Thursday 29 October 2015

Jesienna brzana na nimfę

Miałem trochę wolnego czasu w sobotę więc wybrałem się nad rzekę by połowić na nimfę. Głównie dlatego, żeby poćwiczyć metodę, której do tej pory nie miałem okazji dobrze opanować. Niby nic łatwiejszego niż taka leniwa przepływanka ale...jakoś do tej pory nie miałem ani okazji ani chęci by się na serio za nią wziąć.

Wybrałem dwie nimfy, klasycznie: cięższa i większa na dno a jakieś 30cm wyżej na krótkim bocznym przyponie mała złotogłówka. W teorii zdobyczą miały być lipienie. Wybrałem więc miejsce, w którym łowiłem już wcześniej lipienie na muchę suchą i mokrą.

Niemniej tym razem miejsce było zajęte przez inne ryby, wszędobylskie królowe luksemburskich rzek: brzany. Nie jest to w sumie nic dziwnego, bo większość rzek należy tu do krainy brzany. Są to cieki o kamienistym dnie, silnym nurcie i znikomej roślinności podwodnej. Typowy jest też brak starorzeczy, mulistych odcinków i innych podobnych elementów nizinnych rzek.

Tutejsze brzany są pięknie ubarwione na złoto, są pękate, silne i niespecjalnie płochliwe. Na filmiku poniżej wyciągam jedną z nich. Druga, podobnych rozmiarów, zerwała mi przypon po 10 minutach odjazdów dosłownie kilka chwil po uwolnieniu jej poprzedniczki.

Tuesday 27 October 2015

October grayling fly fishing on the river Sinn, Bavaria

I had the pleasure and privilege to be invited for a one day fishing adventure on the river Sinn in the German region of Rhön. On that chilly but sunny day and my main target was the lady of the stream - the grayling. Sinn is a beautiful river which flows across fields, meadows and forests and which hosts an impressive population of grayling, brown trout as well as rainbow trout (apparently released years ago by American soldiers from a US Army base nearby). I started off around 9 am and quickly found a spot where timid rises could be observed among the brown-red autumn leaves floating on the surface. It then took me around 1h to find out which exact fly pattern was on the menu. It wasn't a klinkhammer, it wasn't a midge, it wasn't a small caddis pattern. What graylings found too hard to resist was a tiny Blue Dun. I was lucky that I had three of them in my box because it was very difficult to lure the fish with anything else. Of course, by the end of the day all three were completely destroyed and useless. I caught around 25 graylings this day. Most of them in the range of 20-25cm but several exceeded 30cm. It was great fun! The best spots were deeper pools with slow current and a stony bottom. It was useful to keep the fly on the route of floating leaves, as this is where all debris (including insects) was floating as well. Shady areas below the trees, even with shallow water, were also promising. For some reason, I only caught a single trout. Perhaps the flies were too small or the graylings too determined.

I'll try using similar flies in similar places across Luxembourg as well. I'll let you know how it went.

Monday 31 August 2015

Fly fishing mullets from a kayak

Mullets are quite abundant in Spain, both on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts, They are most often referred to as múgil, llisa or corcón. If you ask the locals, you will notice that very few are interested in fishing them, despite the fact that it is one of the strongest and fiercest fighting fish around. There is a simple reason for this: mullets feed on plankton and other organic matter which they filter from the surface or scrape off underwater rocks. They also often live in the brackish waters of the river estuaries and the water quality of many Spanish rivers, even if not so bad, is still much worse than that of the open seas. Therefore, mullets are treated with disdain and relegated to the role of 'water pigeons' or 'water rats'.

Mind you, mullet caught in the open ocean (around the Canary Islands, for example) is known for its exquisite meat, comparable to that of a sea bass.

Perhaps the low popularity of mullet among the Spanish fishermen explains why it is possible to encounter huge shoals of these fish, with some specimens reaching a size of 70cm.

The way I fish mullet is simple: a fly fishing tackle with a floating line (7 weight is perfect) and a long, 9 feet leader. The long leader is important because mullets are very shy and flee at any suspicious movement or sound. I have seen big shoals of mullets escape in panic just because a tiny swallow descended towards the water surface to catch insects.

An orthodox fly fisherman would only use dry flies but after 2 days of very meagre results, I decided to adopt a 'reformist' approach. Since mullets feed on surface, in principle an imitation of bread crumbs and bread crust should work. Unfortunately, these fish are not that stupid - I can assure that a mullet will choose a piece of real bread over even the best of imitations. These fish rarely grasp a whole bit with their mouths. What they do instead is to grab the bait carefully and suck it in slowly. That's why I sugggest tying a hook size 10/12 and putting a piece of bread crust that will nicely float for at least a minute.

Cast a few metres away (to reach the shoal but close enough to still see the floating bait) and focus on the hook. It will be difficult to spot the right moment but you need to hook them up the very instant the bread disappears in their mouth. One second too early or too late and it won't work.

After a few days' training, I managed to catch around 2 mullets per hour, which I consider quite an achievement!

Enjoy fishing mullets and check out my video below.

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Summer fly fishing in Luxembourg

I managed to go out a couple of times to fish with streamers and dry flies in June. The beginning of the month was great for dries, with the usual caddis patterns (e.g. Goddard) being quite successful. For some reason, mayflies hatched very rarely this season so most mayfly imitations proved to be disappointing. The biggest winner was, rather unexpectedly, an orange stimulator pattern. I had fewer strikes on this one but when I did, it guaranteed a trout of at least 25-30cm.

Last days of June and the beginning of July were marked by even fewer hatches and warmer water which contributed to the trouts' preference for streamers. A white articulated zonker and a roach-like tube streamer reigned in my flybox. I had plenty of fish, including on very warm and sunny days (although the trouts were actually hiding in shady places, under the branches). I also caught my largest trout this year: around 40-43cm, I can't tell exactly because I decided to release the fish as fast as possible, given the high temperatures and lower levels of oxygen in the water.

Check out the compilation of a few recent fishing trips below.