maybe spot the odd fish and hopefully not get mugged.  I didn't really expect to catch anything at all.

After a little trek up and down the canal close by, I finally found a way onto the river Tame.  I tried a few spots up and down before coming across this nice little spot.

There were a few fish regularly jumping to take food from the surface as it was washed down the weir and the currents slowed.  I started casting into the current and trying to let my fly wash through their path.

After a few little knocks and nibbles I finally hooked this little chap!

It may not be the biggest but I was made up, success!!!

This spurred my on and I carried on with my tactic, which lead to three more;

 Fish number two I was much happier with, he put up a bit of a scrap too but my rod was maybe a little too heavy for him.

Number three, again another really nice little fish.  After I had taken this chap I decided to move further up the river to see what else was around.  There was an old mill that was recommended to me by a passer by so I went up to take a look.


Another great spot with fish rising here as the current slowed.  Casting was a little more difficult here, still a bit more to learn but I still managed to take one fish.

My last take of the day, I only had a few hours so I packed up and headed back after this chap.  He looks a lot bigger than he was in this picture, a similar size to the second fish.  The fly shown is what I caught all on during the day.  I tried another similar pattern but without success.

Speaking to a local at present nobody owns the River Tame but I believe Oldham Angling Club are looking to take over, although this could take some time. 

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Superb start to the Summer!

After a very long wait, and what with all of this stunning weather we have had over the last few days, I thought it would be rude not to go fishing!  Helwith Bridge was the venue of choice, it is a place I have not visited when the weather has been so nice and it seemed a good opportunity to introduce the venue to my fishing partners!

One of my goals for the summer is to get my head around Buzzer fishing.  It is a method I struggle with and have never really given it a real chance.  With Helwith being a good Buzzer water, I thought this would be as good a place as any to start.

First fish of the day, taken on a Beaded Nymph!
I got there earlier than my Dad and our Dunc and managed to get two in the bag before they arrived.

I was fishing with a 15ft leader with a beaded nymph on the point and two black buzzers, each 5ft apart.  

This nice little chap went to the Beaded Nymph almost as soon as it hit the water on my second cast of the day!  Always a sign of a good day!

One of Dad's fish making a Splash!!!

There was a slight lull as Dad and Dunc got setup but it wasn't long before there was a nice splash coming from the direction that Dad was fishing.

He took a nice little fish straight into the net, this went to a Weighted Nymph.

First fish of the day for our Dunc.

The good sport continued with us all taking similar sized fish just far enough apart to keep the day interesting.

 Then, shortly after lunch, while making a slow retrieve my rod went over and something took my line down into the depths like a bullet.  It certainly felt like a nice fish but you never want to speak too soon, just in case you tempt fate.

Then as it neared the surface I caught a glimpse of its tale under the water as it turned to take another dive.  Just as I had hoped it was a good sized fish.

A picture I will not forget in a hurry!!!

Playing it on the reel I slowly brought it up to te surface, where it was eventually (and only just) landed.

This was a new record for me at around 61/2 - 7lb, I was grinning from ear to ear for the rest of the day.

Superb fish!!!!!

Not one to be beaten though our Dunc was soon into a nice fish, this one also going to a Black Buzzer.

This chap also put up a good scrap, he really did not want to be on the bank!

All in all Helwith was a great days fishing.  The water was not as clear as it has been in the past, but it was still visible.

Talking to the owner he seemed to think it was down to the weeds and often happens around this time of year.  Hopefully it will have cleared up for my next visit, although juding by our day I don't think the fish were too bothered.

In total it was 8 fish for me, 3 for Dad and 7 for our Dunc.  Not a bad way to start the Summer is you ask me!!!!

Me enjoying the sun, perfect!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Another trip to Curleys...

After a rather busy start to the year I have not been able to get out fishing for about three or four weeks so was glad to be able to escape for the day.  Arranged to meet up with our Dad for a spot of fishing at Curleys Fishery.
The weather here had been a bit blustery the last few days but today was forcast to be much better, or so we thought!  A constant (and rather chilly) wind of what seemed to be around 20mph had us stuck to the pontoons for the majority of the day but this didn't mean that we could not be successful!

Dad arrived at the fishery first and managed to get this nice Blue in first.  What a nice head start that was! (photo taken from Curleys Blogg)

It went to a Flexi-Cat on a floating line, fished quite shallow on the first pontoon near the road.

This did leave me with some catching up to do, and it wasn't long before I was into my first fish!  I was fishing with my first home tied fly and it was quite satisfying to catch on something home made.  Although this was also a little but more frustrating than usual to lose said fly shortly afterwards after a clumsy cast into a nearby tree!

Things then went quiet for a while then Dad got into this super little fish.  Again going to a Flexi - Cat but this time fished on an Intermediate line, a little deeper than we were reaching with floating line.

This spurred me on to make the switch, which paid off ;

Again going to a Flexi-Cat, this fish was taken very close to the bank but imediately went on a run towards the middle of the lake.  As I brought him closer I had to really fight hard to keep him from slipping under the pontoon.

 All in all another great day was had, in spite of the wind.  The totals were three for Dad and four fish for me, which is quite a happy result.  Unfortunately it may be another few weeks before I get to go again, thanks to a busy schedule.  Fingers crossed I might squeeze another trip in somewhere soon!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Start the year as you mean to go on....

Waking up with a very limited hangover on New Years Day left me with enough energy to scrape in a 4 hour ticket up at Curleys Fishery in Horwich.  After one or two recent trips here this place really has been fishing well, and with the nice Blue's that have been put in it is worth the trip.

Unfortunately the weather was not on our side for the day, which had the fish showing very little signs of feeding.  I managed this nice sized bow towards the end of the day, just as the daylight was fading.  It went to a weighted Nymph fished under a bung, not everyones favourite method of fishing but works for me as a last resort.

Sorry for the poor photo quality, it was very dark and my hands were very cold!

The day after New Years day was a little different.  Robert, my second cousin had dropped in on his way back south after his christmas leave from the forces.  Being a keen flyfisher we decided on a trip up to Barsfold with Dad and his new gear.

This turned out to be a rather windy but productive day, considering the conditions.  Robert managed to bag three fish and lost and absolute monster!  We always exagerate the one that got away but I can vouch that looking at the head and body on it as it rose, it was easily an 8 - 10lb fish!

Robert with one of his fish, posted here so his dad back home will believe us!

I hit my two fish limit early on, this fish being the bigger of the two at about 3 1/2lb.  Shortly afterwards managed one more but then the fishing seemed to die off until later on in the afternoon.

Again right before we were ready to pack things up for the day I managed to hook into one last fish.

All fish caught today put up a great fight, something which always makes me want to keep coming back to Barnsfold, no matter what the weather is doing.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Some Highlights from 2011.....

With the year coming to an end I thought I would add some of the highlights of 2011.  It has been a great year to take up fishing which has lead to some fantastic days out, and also some very wet and windy ones!

My first successful fishing trip (after 4 or 5 unsuccesful attempts!) was at  Heathcote Lake in Lemmington Spa.

Heathcote is a really nice little fishery with two small lakes situated on a caraven park.  I will definitely be going back next time I'm in the area.

This chap went to a black buzzer fished under a bung.

For Duncs birthday we had a little trip to Penine Trout Farm where we both had a cracking day. 

Penine Trout Farm is a very well stocked fishery but has some very nice big fish in.  It can be an easy day but is nice every now and then just to shake things up a little bit.

Dunc managed a personal best with this 6 1/2lb bow which went to an Olive Damsel.  It nearly ripped his arm off when it took, flipping his rod and shoot across the lake like a rocket!

We also found our new home, Barnsfold Waters.  This has two lakes with great access all the way around, with plenty of casting space, although the weather can be a little rough at times.

The fish here are like lead wieghts and will have your arm aching by the end of the day.

This was where I caught my first Brown Trout, a day which still brings a smile to my face. 

With the wind blowing floating line all over I had switched to an intermediate with a Cats Whisker and it wasn't long before my rod bent over.

Another great place, Bank House fishery.  A nice refuge if the weather is bad up at Barnsfold.  Here our Dunc caught a stunning Tiger Trout!

It went to a Cats Whisker on pretty much the last cast of the day, just before we lost all daylight.

Like my brownie, I think this fish is one he will not forget in a while.

Well that's just about everything from 2011, it's been a fantastic year with some great memories.  Roll on 2012 so we can all go and catch a few more and hopefully set a few more personal records!