Sunday, 5 April 2009

Its time to Chew ...

Thanks to Wayne Thomas who pointed out that I incorrectly billed the Hart Flyshop open day as 2nd March, of course our open day is on Sat 2nd May 2009 .... we look forward to seeing you there!

On Thursday and Friday I began winding up into the season, in fact just glancing over my diary I can see that silly season is here! But what a great way to get going. Day 1 was spent with Jon Hettle on Clatworthy where a slow start eventually gave way to a hectic spell and several well conditioned Rainbows. Successful tactic was to fish a Scientific Angler Kelly Green Intermediate and a long fluorocarbon leader. Despite feeding on Buzzers none of the fish went for our imitation, opting instead for a Mini Huey with gold body fished on the point. Fish seem to be holed up in very tight bunches, our success came at the North end.

After supper at Woods in Dulverton (which never fails to impress), Jon and I headed home for some rest and then met up early the next morning for the journey up the M5 to Chew Valley. What a venue this is, the moment I arrive in the car park my adrenalin goes into overdrive ..... and I was guiding! However guiding Jon when boat fishing is always extra special for me as I get to fish with him .... another reason for my state of excitement. I am the first to try and calm guests down when fishing, slow their reaction to situations etc., in the hope that they make the perfect cast. If only I had heeded my own advice then I may not have hurriedly ended the life of my beloved Hardy Demon 10'0" # 7 rod in the tail gate of my truck! Fortunately I had another equally favoured rod as a back up, the Greys G Tec equivalent and so pride just about intact we headed to the boat.

Upon arrival at the jetty I was in complete astonishment at the amount of fly. Buzzers were everywhere including up my nose and in my eyes. Checking above the tree tops the tell tail signs of a massive hatch were only too evident as what appeared to be smoke hovered above. In fact the mass was thousand upon thousand of flies. Although slightly chilly in a lifting fog the fish were right up in the layers and Jon was soon into them using Iain Barr Diawl Bachs (particularly the holo red version) on a floating line. Top areas were North shore, the picnic area, in behind Denny island and Moreton. The fishing was awesome but I have a new toy and it is not fishing tackle. Purchased on the recommendation of my good mate Mike Boniface I was trying out my new digital camera, a Pentax Optio W60. Now I know nothing about cameras really but what I like about this product is that it can be used underwater, for both photography and video. I have had no real time to play with it properly, but did dunk it under for a quick test during the Chew visit as Jon brought a fish to the net. For such a low priced bit of kit I am dead chuffed with the results, all be it I am no BBC cameraman! As soon as I have time to practice I have a whole host of ideas about how this could help me and therefore my guests understand more about what goes on below the waters surface. If you just have to have one then I can highly recommend the company I purchased it from Clifton Cameras


Jon sadly had to depart by 4pm, but I just could not resist the temptation of a boat for the evening on Chew. Returning to the mouth of Heron bay and then zeroing in on a pod of rising fish off Moreton point I was like a kid in a sweet shop. Fish after fish fell to the buzzers until eventually I decided to go for a totally top water approach and switch to Hoppers, taking several fish in quick succession off the surface. Truly stunning fishing that Chew has become rightly famous for and while shaking to sort leaders, degrease them, fluff up flies and make casts to moving fish I realised that more than ever I have the fishing bug ... bad! The sunset was the icing on the cake, an evening I will remember for a long time.


Loads more news for the blog soon but if you are thinking about bagging a heavyweight Exe Valley maybe your venue, here is Mike Hole from Bampton with a stunning 8lb 5oz specimen taken on Saturday. And check out Henry Gilbeys blog for a truly magnificent Pike taken by lure fishing guru Danny Parkins.


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Can you believe it?

I cannot believe that already we have arrived in April. close to 3 weeks have zipped past since I returned from Los Roques. But the memories of that trip will live on forever and another is already organised with Aardvark McLeod. If the reports on Los Roques ... see here (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 .. Photo Essay 1 and Essay 2) .... have sent you over the edge and you just have to catch a Bonefish for yourself please drop me a line or contact Pete/Charlotte at Aardvark McLeod on .... 01980 847389 The dates are from 13th to 21st Feb 2010.


But much more unbelievable and not so upbeat is that show ... you know the one ... Extreme Fishing with that aging Z list celeb, Robson Green. My advice to Mr Green is to stick to acting and making crap pop songs. Appearing on breakfast TV to promo a show that features some of the worst fish handling I have ever seen was bad enough, to then state that "9 out of 10 fish die when released" was just the icing on the cake. In fact his entire quote was "I don't see the point in coarse fishing myself, reeling in a fish beyond recovery, just to take a picture then throw it back, as nine out of ten fish will die when thrown back."


(Above) Robson Green ... "what was the man thinking of?"

This is what happens when people such as Mr Green are given the opportunity to present a programme on a subject they obviously know so very little about. What next "Extreme Anti Angling" with Robson Green? The mind boggles! Lack of knowledge aside his presenting style is also cringe worthy. My mate Henry Gilbey gets very excited in front of the camera at catching just about any fish going and his ratings do the talking, viewers love it. But Henry really is passionate and enthusiastic, this is how he is .... camera or no camera. Mr Greens "mans" and "get ins" sound staged, ridiculous and far from extreme. So Robson, do us all a favour and try for a number one single again just make sure its not a cover of "Gone Fishing". For more on this story check here on the Angling Trust site and if you have been lucky enough to miss the programme so far but can't resist a look click here.

Rant over there has been a great deal on this last few weeks including our preparation for the open day on Saturday 2nd May 2009. So far we have Double Silver European medalist Iain Barr booked to provide both river and stillwater masterclass sessions, demonstrations that are not to be missed as Iain will be travelling all the way from the Midlands to be with us in between practicing for the 2009 World Championships. Meanwhile Peter and Charlotte from Aardvark McLeod will be on hand in our marquee to provide their expertise on International fishing venues and I am also hoping Pete will provide a presentation or two, possibly alongside Pete Gibson of Hardy Greys who is also part of the Latin American Fishing company who have recently joined forces with Aardvark McLeod. There will be food on site, I will provide a casting demonstration aimed at ironing out faults quickly and gaining extra distance while here in the shop we are taking in stock of some fantastic 2009 tackle ranges including products by Hardy, Greys, Fishpond, Vision, Rio and Loop to name just a few. Come and test a rod, ask about a reel ... anything, the doors will be open all day and of course there is no admission charge. A big fish competition will also run throughout the duration of the day, so pack some tackle! That date again ... Saturday 2nd May 2009 ... don't miss it!

(Above) Don't miss Iain Barr at Hart Flyshop on Sat 2nd May 2009

More news soon, including details of my most recent fishing programme soon to be aired, catch reports, club dates, fishing matches, tackle reviews and of course some more adventures with our guests attending fly fishing courses.