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Author Topic: Elinor Report - July 22nd  (Read 1708 times)
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« on: July 23, 2017, 11:40:08 AM »

The Venue: Elinor fishery near Aldwinkle, (or as DC will tell you about three miles from the Little Chef at Thrapston)!

This is very well run fishery formed from a well mended gravel pit around fifty or so acres in size.

The weather: For once a very old gentleman friendly slight breeze, reported to have risen to around 10mph. The morning started sunny, but clouded over towards midday with showers of rain in the afternoon.

It had obviously been raining hard through the night and for a day or so before, because the field was the wettest I have known it in the many years we have fished here. This would have had the effect of cooling the water surface down a little from the high temperatures it would have suffered in recent weeks.

Nature notes: I know just how much Gary has missed this section, so here goes. There were a very considerable number of Canada geese present on the field beside the lake, and both on or flying over the water in small groups. I’m not sure how many of these avian pests there are around the water, but did count seventy plus on the west bank alone at one point. Perhaps we ought to pack the shotguns and arrange a September meet.

There were a pair of great crested grebes present, as well as a pair of cormorants fishing down near the pylon point. A pair of red kites were working the west bank and surrounding field all morning. In the afternoon I counted fifteen swans working the shoreline at various points around the lake.

There was a considerable algal bloom on the water by the dam where the wind had blown it. In places the water was quite murky with the little green spots of algae, but in other areas  was surprisingly clear.

I was very impressed to find how little weed there was in the lake this year and it rarely caused problems for flies being snagged or for getting wrapped around fins. Whether this is a testament to Ed. and his team cutting and clearing it I don’t know, or whether it is just the result of an accident of nature this year.

A much sadder note was that there were several dead fish in evidence either on the water or washed up against the shoreline in places. This probably the result of the hot water over previous weeks, and hopefully not the result of bad handling by fishermen. A couple of these fish I saw were quite a decent size.

The Fishermen: All of them regulars; two from Preston, two from Chester, two from Leicester one from New Zealand, one from not too far away and another from near a place which could glow a nice light green on a dark night.

The fishing: One word description equals “hard”! It was a very long time after launch before I even heard a report that DC had hooked and lost a fish by using his usual delicate Scottish system. I never saw a rod bent until my own at around midday. A little later I was told that Terry had sniggled a couple out from the deeps by the dam during the early morning. Those people who usually had a bagful early on were failing miserably. Even the jammiest bloke on the water this year, hadn’t had a touch until 1.30pm when he surprised a fish so badly that it retaliated by grabbing hold of a GRH sedge. Only a couple of people had even had a pull before this time and they reckoned that these were on damsel nymphs. (By lunchtime I had tried five variations of damsel nymphs to absolutely no avail at any depth). The fish I did catch had come to a strange variation of a nomad just under the surface on a floating line. This was the only pull I had all day, (except a couple of extremely light tugs probably from perch by the dam at the end of the afternoon).

After catching my fish, I went down the arm under the pylon lines where I had seen a couple of fish jumping. The water surface here was alive with damsel flies going about their business of mating. It was also being broken by the caudal and dorsal fins of trout working on taking something just under the surface. These fish were totally unresponsive to anything I cast in front of them. I even saw a couple of trout go right into the reeds at the water’s edge and take something off the stems, (probably hatching damsels). One trout swam slowly in front of the tube about 10 feet away demonstrating a considerable distance between its dorsal and caudal fin and would have been in the ‘very large and I wish it was on the end of my line category’!

Although most of us were very definitely over a considerable quantity of fish most of the day nobody actually sussed the best fly to take them on. Golden balls claimed that a cormorant was the killer fly, and admittedly he did have a late run of collecting three more fish to get four in the bag to outscore the rest of us, (mind you, we are assuming here that he didn’t skim some recent fatalities from the surface to get the points). His cormorant was not something that either I or Davie McPhail would recognise as a representative example of the style. It to my mind looked more like a small pin fry with a seriously anorexic black wing over a tinsel wrapping on a size 12 hook, it certainly wasn’t like the cormorants Kev. P. carries in his box.

Don’t ask me to describe the best line, leader length or flies for fishing the water on this day. I know that in addition to the above fly a black and green zonker, a diawl bach, a funny black nomad, a GRH sedge, a damsel and Lord knows what else caught fish. In short whatever you had on the end of the line was the right fly if you encountered an educationally sub-normal trout which was hungry or angry. Terry had the best two fish of the day over deep water using a floating line and an eighteen foot leader. DC was dragging the bottom with a black and green zonker and did hook two fish. I tried 27 different flies including floating a team of three likely dry flies over an area known to be full of fish, (as I believe did Steve F.) to absolutely no avail. I regularly saw other float tubers changing flies – again to no avail. I did see a bank fisherman catch two trout both on diawl bachs - but they certainly didn’t work for me, neither did blood worms, black and red/orange/green holo flash buzzers, hares ears, pheasant tails, damsel nymphs etc. etc. I spent most of the day fishing flies on a floating line, Gary, Brian, Dave and a couple of others reckoned at least to start with an intermediate was the answer. I think Carl was using a floating line most of the day and he did catch three fish, but whether any significance can be drawn from this is doubtful.

Although at the end of the day everybody had caught at least one fish, for some strange reason Andre managed to do it again! He won the competition and snaffled the fly line first prize, (I reckon he’s going to open a shop in competition to Phil now soon)!? Ric, Terry and Carl all did well to share out the next three places on this day. The competition at the top is getting fierce now!

Asides: The good news for me is that the new bladder imported from Holland for my Guideline Drifter at vast expense, stayed inflated and gave me no cause for concerns about sinking. The even better good news was that my busted ligament affected leg didn’t fall off or lock-up in the water, although it was a good job the wind wasn’t blowing harder I feel.

The bad news is, that once again I suffered from wet-ass and leg syndrome in my recently replaced Vision Ikon waders. (And before you mention it Steve, it is not from the onset of age related incontinence). It was also too cold a day to be anything to do with sweating I feel. I note that Andre has now gone over to Kayaking waders, (he also had Vision Ikons which leaked). He did mention however that the feet on these were thinner and required you to wear neoprene socks. The wearing of salopettes inside waders is now becoming a stop-gap option for some of us, but surely somebody out there must make a pair of relatively cheap, breathable, waterproof waders.

See you on the water again in another two months time, so it’s back to you Andre to write the reports – Gary will love that!?

Acknowledgements: Many thanks go to Ed. and his team for giving us free range over the water and such an interesting days fishing. We are also grateful for the first prize donated for the day.

Thanks to Andre for organising the day.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 11:53:37 AM by bracken » Logged
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