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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    225

    Default At Last - A Fish!

    I had a few hours on a local river this afternoon. It's not one I know well and I hadn't fished so far upstream before but the walk was well worth it. No strong winds today, just a gentle southerly and the odd shower .... and the river at a beautiful height for the pools I reached.
    I was out with a rod I made this Spring from a Fly Logic #8/9 9 ft blank, a bit hefty for such a calm day but I wanted to christen it before the season ends and put it to the test. I'm very happy with the way it cast. Distance was rarely the issue but accuracy always was, trying to drop the tail fly on the edge of the far bank, and the two of us got on just fine with that. I started with a bog-brush of a Claret Bumble on the dropper, a bi-hackled size 10 specimen, probably intended as a dapper but I fancied it as a wake fly and Ginked it up. On the tail, a #10 Cascade double on a gold hook for a bit more flash in the peaty water.

    I'd only been fishing for about 20 minutes when a wee saucepan lid engulfed the Bumble. I never saw the fish but that little boil in the rough water was sign enough and I let the fish turn and take line before lifting. Good grief, I was on for the first time this season!
    It was a lively salmon around the 5 pound mark, I'd say. It twice tried hiding under the inside bank on a corner, gave up on that and sped out upstream with a couple of leaps and a cartwheel. I haven't see a cartwheel for about three years. Magic.
    But it's late in the season and I decided to bully the fish in to keep the fight short. I had the net ready by my feet and as I bent to pick it up the fish rolled and thrashed and was away.

    Still ..... a promising start.

    The Cascade was too light for the weight of water, skimming too often, so I changed to a #8 double Arndilly Fancy but, naturally, kept faith with the Bumble.
    I carried on downstream fishing all but the rockiest rapids; cast and walk, cast and walk, feeling at home again after four seasons on the Spey. I loved it, but it's very different over there.
    I do like to dibble that dropper, or wake it, watching it trip across the current with the hope and expectation that a fish head and tails over it and the line tightens ..... And I enjoyed the single handed rod-work today, the mending and working of the line on such a small scale compared to the Spey. The same .... but different. The Spey fish seldom seemed to take on the surface, though - well, so I found, anyway - and that's one of the joys in Hebridean salmon fishing for me, seeing the take.

    I was musing on this when the line tightened and a few yards slipped through my fingers. I was in again, this time on the tail fly. The fight was far more dour than the first with the fish staying deep and skulking around. Again, I didn't play about and netted him pretty quickly. A swift photo then back in the river and away after a few minute's rest. Rod christened. Season saved. All is good.

    ...................................1-P1030011.JPG

    The next hour and a half proved fishless and by then a gammy leg was grumbling so I called it a day. Very happy with how things have ended on what's been a tough season for several reasons.
    Now for that red wine and ibuprofen cocktail .....

  2. #2

    Default

    Nice story, nice fish, nice rod and the cocktail (I'll give that a go) sounds good too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    stirling
    Posts
    3,246

    Default

    good wee read, and cracking looking fish
    (Mergus merganser) the end of life as we know it......

  4. #4

    Default

    Well done you. I enjoyed reading of your success.
    "One thing becomes clearer as one gets older and one’s fishing experience increases, and that is the paramount importance of one’s fishing companions." - John Ashley Cooper

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Home Near Wasilla Alaska and at the Cabin In The Bush Near Skwentna Alaska
    Posts
    866

    Default

    Always interesting details from you James, now I'm going to say it...……………. I know it will sound weird coming from me but, cracking fish! And it is by all I can see here, well done

  6. #6

    Default

    Well done! Fantastic story, its been a very hard season indeed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    East Yorkshire.
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Enjoyed reading your story. Well done. Love the feel of a Salmon on a single hander.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Aberdeen
    Posts
    6,204

    Default

    Well done on your fish! Nice to see someone getting some sport, I've almost forgotten what it's like to play a fish
    ..........so many flies, so little time!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    1,478

    Default

    Well done James.
    I fished the same river last Thursday for a few hours. A fast rising river in an upstream (freezing cold) wind. Fished the better bits on the way upstream with a floating line and smallish flies for nothing. I changed to an intermediate line, 10 ft grey tip and a half inch tungsten tube for the way back. (Horrible to "cast" on a single hander). But I lost a silver one at the net, had an extra black kipper and a pull of another. What a difference a few days can make to the mood of the fish!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Isle of Lewis
    Posts
    225

    Default

    Thanks for the kind words and 'likes', everyone. I've never been liked this much in my life, even by my family!

    @Hardyreels: Cheers, Ard. I was thinking of you and the NAFFF 'fish in the water' photo competition ethos while I was scrambling for the camera but no way was I going to slip into that heavy, black water with the fish! So a grassed shot it was. Time to invest in a waterproof camera, though. .

    @Roag Fisher: Well done on your day in far tougher conditions, Gordon - and seeing silver at this time of year is encouraging, particularly given the dry season we've had. It wasn't an escapee, was it?
    Having got that first take so early made a big difference to my day - that 'fishing with confidence' thing where you can trust your flies to work if there's a taker in range and just get in the zone. I did consider a sink tip at one stage but the river was just 'bouncing' rather than roaring and .... it makes working the wake fly tricky!

    @westie4566: I know what you mean, pal, I was just lucky to find two in the right mood, that's all. The daftest I've ever had was on Morsgail Upper River. I was alone one day when I reached the Bridge Pool, unhooked the fly and flicked it on a short line into the fast water at the head. Maybe it was the gurgling of the river but I suddenly needed to pee and, being alone, did so where I stood, (fly) rod under my arm. Mid-flow, I glanced at the river and wondered why my floating line had sunk? And why was it moving across stream??
    Oh! Dear God!!!
    I left it on a loose line until I was ready .... then tightened up and the fun began. About 5 lbs and silver, hen, returned, and one of my favourite memories when the going gets hard - sometimes you can't help but catch them, the wee dafties!

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