How Much Did You Enjoy Your Season?

The Endrick Spider

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Apr 28, 2021
Messages
172
Location
Milton of Campsie
Although the brown trout season has still a few weeks to run we are rapidly approaching it's close. On a personal not I had a fantastic season, being on the water for about 3 x 4 hour stints per week caught a heck of a lot of fish, only recorded two blanks but on one of those I still lost 3 fish. On the other occasion that I blanked, the morning before I had 7 fish yet the next morning using the same rod and line, the same cast of flies and as it turned out, even the same boat, never touched a fish. Although I have always returned most of my fish, being sick of the sight of Ospreys taking our fish, did take 10 rainbow trout this year and gave them to pensioners. It does not bother me that much losing fish for it lets me know I have made the right choice of fly but having lost so many more this year it is a problem that will have to be addressed. I absolutely love the rod that I use, a Greys 9 foot 6" G-Tec 6 weight rod but when the GR70 came out and with the company claiming that this was their flagship, thought that this must be an even better rod therefore purchased one of these. It only lasted 5 outings before being snapped off about 2 inches above the top joint when playing a double hook up. Incidentally, I was only using 4 lb breaking strain cast, a cast made up with nylon that I won in the club raffle 8 years ago. The cast held yet the rod didn't, the 2 fish successfully landed by handlining, yet another first. These fish that I am losing, being 79 my eyesight is not what it was, my reactions are much slower and I have arthritis in my hands and wrists which also now hinders my fly tying. Could the reason for losing so many fish be down to the hooks that I am using? (about 1 fish in 3) As I return just about all the fish that I catch, the flies I am using are barbless, not tied on barbless hooks but having had the barbs flattened. The barbless hooks that I see advertised all curl slightly up the way where hooks where the barb has been flattened are strait. Not ever having used the proper barbless hooks could this be the problem? The problem I have, having hundreds of fly hooks in stock ready for use and having thousands of flies I am reluctant to buy even more hooks when I have already got enough to last me two lifetimes.
With many of our members returning their catch, the intentions being for these fish to grow on and become even bigger fish next year I am finding it very disheartening seeing 2 pair of Ospreys running a shuttle service taking our fish. Our loch is only about 30 acres therefore no matter how many fish anglers return the stocks of fish are soon going to be cleaned out. The Ospreys have now gone but the Cormorants and Goosanders are about to move in. The Cormorants take what is left and the Goosanders take whatever smaller fish that has came from our spawning burn, there is very little chance of any fish surviving the winter and then become the much sort after overwintered fish.
Changing the subject ever so slightly, after 50 years of pigeon racing, although I now keep my pigeons in two aviaries, because of persistent attacks by birds of prey I have reluctantly had to give up another sport that I loved so much. Because of do-gooders saturating the countryside with birds of prey pigeon racing is on it's way out. Are our smaller waters going to be heading in the same direction for every year the predation on our fish stocks gets worse?
 

eddleston123

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Joined
Nov 3, 2012
Messages
10,243
Location
Peebles, Scottish Borders
My season -

Overall very poor - I caught around half the amount of fish, that I caught last year.

The streams that I fish have (in the main) suffered badly from a shortage of water)

The reservoir fished well enough - but from July onwards things got increasingly difficult as the water level shrunk.

One particular feature of this year was the amount of 'big' fish that detached themselves. They just were not taking the fly properly. I tried changing size but to no avail.

Now, don't put too much stock into the above, as I am not the best angler in the world, but from a personal point of view, this is the worst season (looking back my log book records) that I've had in the past ten years.

Nevertheless, It has not stopped me going out and fishing. I have had many enjoyable days beside the water, and that's all that matters to me.



Douglas


p.s. Where can I get a book on pigeon racing!
 

The Endrick Spider

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
172
Location
Milton of Campsie
My season -

Overall very poor - I caught around half the amount of fish, that I caught last year.

The streams that I fish have (in the main) suffered badly from a shortage of water)

The reservoir fished well enough - but from July onwards things got increasingly difficult as the water level shrunk.

One particular feature of this year was the amount of 'big' fish that detached themselves. They just were not taking the fly properly. I tried changing size but to no avail.

Now, don't put too much stock into the above, as I am not the best angler in the world, but from a personal point of view, this is the worst season (looking back my log book records) that I've had in the past ten years.

Nevertheless, It has not stopped me going out and fishing. I have had many enjoyable days beside the water, and that's all that matters to me.



Douglas


p.s. Where can I get a book on pigeon racing!
My season -

Overall very poor - I caught around half the amount of fish, that I caught last year.

The streams that I fish have (in the main) suffered badly from a shortage of water)

The reservoir fished well enough - but from July onwards things got increasingly difficult as the water level shrunk.

One particular feature of this year was the amount of 'big' fish that detached themselves. They just were not taking the fly properly. I tried changing size but to no avail.

Now, don't put too much stock into the above, as I am not the best angler in the world, but from a personal point of view, this is the worst season (looking back my log book records) that I've had in the past ten years.

Nevertheless, It has not stopped me going out and fishing. I have had many enjoyable days beside the water, and that's all that matters to me.



Douglas


p.s. Where can I get a book on pigeon racing!
The Racing Pigeon Co Ltd.
PO Box 12760
Colchester CO1 9TZ
or
The British Homing World,
Severn Farm Industrial Estate,
Severn Road,
Welshpool,
Powys. SY21 7DF.

I wrote for the BHW for over 28 years but after a change of staff got fed up with them making an arse of my articles. On finding out I had given up writing the RP approached me and asked if I would join them. I have now started to write for them where having just made a start with my 30th article for them, as for the previous 29 that have gone into print, they have all been word perfect, just the way I sent them in. The BHW keep sending me a free copy of their weekly journal in the hope that I will go back to them but that is not going to happen, I gave them too many chances. I am not prepared to sit here for hours on a wet day compiling an article of 4 to 5,000 words just for them to make a mess of. That is what wet days are for, compiling articles or making flies.
As for purchasing a book on pigeon racing, I think the best ones are all out of print. The modern day successful pigeon fanciers of today are having to enter 50 to 80 birds to a race in the hope of getting a good one on the result. My race team of birds at the start of each season consisted in 9 cocks for racing and 6 hens where my entry would be about 6 birds per race. These were all proven pigeons for I never kept any of those just in case pigeons, birds that because of their wonderful pedigree they may at some point just win. Did not see the point in keeping pigeons that could not beat or even challenge the birds already in the team. As stated earlier in my last post, because of birds of prey pigeon racing is on its knees. We used to be able to send 7/8 thousand birds to France from Scotland for the Gold Cup but these days we are lucky to muster up 1,000.
Just as a point of interest, the record price paid for a racing pigeon to date, it is one million two hundred thousand pounds
 

geo4316

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Joined
Oct 31, 2013
Messages
587
Location
Milton of campsie
Had a good season, caught my biggest rainbow & biggest Brown trout but the last 6 weeks or so have been difficult with the hot weather. Thanks again John for the Endrick Spiders you gave me the other day, il try them out asap
 

The Endrick Spider

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Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
172
Location
Milton of Campsie
Had a good season, caught my biggest rainbow & biggest Brown trout but the last 6 weeks or so have been difficult with the hot weather. Thanks again John for the Endrick Spiders you gave me the other day, il try them out asap
Well done, you can't complain at that. I can remember my biggest brown trout, a fish of 9 lbs but that is going back a bit. I actually caught it three nights on the trot. It was one of those horrible looking loch trout that follow the salmon and sea trout out of Loch Lomond and then up the River Endrick. When I first caught it I released it further down the river. Caught it a second time in the same place and then released it further up the river. Caught it on the third night in the same place so took it home for dog meat for it had wasted three nights fishing for me. As stated, these are horrible fish that come up the river and feed on the salmon and sea trout eggs. Once saw a chap catch one that was 16 lbs.
As for the Endrick Spiders, they fish better early on in the season but did get my only two fish that day on them a week ago. As yet have not caught any on that new version I gave you but then again have not really tested them for any serious length of time. It was a melanistic pheasant I was talking to you about, they are black but their tails are black on top and olive underneath. I used these feathers for making a second version of the Endrick spider using silver wire and used up the grey partridge hackles. This fly was used when the river was a bit cloudy. Don't have any of these left for those feathers are hard to come by. A dyed black pheasant tail feather is nowhere near the same as the natural one.
 

Jason 70

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Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
486
Location
The congested SE
Great to be honest and I'm sure it would be for most of the forum, as we have been able to mostly get out and fish without "Covid Restrictions"? I was out today after Roach on the fly, I did think about Perch on Streamers, but that can wait a week or two on a different venue.

My Trout fishing has been good, it does get very busy on the Trout front on my local river and those anglers love an Instagram pose. But I've found a few little blue ribbons and it's just been good fun, small Trout, but you take what you can get right?

Now I'm thinking about Perch and Pike on the fly and hopefully a free winter to travel so fingers crossed.

Douglas mentioned a few posts above, it's about being out. And I'll agree with that. My view today when I packed up, no Trout this far down, give or take the odd one. So I had the place to myself. Bliss.


PXL_20210918_112251637.PORTRAIT~2_copy_1209x1612.jpg
Looking forward now to Pike and Perch, rivers caked in a hoar frost and the river steamed.
 

wjg

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Joined
May 27, 2010
Messages
294
Location
PEI
"... rivers caked in a hoar frost and the river steamed."
Hopefully, this will be my fall into the freeze up around Dec. chasing steelhead (or sea run rainbow as we call them) Pesky bycatch brook trout and salmon have to be released during this period.
 

The Endrick Spider

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Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
172
Location
Milton of Campsie
Great to be honest and I'm sure it would be for most of the forum, as we have been able to mostly get out and fish without "Covid Restrictions"? I was out today after Roach on the fly, I did think about Perch on Streamers, but that can wait a week or two on a different venue.

My Trout fishing has been good, it does get very busy on the Trout front on my local river and those anglers love an Instagram pose. But I've found a few little blue ribbons and it's just been good fun, small Trout, but you take what you can get right?

Now I'm thinking about Perch and Pike on the fly and hopefully a free winter to travel so fingers crossed.

Douglas mentioned a few posts above, it's about being out. And I'll agree with that. My view today when I packed up, no Trout this far down, give or take the odd one. So I had the place to myself. Bliss.


View attachment 43556Looking forward now to Pike and Perch, rivers caked in a hoar frost and the river steamed.
Back in the 1960's I can remember cycling along the Forth & Clyde Canal on a hot sunny day where there were hundreds and hundreds of roach basking in the sun. There were shoals of them, many bigger than any of the trout I was catching in my local river. The next time I came along this same path had my fly rod with me. I ended up catching several good roach on size 16 flies but can't remember what patterns of fly they were. What I do remember, it is that they all had some sort of disease, they looked as though their skin was being eaten away below their frontal fins by some clear coloured lice. Needles to say I never bothered fishing for them again but enjoyed the experience just the same. I still cycle along this same stretch of the canal when heading out to the Falkirk Wheel but never see any fish larger than the length of your hand. What I do see are plenty of cormorants and goosanders in their dozens.
 

aenoon

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Jun 12, 2009
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Location
Linlithgow, Scotland and anywhere i can wet a line
John, Am with you on your thoughts re the Ospreys!
On just about every visit I had to the Loch, there was 3 of them, all catching, and returning later in the day!
Stunning to watch, especially at the close quarters we see them.
But given our stocking levels, aint no surprise not too many overwinter!
Other problem is the Perch, which seem to have excelled this year, which must cause a serious imbalance in the biomass the loch can sustain, and allow overwintered fish to grow on if at all.
However, is the way of things if we want to continue on the current path for the Loch!
Would not worry to much about your hook choice, squashed barb on hook is just as good as barbless made hooks at holding onto fish!
regards
Bert
 

The Endrick Spider

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Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
172
Location
Milton of Campsie
John, Am with you on your thoughts re the Ospreys!
On just about every visit I had to the Loch, there was 3 of them, all catching, and returning later in the day!
Stunning to watch, especially at the close quarters we see them.
But given our stocking levels, aint no surprise not too many overwinter!
Other problem is the Perch, which seem to have excelled this year, which must cause a serious imbalance in the biomass the loch can sustain, and allow overwintered fish to grow on if at all.
However, is the way of things if we want to continue on the current path for the Loch!
Would not worry to much about your hook choice, squashed barb on hook is just as good as barbless made hooks at holding onto fish!
regards
Bert
Thanks for that information about the hooks. We have a perch problem on our loch as well but any caught are returned. The way we approach this, the cormorants and goosanders take them as well therefore with this in mind it could well go towards saving some of the trout that have survived so far. 3lb Grayling and I sat and watched the Great Crested Grebes that are on our loch returning time and time again to our spawning burn and coming back out with a small perch therefore they take them as well.
 

Jason 70

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Jan 3, 2020
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486
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The congested SE
Hopefully, this will be my fall into the freeze up around Dec. chasing steelhead (or sea run rainbow as we call them) Pesky bycatch brook trout and salmon have to be released during this period.

IMO you can't beat those cold icy mornings on the river.

Buds, fur-gloved with frost.
Everything had come to a standstill in a brand new stillness.
The river trees, in a blue haze, were fractured domes of spun ghost.
Wheel-ruts frost fixed.... and the river steamed.

Not my words above, but from A Passion for Angling

Enjoy, that's what fishing is about, laugh, joke, catch a fish or three, get pissed up and repeat.
 

aenoon

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Jun 12, 2009
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Location
Linlithgow, Scotland and anywhere i can wet a line
Thanks for that information about the hooks. We have a perch problem on our loch as well but any caught are returned. The way we approach this, the cormorants and goosanders take them as well therefore with this in mind it could well go towards saving some of the trout that have survived so far. 3lb Grayling and I sat and watched the Great Crested Grebes that are on our loch returning time and time again to our spawning burn and coming back out with a small perch therefore they take them as well.
John, tis the same loch! Begins with an A!
 

Paul_B

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Nov 14, 2008
Messages
5,695
Location
West Riding of Yorkshire
Thanks for that information about the hooks. We have a perch problem on our loch as well but any caught are returned. The way we approach this, the cormorants and goosanders take them as well therefore with this in mind it could well go towards saving some of the trout that have survived so far. 3lb Grayling and I sat and watched the Great Crested Grebes that are on our loch returning time and time again to our spawning burn and coming back out with a small perch therefore they take them as well.

We have a couple of fishermen who prefer to eat perch to trout, apparently its very much like Bass, the committee don't have a problem with anyone taking them for food.
 

PaulF1

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Aug 11, 2021
Messages
24
Location
Manchester UK
As my first (half) season fly fishing, I have loved it! I have had around 4 or 5 trout in total, all probably under 6", and a couple of grayling, again under 6". Brilliant!
To be fair, I have been catching quite a few dace and chub, or it might not have seemed like such a good switch, but as a complete novice, a bend in the rod is all it takes to put a smile on my face.
My one barbel session also produced two good fish out of four, so not a total loss there either.
Saw my very first Osprey a couple of weeks ago, and then again on Thursday. Absolutely amazing, can't wait to see it again, though it's almost guaranteed I won't get the camera out in time.
Weird how our expectations can be polar opposites isn't it? I am usually a bit of a pessimist unfortunately, but get me out on the river and things don't seem so bad at all.
Just off to (hopefully) catch some chub and dace. Today might be the day for another mini trout. You never know!
 

webblade

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Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
447
Location
Kildare Ireland
If I'm able to still get out and catch fish at 79 I won't care if I lose 1 in 3 😁. My barbless hooks from hanak are pretty much the same shape as b175 with a crushed barb so no turned up point and no problem with them. It could be some other change you've made like rod or tippet or as you say may even be your reaction time. Your still getting out and enjoying it though that's the main thing. My season good but as per usual I've had my good days and my bad days. After the bad days I always find myself questioning my ability to catch and methods used even though they worked on other days. Sometimes the fish just don't want to play the game.
 

beetlebum

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May 20, 2011
Messages
396
Location
Chorley
My season consisted of two outings in April, one of which resulting in my P.B wild fish. The arrival of a little one has meant I haven't got out since. I intended to get out this week for a go before the season ends but the forecast is for 30mph plus winds all week...I know I shouldn't bother but I'm itching to get out!
 

Mr Notherone

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Jul 19, 2013
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4,490
Location
Monmouthshire
I'd say a mixed season - I've had worse but definitely had better. My catch return will suggest it was good but there were some excellent days and plenty that proved hard graft. High water levels early season made it impossible and now we have endured very low conditions for weeks.

I feel there have been a lot fewer freely rising trout than usual with more sporadic hatches. Some of the smaller streams have been easier than the main rivers. In the one catchment I caught a lot more grayling than usual in a trout season and I wonder if this means the winter will prove productive. I guess it will depend on whether I can get in the rivers, or whether they are the usual brown torrent.
 
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