Waters & words

Posts tagged “muddler minnow

Summer fishin : “hot , wet, & wild”

With the water temperature in the lake varying from 21.3 degrees at 5 metres depth to 23 degrees at the surface, this was always going to be a tough day’s fishing. The sun was out in the morning, and I sat out there on the tube, lathered up with suncream, thankful for the breeze, and not entirely confident.

Underberg lake (2 of 5)

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Showing the others a toffee

Over the years, there have been more occasions than I care to remember, where my colleagues have out-fished me a dozen to one, or where they have caught fish and I have not, or perhaps I caught all the small ones, and the other bloke landed several ‘lunkers’. Those are the days when you try to copy their retrieve. You borrow an identical fly, and then at some point they will start giving you advise, or let you take their spot. This just makes it worse, as you try desperately to bury that nagging human nature called competitiveness.

I am not talking about a casual tally where you caught a few fish less than the other guy. I am talking of those days where, on your return, your wife will ask you what was wrong with you. Those times where you are hopelessly and  completely outgunned to the point that you lose your confidence and feel like a complete beginner.

I can think of one day in particular, on a club water in the Kamberg. PD and I had fished carefully and well, all day. It was a fairly miserable misty and drizzly day, and after about eight hours out on our float tubes, at around four in the afternoon, we took a mutual decision to throw in the towel, and be home in time for an early dinner. We had caught two fish each I think. Small ones.

We paddled over towards the launching spot, and just before we reeled in and paddled the last 20 yards through thick weed, PD put out a long cast, and hooked a fish.

“What fly?” , I asked.

Muddler”.

I had a muddler in my box. I would change if he hooked another fish.

Bam! he hooked another.

I changed to a Muddler.

Then he caught another. I hadn’t had a touch.

He lent me one of his Muddlers. I fished right next to him. I emulated the retrieve.

Nothing.

We ended the day with him 12 fish up on what I had caught. It was ridiculous!

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Brown Trout and favoured flies

This piece originally appeared in the FOSAF publication “favoured flies” in Oct 2008

 

Brown Trout have been tickling my fancy for over twenty years. There is something about a Brown that is appealing, fanciful, and frustrating all at the same time, and whatever that something is, it has me hunting them regularly. I struggle to define what it is about a Brown that holds appeal for me. Perhaps it is simply that there are less of them around than the Rainbow, but I suspect it runs deeper than that. Whatever it is about Browns, it keeps me coming back. Stippled beauties they are.

What I have noticed about these wily fish, particularly in rivers, is that they will decide whether or not they are “on the prod” as I call it. And if they happen to decide that, you will feel as though you are tripping over them. At every bend, every pool and run in the river, you will see them doing something, and often something crazy. They will rise, knock the fly, get caught, swim into your leg, grab something off overhanging grass, and just generally let you know that they are about. In all likelihood you will scare a lot of them and see them dart off at alarming speed, but at least you will see them. Days when the trout are “on the prod”, are to be treasured. Call home and tell her you are going to be VERY late!

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An old spot revisited

 

I was out the other morning on a piece of water I hadn’t fished in a while. It was one of those peculiar days when everything seems quite on its head.

I had set my alarm for five minutes to four on that Sunday morning. At around three I couldn’t stand the suspense any more and looked at the clock to see how long it would be before the thing went off. No luck….still another hour. Barely enough time to get sleepy when you’re sleepless. Too long to sit around waiting for a decent departure time. After what seemed an agonizingly long time of resisting the temptation to look at the clock again, I noticed a pale light oozing through the curtains. I grabbed the clock, and just about throttled the damned thing. It hadn’t gone off! Now I was ‘late” by 35 minutes. You don’t want to be 35 minutes late in mid summer when there’s just an hour or two on the water before the sun starts roasting the heads of the trout and fisherman alike.

Anyway there I was out there in the mist and the rain, with my collar turned up to the South Easterly wind, dipping my frigid hands into the water to warm them.

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(Yes, in the water) It had blown in cold you see, but the water was still a seething cauldron from the heat wave of the previous two days. The water was 23 degrees. The air was about 16 degrees. I prefer it the other way around, and the think that any self respecting trout would agree with me on that.

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