Welcome to Wildflies.com!...

Welcome to Wildflies.com, and i hope you enjoy the site!

Everything here is my own, the words, images and video, all taken by myself whilst out fishing or spending time in wild places, which is what it's all about in my view! Get out there and enjoy it, or grab a cup of tea, sit down and i'll go for you!...

If you have any questions, queries, comments or would just like to get in touch, feel free to contact me at:

Email: ghamrawson@gmail.com
Twitter: @Wildflies
YouTube: https://youtu.be/fEI7JtR7rCo

Monday, 31 May 2010

Bank holiday weekends, wetness and woodpeckers...




Due to other commitments i was only able to get out once this weekend, and that day was Saturday, the wettest day of the bank holiday...

I made my way to my favourite tiny stream accompanied by Adam, it was his first chance to get to this stream this year so he was really looking forward to it, the weather man was right for once and the windscreen wipers didn't get much rest on the hour trip to the venue.

We couldn't wait and jumped over the gate to have a look at the stream before we got into waders etc, much to our amazement it was very close to it's usual gin clear clarity! Once dressed for the proceeding we scrambled down the ladder and set about putting up, i opted for a beadhead PTN as last week and Adam decided to ring the changes with a small dry fly. There was nothing rising despite a few flies coming down the flow, i prospected my way through the first pool and more or less instantly hooked a nice feisty brownie, about average size for the stream and full of beans...


Adam fished his way up a few pools and riffles and put different flies over a couple of rising fish but struggled, he'd forgotten just how tight this stream is, there's no easy casting at all here and many interesting forms of the roll cast need to be employed to get the fly into a fish's path!

We came to a heavily tree lined section which was good as the now steady rain was beginning to get us both more than a little damp, as Adam made his way towards a rising fish we both heard the sound of small birds chirping away very close by, we eventually narrowed it down to an obvious Woodpeckers nest within a tree. The beautifully engineered hole in the trunk funneled the racket that resonated around the tree's hollow inside, we couldn't decide if the chick's were higher or lower than the hole but for their sake i hope it was higher as this entrance was only five feet from the stream meaning a botched initial take-off could mean an early bath!...

The rising fish came to nothing which became the story for the rest of the day, i managed one more on the nymph but nothing came to the dry despite MANY fly changes...


We trudged our way on upstream through the rain until it suddenly stopped, the sky brightened for a while and there was a almost instant increase in temperature, it was like someone had flicked a switch, and although the fish were no easier to catch at least we could spot them again the stones as the sun picked them out for us. A few may's started to hatch and Adam changed his dry accordingly, he fluffed a few, which is easily done with these wily, river ninja trout but eventually fooled one, another spirited, bullet shaped fish that put a good bend in the cane...


By 4pm we'd just about reached the top of the length and were wet and tired, we headed back for the car stopping at another Woodpecker nest we'd spotted. This one was high in a tree a little way back from the bank side, the parents were skirting around but wouldn't go to the nest while we were there, we hid under a low dense tree and waited...



It's moments like this that make the experience richer and all the more complete, sure it was wet and not as warm as it had been, ok we only managed a couple of fish but really, who cares when you've lost yourself in a wild place for a day, seen wildlife that a lot of folk have no idea exist in tiny streams and their surroundings and heard nothing but birdsong and running water, it's gotta be good for the soul, Surely?

I may have a new toy to fish with in the next few days, the weather man predicts higher temps, overcast skies and no rain for the end of the week and next weekend, lets hope he right!

Cheers,


Graham

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Fishing after work(quick report)...

Managed to get a couple of hours in on my local stream last night and tonight, more and more Mayflies around all the time but the fish still aren't on them properly yet. They were however very keen on the many small sedges that were just about everywhere, last night i fished with Adam, we did well taking a dozen or so brownies (including one cracker) most of which were in the half hour or so before darkness!...

Tonight i fished alone, the sky looked dark as i drove there, i parked up just as the heavens opened! I sat in the car for 15 mins and thankfully the rain passed, i'm sure it chilled the water somewhat, and the fish were not rising anywhere near as freely as they were yesterday. I ended up with 4 on the same small sedge from last night and 7 to a small beadhead PTN fished upstream, it showered a little but didn't stop me from having a ball, a couple of photos...





I should be back on the other stream this weekend(fingers crossed), the weather looks like we may get a little rain but to be honest the streams could do with some fresh water!

Cheers,


Graham

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Wild brown trout on the fin...

Here's the video from the report posted yesterday as promised, i'll endeavour to get some better shots of the fish when i'm not fishing on my own(need a pack horse for tripod etc). A really good fish, shame he spooked before i got chance to cast to him, but anyway, hope you enjoy...




Cheers,


Graham

Monday, 24 May 2010

Blazing brownies!


This weekend really couldn't come quick enough! After a week of warm weather i was dying to get back to a particular little stream i fish. The journey was a drag, i couldn't leave too early and got caught up in day trippers doodling' along to their chosen sun spots, i choked in the scent of freshly applied factor 15 coming through the cars vents from the "grockles'" vehicles up ahead. Once through the "big smoke" i made up some time, and before i could say Tups indispensible the car was tucked neatly into the hedge and i was climbing into my waders...

Now due to today's soaring temperatures i'd gone all out and decided to wear shorts beneath my chesties, this was some risk as lately i've experienced more than a little seepage from around the zip area, this wouldn't normally concern me but as the stream is no more than a tunnel of trees is some parts i envisaged it being a tad chilly once out of the suns rays...

I climbed the gate walk to the bank and stood, and watched. From this position i saw no less than 4 nice Trout holding themselves in the gentle flow, as i put the rod up i waited to see what bugs they'd take, ten minutes past and not one had risen, moved to one side or so much as sniffed at anything coming their way! I slipped down the bank and got in behind the fish, i'd not seen anything but damsels in the air and just a couple of black gnats on the water so i put something small and black on. I cast to the first fish with no response, i tried it again expecting to at least get a closer inspection as it past overhead. Nothing. So this tie before i cast i held the fly under the surface and squeezed the buoyancy from it, the fly landed 4 feet ahead of the fish and slowly sank, as it neared i lifted the rod tip, much to the liking of the Trout which leapt forward and nailed it, only to shake free moments later ruining the pool and sending the other fish into cover, a great start...

I walked upstream and soon realised there wasn't half as much fly life as i'd expected, other than a couple of tiny fish taking from the surface i saw no other rises. I came to the next fish under some trees, only small but they all count! He was sat on the bottom propped on his pecs, i snook up behind him and devised a plan...


I swapped the small and black dry for a small PTN nymph with a copper bead head, like before i put the fly a good way ahead of the fish and tried to induce the take as before, bingo!

A perfect little wild brown Trout, marked exactly as they should be...

A small distance further up the same glide i saw the next fish beneath some overhanging branches, the same approach brought the same response, only this time the fight was a little different! After hooking the fish he leapt clear of the water in protest before boring deep for the tree roots on the nearside bank, i could do nothing but hang on and thankfully after a short while he was in the net, an absolute Cracker!


Much darker than the smaller first fish, a really superbly marked Leopard of the stream!


I slid him back and made my way up to the next stretch, this shallow section is now choked with water buttercup, quite incredible how quickly it's grown in the past couple of weeks, i guess more sections would be like this if it wasn't for the trees offering shade! Beautiful damoiselle were everywhere, dancing and jostling on the bank side vegetation but i didn't see any pop through the surface...




Next i came to a deep section, and true to form i did feel a little cooler once the depth got to the critical point on the waders, but not in a bad way, in fact it was quite welcome! I turned a corner and arrived at a nice little pool, it had a slack and a nice tail to it, i felt sure it winkle one out from here! I couldn't see any fish due to a combination of the riffled surface and foam in the bubble line so i used the force and put the nymph on the crease, left it for a second then lifted the rod, it worked! Twice! Two plump little brownies graced the camera before disappearing once again under the textured water, as with all the fish from this stream they are fantastically marked, and bright as a button...



I struggled for a few fish in the next section, it was tricky spotting them in the dappled light beneath the trees and some walkers arrived with a dog a proceeded to scare the living daylights out of every Trout for 50 yards, as well as muddying up the stream! I did spot one fish, and a bloody good one too! Right on a brightly lit corner, i managed to get him on video(which i will upload once it's edited and rendered) before he spotted me as i tried to get behind him for a better presentation and shot into the roots never to be seen again. It didn't matter though, i was thoroughly enjoying the sound of running water and shelter from the sun. I did however almost got stabbed to death by no less than 3 Kingfishers! They appeared from nowhere and whistled round a bend at full tilt before making evasive maneuvers to avoid making a human kebab...


I made my way upstream, dodged my way round a bottomless pool and spotted a small fish propped on his pecs in the centre of the stream, i was just easing some line off the reel for a cast when something in my peripheral vision made me freeze........ Just sub-surface right on the inside of the left hand bend a good fish cruised slowly, looking with a sinister eye at anything that slid into his slack. By this time the small fish on the bottom was long forgotten as i fixed my now tunnel vision on the cruiser, without looking i eased the fly from the keeper ring and worked a few yards of line out, i flicked the nymph ahead and to his right hand side, as soon as it touched down he was interested, but the short jerks on the line as i raised the tip drove him wild and he just had to have it! Another spirited fight followed with him punching well above his weight, as all the fish do, but once i had him in open water he soon tired before he slid safely over the rim of the net, Phew!...


Like the second fish a good size for the stream, and one of the buttery fish, with beautiful big spots, i was so pleased, especially as i knew it was the end of the length just round the corner...


He melted away into the pool, i reeled in, climbed up the bank and began the walk back downstream to the car. I had a wonderful day, ok i hadn't taken them off the top as i'd thought but i had put the nymph to the fish and made/seen them take it, exciting fishing by anyone's standards! I saw a gold crest as i neared the car and spotted a couple of fish i spooked earlier, back in their favourite feeding stations, i was tempted to cast, but didn't...



Roll on next weekend...

Cheers,


Graham

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Video...

I've not had chance to fish since Monday, and luckily, despite the improvement in weather i've heard there's not too much happening anyway. So here's the video i took of Adam landing a nice brownie mentioned in my last post...



A great day and i look forward to to some more this weekend, hopefully i'll get to my favourite little stream and meet a few of it's very wild residents...

Until then,


Graham

Monday, 10 May 2010

Weekend on the stream...

I managed to get out to my local stream a couple of times over the weekend, just a short session of a couple of hours and the whole afternoon the following day! It has definately been colder these last few days, and as i drove there i wasn't sure how active the stream would be, i shouldn't of worried!....

The short session proved to be very busy indeed, i took 10 brownies and fluked two Grayling, all but three on dries too! Mostly black gnats and hawthorns were being taken, along with the odd olive here and there in the faster water, really great sport...

Having all afternoon free was a bonus, i managed to tie a few flies to replenish those stolen from me by the "jack-in-a-box hawthorns" before i left, and by 1pm i was stepping into my waders. "click" went the lock on the car door and i was soon winding my way down through the trees, i'd not got far before i stumbled upon this guy, why do they enjoy resting on the paths?



I walked downstream to where i planned to meet a friend, i was the first there, but i was not alone. Tucked tight in to the bank a fish fed greedily, excitedly nailing each passing gnat as well as hurling himself at the occasional hawthorn, i let him fill his boots and snapped some of the flora and fauna while i waited...



Shortly i was joined on the bank and we made plans, we carried on downstream a little while further before entering the stream and making our way back with a view to fishing for whatever came our way. Almost immediately we saw fish feeding from the surface, happily taking gnats from the bubble line. We must've spooked them because as soon as we'd within range they just disappeared, more slow and careful wading was needed before we got to the next fish. Adam went first and covered the fish, nothing, gave the fish a little more "lead" and still nothing. "might as well put your fly over it" he said, i pulled off some line, first cast and wallop! A few short moments later and a lively brownie was slipped back.

This stretch of the stream is a little tight in some areas, we were both using rods around six and a half feet long and an even shorter rod would've have made casting somewhat more comfortable...


We slowly made our way over some shallows and up into some slower water, adam fluffed a couple before i teased this little chap out, the phrase "eyes bigger than your belly" came to mind...


We tried to a couple of tricky fish in a glide on a corner but a combination of currents and difficult casting due to overhanging trees made it near impossible, and just a little further round the corner adam hooked and lost a really good fish which leapt and threw the hook! He made up for it sooner rather than later with a nice buttery fish that gave a good account of itself...


We next came to some fish that seemed to be sipping something small from the surface, we both tried but ultimately failed to tempted them with anything we had in our boxes. We reached a small side stream and took a break from the fishing to have a "mooch around", we found a dipper's nest and possibly a kingfisher's nest high on a muddy bank. As we sat and took it all in this appeared on my waders...



A Large brook dun, i'd never seen one before, a very robust and impressive looking creature.

Poking our heads back out on the main stream we spotted two fish feeding, one up and one downstream, i thought i'd try the downstream fish which i think more than pleased adam as it needed a good long cast between trees and then rolling more line into the current as it carried the fly downstream to the fish. The line was stripped off the reel, i made the cast and started paying the line out when the fly vanished in a ring on the surface! I lifted the rod which instantly bucked and hooped to the tune of a good fish, it bored deep for the roots as i desperately stripped in to keep up with him. "fish on" a shouted, "me too" replied adam, i turned and saw his rod also curved in anger over my shoulder. I had to use everything the rod and tippet had to persuade the fish upstream to me, it was one hell of a fight but eventually he was tired but safely in the net. I let him rest while i snapped adam's fish...


And my fish...




That was the last fish of the day for me, adam managed another one from the head of a pool but that one's on video, no stills. A greater spotted woodpecker landed overhead momentarily, a bit out of range for the camera but great to see...


As we headed back to the cars it started to cloud up a little, the forecast did mention a possible shower but it didn't materialise. The bank side vegetation really is in full swing now and it's a wonderful place to be in late spring early summer, along with all the wildlife there is a great many scents and sounds to enjoy as you amble and paddle around...


It was a pleasant drive home through the fields, the different shades of green punctuated by the vivid yellow of the rape fields, i couldn't help but pull over for a quick snap...


Cheers,


Graham

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Mission accomplished!...

I had a call from a couple of friends today, they've recently began to manufacture cane rods on a commercial basis and asked if i would join them with the camera and take a few shots for them. Only too happy to oblige, and not needing any excuses to spend some time on the riverbank we met up and strolled downstream to a likely area of our local.

The recent rain has done a world of good to the area, every thing's really growing at "full tilt" now and looking great for it!

Bluebells

The air seemed to be busy also, along with the birdsong there were more than just a few of these skittering around

Alderfly
Along with, and more importantly plenty of these hovering around on the far bank...

Hawthorn fly
We hadn't walked far before we noticed a fish feeding avidly, enjoying the arrival of the hawthorns no doubt and cashing in on the feast! The rod, plus operator crept into position slightly downstream of the fish and waited for a couple more clumsy hawthorns to meet their maker before flicking the imitation out for inspection, i think this next set of pictures speak for themselves.....

Strike!

Curvy...

Mind the roots!

The prize...
It was great to see the rod perform so well, this one is a little under seven feet in length and takes a 4wt line, i did have more than a little swish with it and was very impressed.

We walked upstream looking for other fish to target and took some more pictures of the rod in the surroundings it belongs in. The sun came out for a spell and lit the place up beautifully, only it just made us wish we had more time to enjoy it!

Bliss
Before long it was time to go, we'd only been there a little over an hour and managed to take plenty of shots, find a fish, put the right fly to it AND catch it! After deciding on the right taper i've put an order in for a small 5ft rod, perfect for those tight brooks where the 6ft 6ins is a little too cumbersome. We said our farewells and the last words i heard as i got in the car were "the cane will be cut and flamed in the next couple of days", my mouth is watering already!....

Christened

P.S See my links at the bottom of the page for more info, i believe the rod section is to be updated shortly....

Cheers,


Graham