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

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Weekend on the coast...

Last week i managed to wangle some time off work to give me a long weekend, and it was to be spent fly fishing the coast in one of my favourite areas of Cornwall.........does it get any better?! Erm..........I THINK NOT!!!

I was joined on the campsite by Alan, with whom I'd not fished with since a session for Pike on the somerset levels some time ago, it was a trip that had been a long time coming, and one we'd both been very much looking forward to...

Typically the weather men got it wrong, the rain had stopped, but what was supposed to be a nice soft south westerly turned out to be just a "little" stronger, this was illustrated by the effort needed to control tents whilst nailing them firmly to the deck!

With base camp set up we decided to visit a headland that would hopefully give us a better indication of the winds direction, so we could then pick our marks to suit. We parked the car and plodded off down the coast path, i remarked that the walk might be a little harder on the return route, " we'll be too busy talking about the 6lb Bass you're gonna catch" replied Alan! We didn't bother with waders or fly rods as we were just out for a recce, and plus we knew we'd be fishing into the teeth of it, the steep path bottomed out and we made our way out onto the rocks armed with spinning rods. The wind was indeed strong, as we cast our plugs straight across a sandy bay the line was forced to arc into a big bow by the invisible menace, also there was weed everywhere which fouled our lures with every run through...... it didn't look good. We hopped across to a further set of rocks but encountered the same situation, we were going to have to think again as this was one of my favourite marks having produced some great fishing with the fly rod in the past. After deciding we'd both had enough we headed back to the car, unfortunately Alan's premonition about the 6lb Bass had sadly not come to fruition and therefore the walk back undertaken at a more leisurely pace. We arrived at the car and caught our breath, "you never mentioned cardiac hill!" exclaimed Alan, "it's been a long time since a hill beat me, and it very nearly did!"...

On our way back to base camp we stopped at another of my favourite marks to test the water, it was also windswept, the water laden with torn weed fragments in suspension just waiting for a passing lure to pierce it, the dulling it's action on the retrieve confirmed it'd got it's wish every time. We returned to camp, had some food then popped down to a quiet cove alongside a beach, it was much more suited to using the fly rods and Alan didn't waste much time in getting his arm in, "FISH!" he shouted, i skipped over the rocks to momentarily glimpse a small Bass before it threw the hook...Our spirits were higher now and we both fish on with a purpose, unfortunatley no more Bass were seen but Alan did manage a nice wee Pollack to get things going. After dark we made our way back to camp for a well earned Hobgoblin before turning in for the night, alarms set to wake us before dawn...

Alan's watch must be fast as his alarm was first to sound, dit dit dit dit!, dit dit dit dit! echoed around the campsite and did make me laugh until i remembered what time it was, then of all things a skylark piped up, at 4am?! We had a quick brew and headed to a low water mark that's produced the goods in the past, the wind hadn't disappeared although it felt a touch lighter...

With waders on we marched down to the access point, as we neared the masts of the moored boats came within earshot like the clinking of glasses from an expectant audience waiting for a speech. This mark is a creek that dries up at low water on a good tide leaving a nice fishable volume of water around the boats, Alan found a spot and started fan casting his 8/9, i picked a rock to stand on and cast my small clouser towards the boats. We were both fishing sinktip lines, working the our flies through the water, in between kelp back to our feet. I'm not sure how long we'd been fishing but the tide was almost to the top of the rock i was stood on when the line went tight, i lifted the rod which instantly came to life, not a big fish but a fish! I whistled to Alan who came bounding over the rocks towards me, moments later i held a pristine small Bass, i slid the barbless 4's from his lip, Alan snapped him and off he went to harass the sandeels. he was the only fish of the session, well the only one we hooked, as the tide made it's was up the creek the Mullet followed, we found a double back which created a nice slack, I'll be back to investigate that at a later date. The sun was now up and it was turning into a lovely day, after a while we headed back for camp, leaving the creek to the Mullet...



After some nourishment Alan headed into the village for some supplies and a wander round, i went to "look" at another mark to see how it was fairing in the wind. I parked the car overlooking the headland, took one look and thought if I'm going to walk out there for a better look i may as well take the rod! Right?! I wandered out there and picked a gully, from up on the coast path and with the aid of polarising lenses i could easily make out the rocky reefs below the surface. The sinktip was replaced with the fast sinker, i got myself into a suitable position then fired out my fly down the gully's edge, i counted it down to 20 then began to retrieve, three or four strips later the fly was hit and soon a small pollack was swung in momentarily before diving away again, minus the fly. I had a series of plucks and pulls so changed to a slightly smaller clouser, this brought 2 more Pollack, one of which was a really nice fish that avoided his portrait being taken by throwing the hook as i lifted him, no matter it was time to meet back up with Alan and after all the mark was definately fishable!...

I think we both got our heads down for a while in the afternoon for some much needed shut-eye, we later ate our dinner then headed back towards the mark i'd "looked" at earlier, only to find the wind had swung round slightly and grown stronger making fishing the mark very difficult. We stood on the coast path at dead low water looking across the water for inspiration, only to be entertained by a boisterous little Stonechat...



We decided to walk away from the wind and follow the coast round to the next access point and see what it looked like, the whole shoreline looked fishy as we made our way above the cliff and soon we clambered down through the tree onto a deserted beach(god i love this area). We scrabbled across some rock keeping in mind the rising tide and worked our way the the waters edge, we fished left and right corners of a reef that sat beside the beaches bay, maybe an hour past with neither of us contacting anything before i moved round to a gully i liked the look of the other side of Alan, who popped across to wherei was to test the water. It wasn't long before his rod was bent into his first Pollack of the evening, i managed three from my spot but Alan had i think nine from the spot i gave up! He was his night and he was having a whale of a time with the fish nipping and pulling at his fly time after time before he managed to trick them into taking it, a great evening that was made all the better by the calmer conditions and the luck of stumbling onto the mark. I think it was "Betty Stogs" that awaited us on returning to camp and after a warm hike back to the car she was very well recieved!...




Alan had replaced his earth shattering alarm with a more soothing tone which emanated from his mobile before dawn on Sunday morning, the skylark once again joined in and sang several verses while we woke up with a brew. Back at the low water mark from yesterday morning we our hopes of more Bass were dashed when the full force of the wind was felt on our faces as we walked down the foreshore to the water, the wind seemed to be following us wherever we went, no matter what direction we faced while looking out to sea it was always a "facer", this would have been understandable on a more uniform coastline, but one of the great attractions with this area is the fact you can fish the sea facing anywhere form NW to E?! It just didn't feel right this morning, the water was all stirred up and despite flogging a few different areas for a couple of hours we blanked, i spotted some small Mullet but the wind made any sort of approach impossible. On the way to the tents we stopped and consoled ourselves by watching some small Mullet in a lagoon...


Back at camp we spent some time pouring over the map while we fed ourselves, trying to come up with a plan that would secure us some fishing, there was some coastline sheltered from the wind but access was tricky, i made a phone call...

A few hours later we arrived at our chosen spot for the evening, a steep(ish) sided cove that was hopefully going to offer us some shelter from the wind, we parked up and got out of the car..................not a breath of wind, the phone call paid off! We Made our decent into the cove mouths watering at the sight of deep water with a quiet sway to it, Alan remarked on how you don't find many places like this nowadays, free car parking, no ice cream van, in fact nobody and scenery plus a view to die for! Surely it just had to be a good evening? We got to the beach and looked at the rocks to the right where we wanted to be, it was tricky. Alan muttered something about a mountain goat as i led back up through the bracken looking for a way down to the ledge, we eventually found what we were looking for and slowly and carefully placed our feet as we climbed down. A large flat ledge opened out in front of us , we walked to the edge where it dropped vertically into easily 20ft of water, high tide was around three hours away coinciding with dusk. Fast sinkers were again the order of the day, with Alan making first contact, i didn't see the fish as he was obscured but he assured me it was a good Pollack and he looked forward to more of the "better stamp of fish". I began to methodically cast and count down, as the tide made the volume of water in front of us was fast becoming epic, the usual clouser did the damage in taking fish for both of us but we both felt the mark had more to offer, cormorants worked a little way out and we were were just waiting for one of us to get hit by a Mackerel or a gar when we retrieved shallow but it didn't happen. We left before it got too dark, it was a tricky climb and neither us fancied carrying the other out! We compared notes on the way to the car and both agreed that we'd really not found the answer tonight, with all fish coming to different retrieves and depths etc, itneresting though, and a lovely mark that I'll be visiting again for sure...


We talked more over a pint of Tribute and as we had to be packed up and off the premises by 10.30am decided to give the early shift a miss in preference for getting packed up then having a session somewhere before the long drive home...

The morning started brightly and after a brew and breakfast the kit was folded up and slung in the car. The wind actually felt a little softer today and after consulting the map we head you round a estuary to find a mark i fancied, i either dreamt it or last fished it on a much smaller tide because after walking some considerable distance we'd still not arrived! Alan said he didn't mind so much as the terrain was flat, he'd happily carry on unless we were going as far as cardiac hill!!!

We cut our loses and headed across a couple of fields, one of which had some cows in, i was just asking Alan why one of the cows at the rear of the herd was a different colour to the others when it became all to clear, the herd moved forward revealing a dirty great Bull! Unconsciously my stride quickened and i think Alan noticed, " That's it, leave the slow old git at the back as easy pickings, i saw ya!". We made it to the gate without even so much as a grunt from the ring-nosed beast, which was good as i didn't fancy running in chesties, it was quite hot enough!

We crossed a tiny lane and then down through the corn fields back to the coast, the wind was more than manageable it was positively docile! We came to a point that looks down over the mark i thought we should fish, "that's it.......... down there" i turned to Alan who's expression turned from happy to nervous with a face that said "is he joking?". We made our way down and once on the rocks started to get tackled up, deep water meant fast sinkers again and i think it only was my second cast and i was into a fish, typically a small Pollack but they all count! We spent a couple of hours over the top of the tide catching a few more, Alan had a few more than me again, after a while i always get distracted, be it with the camera, rock pools or whatever but Alan just keeps going, he was really enjoying himself, relentless you might say!





The sun was out, the wind had calmed considerably and it felt just like proper holiday weather, and as soon as it seemed everything was right, it was time to leave...

I had a terrific time, and Alan's already said he's up for another trip sometime soon. It was such a shame that the wind was as strong as it was, all the marks i wanted to fish were out of action unless you were using a beach rod and 3oz of lead! But we did find somewher to fish each day, and we caught, ok no 3lb Bass but we had a good few Pollack between us, shame we counldn't go lighter with the gear and really get the best from them but that's mother nature for ya!...


As i write this i have 22 working days till i'm back down there for a week, and although it wont be a fishing break as such i'll be sure to have a fly rod with me, who knows, maybe two(wink wink)...

Fingers crossed for the weather!...


Cheers,


Graham

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Mixing it up...


A quick report from today...

I had an early start on the river this morning hoping to contact a Pike or two, but on reaching the river my hopes quickly vanished. Most of the spots i had in mind to fish were very low on water and the whole river is not much more than skin and bones at the moment, i ran the popper through a few favoured lies anyway and prospected the deeper pools with my usual streamer pattern but nothing obliged, i think the recent few weeks with the high temp's and lack of fresh water has taken it's toll, fingers crossed for a few days steady drizzle to liven things up...

After putting the 8wt away it was time to have some fun with the 5wt, this is my normal approach for summer fishing on the river, start early for Pike and once the sun is on the water wander around spotting and fishing for whatever comes along!

I Started at the bottom of a favourite stretch where a wide shallow area holds some nice Chub along with most other river species albeit mostly on the small side, there's some nice runs between streamer weed along with the odd depression thrown in to spice things up a bit. I positioned myself downstream of one such depression and watched a few Chub jostling for prime position in the flow, then, just out of the corner of my eye i noticed a striped Sergeant which skulked his way along the edges of the streamer weed, half hidden in the fronds. I clipped off the black beetle which was meant for the chub and quickly tied on a large beadhead damsel, all the time glancing up to keep track of the camouflaged menace, i pitched my fly in a good way ahead of him and let it sink, then bounced it back down the flow towards him in a jerky "eat me" fashion, sure enough he obliged and sucked in the fly as calmly as one can imagine, that was until i raised the rod! He darted to and fro from different beds of streamer weed, desperate to shed his annoyance in the fronds, but after a short but very spirited fight he was safely in the net, where upon he did nothing but splash my lens as i tried to take his portrait, we got there eventually...


A lovely solid fish getting on for a couple of pounds i guess, he shot of very unlike a wounded soldier once free of the mesh, off to pester the Roach no doubt...

Once i'd got back into position again the Chub were back after the disturbance, on went the beetle again(no wonder i get through so much tippet material) and the fly plopped in the middle of the group, three of them rushed for it but the largest got there first, probably why he's the largest! He gave a good "thumping" battle as only Chub do and put a lovely bend in the 5wt, a fish that had obviously got back in condition well after spawning, he also had a quick portrait before he was slipped back to disappear in amongst the weed beds...



I moved further up the river switching to a small beadhead nymph which was plopped in likely places and twitched around, several small Perch attacked it along with a lovely Roach which sadly slipped my hands before i had chance to photograph it, it was now mid morning and the river was well and truly woken up(more than i can say for me!)...


Other anglers started to arrive signalling my move to another stretch, i don't mind being watched by the coarse anglers while they wait for their rod to be dragged in, but i'm not keen on fishing "around" them, it's just easier to move somewhere else, which thankfully isn't a problem with miles of river to go at.

After a short journey in the car i was once again the only one on the river, well i say the only one but of course you're never really alone in a place like this, buzzards wheeled and stooped overhead, Mrs mallard led her brood from one bank to another in attempt to hide them from me, Comma butterflies were very active in the fields amongst the nettles and a pair of swans worked the shallows dredging the tasty bits from the river bed with their beaks...



From a high bank i could easily spot a few small chub, and it would've been rude not to have a quick plop with the beetle, sometimes it's just too easy...


Further downstream the river widened and slowed up a little, there were little rings from time to time just on a crease in the flow, i suspected Dace were the culprits and after having missed the first couple due to not being quick enough i was right. I'd swapped the beetle which is tied on a long shank 8's to a little 16's greenwell's, also i was casting downstream to them as some recent bank alterations made an upstream approach impossible. On the third or fourth take i made contact, the slight jag jag fight meant that i'd not hooked a Bleak but had in fact caught my first Dace of the day, and although there were some much bigger ones there i only managed a few of the same modest size, plus the odd "gatecrasher"...




As i've said before it's not the size but the spirit that's important, and i for one am more than happy to spend a day with our rivers numerous smaller species, i suppose it's an excuse to act like a big kid but i love to try and winkle out fish from tricky little spots no matter what size they are. I spotted some nice Roach in the same place i saw them a fortnight ago, they were mingling with some small Barbel too, but could i fool one? No is the answer.........But every day's a school day and i'll be tying one or two new flies before my next visit...

Here's hoping we get a little rain soon!

Cheers,


Graham