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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!...

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Email: ghamrawson@gmail.com
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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Winter at last?

Last weekend I'd arranged to fish the river for Pike with Adam, and even though the temp had been dropping all week the level looked just about right, on Thursday afternoon i got a text from him, "Looks like it might be a bit chilly on Saturday"........he was right!

One saving grace as regards fishing in winter is the lack of need for an early start, unless you're travelling far there's no point leaving in the dark, and dawn temps are generally not advantageous, and after some toast plus a coffee or two i bundled the gear into the boot of the car while the sheet of ice covering the windscreen slowly started to melt. As i scraped away Jenny from across the road appeared and started to de-ice her vehicle, "Your not going fishing are you!?", i explained that in an hours time I'd be wading waist high fishing for Pike and i got the usual response....."You must be mad!".....................Maybe, just a little...

Once i could see through the glass i headed for the river, stopping to pick up Adam on the way. We talked flies and guessed at the river's conditions on the way but neither of us expected it to be pushing through quite as much as it was. We got the waders on(after thawing wading boots on the exhaust, note to self: don't leave them in the greenhouse the night before a trip) and walked over the bridge to the nice slack just off the weir. We covered the drop off for a while but with the extra flow it was a little stirred up and neither of us felt too confident, back on the other bank the clarity was much better and within a couple of casts i had a take, the fish was on for a few seconds before dropping the fly, and this happened again the very next cast, I wasn't too worried as it was no monster at around 6lbs. Adam had a follow from possibly the same fish while i was playing with the camera before we upped sticks and headed to a different stretch.

Ten minutes later we were a little further upstream, another weir pool but this one is a touch more sedate and much more wadable, summer wading is a great advantage and remembering hollows, trenches and drop offs, no matter how small can make all the difference in winter when fish are looking to keep out of the now considerable flow and conserve energy..... or just ambush!

Adam said he'd leave his rod on the bank while we waded and i fished the pool as he might need to use the camera should i hook a large fish, my PB of 16lbs was taken here which adds a little more excitement to those first couple of casts as you cover the "dead" spots. I felt a tap on the first cast and on the second a boil behind the fly turned into a small jack of around 4lbs which bounced around angrily.

With no more evidence of fish we moved to access a far bank slack that normally holds a fish or two, i passed the rod to Adam to have a cast as it was surely his turn. He dropped the fly right on the edge of the overhanging foliage, let it sink a little before starting the retrieve, i was buggering around with the camera us per usual when Adam shouted he had a fish following before it turned last minute! Second cast and the fish was his! He did well to keep it out of the main current and after a few powerful surges and oily boils the fish was chinned, it must've been very close to double figures if it wasn't, a little lean but in mint condition!

After slipping the fly from the scissors and a couple of pictures it was time to send her back into the green where she soon disappeared form sight.

I said to Adam to have another cast as there can be more than one fish lying in this slack as it's a good spot to lay up, right next to two spots where the prey fish sit at this time of the season. Sure enough another fish was home, and soon Adam was bent into another toothy one!(why did i pass him the rod???) The fish was rather unimpressed with our interrupting his afternoon and begrudgingly came to hand, a shorter fish but thicker set and probably also around double figures, cant be bad eh?!

This fish really snaffled the fly, which needed easing from the back of the mouth through the gill cover, which was no drama, another beauty of large barbless single hooks! We took a couple of snaps before she was slipped back. It was at this point Adam found a rather deep slice through the tip of one of his fingers, while we took one shot the fish gave a classic mouth open rattle which is obviously when tooth and finger came into contact, it bled, and it bled some more, in fact so much blood poured from Adams poor finger there was a large red cloud in the edge on the slack, would it draw any more pike up into the slack we wondered?.......

With Adam now out of action due to a finger well elevated and pressure applied to i fished on in a couple of other spots but with no avail, some of the other lies had just a little too much water pushing through them to hold fish and other spots couldn't be waded to safely. We wandered around for a while swearing at the cormorants flying overhead and watching the frost burn away in the now warm sunshine before it was time to leave, driving home wondering if sub zero temps were going to be the norm for the next few weeks?......................I guess not!

Sunday was also chilly but nothing like Saturday, Monday was cold-ish and then Tuesday was 10 degrees warmer?! Its crazy, what the hell is going on?! We had a little rain today(Thursday) and the river's level looks to have risen slightly with it, has it coloured? will it be clear by the weekend? i guess we'll just have to wait and see.....................Fingers crossed!

P.S As a side note I've just got my hands on a Lamson Litespeed reel! I'm not usually a fan of the more modern looking reels with some of them looking more at home on a lowered Honda civic! But I've always like the Litespeed, and now, thanks to a bit of Christmas money i own one! I must say it's a very nicely made object of desire, i love the amount of thought that's gone into it's design, and it's now loaded with a new Wf5f, i cant wait to use it, watch this space!..........




  1. A pretty good day then, well worth a trip out in the cold eh?

  2. Always!

    Blowing a Hoolie today, although much warmer. Wind due to drop overnight, hopefully I'll get to the river!