Despite staying way too late at the Point to Point we were on the river by 7am, fishing per usual. It was tranquil. Panda caught a Shad and lost several. Sandy has been joining us regularly to fly fish. Doreen then comes along. Plus Arthur. It was quite a social morning.
We are so lucky with the weather and the river. River depth was .6m above normal. The water was clear but cold @ 13C. Last week the river temp was warmer @ 16C. Full sun with a little bit of cloud around noon and light breeze.
We fished the lower end of beat 3, towards beat 4. Panda is getting quite good at fishing with the double-handed fly rod. Chris and Sandy are looking good with the lighter weight fly rod, using a March Brown. Sarah used Devon Minnow lures.
Panda lost two fish. Sarah caught a nice little Shad, beautiful. It weighted about 1.5 pounds. Beautiful colour. Photo attached. Sorry about the fingers. That increases her different species of fish caught on the River Wye to 13. Amazing! Sarah gets to keep the Kingfisher badge for another week.
Panda did a recce up the river to Beat 2 and viewed a clutch of barbel idling in the clear water of the river bank with one lovely salmon nearby. A perfect cast between the barbel and salmon caused Mr Salmon to inspect but not take the lure. Exciting to see such beautiful fish from a distance.
Doreen now comes to the river with Jan. Paul stopped down too for coffee and then Rob stopped by for a chat and to report that he caught a lovely 12-pound salmon on a fly. We are going to have to buy a Kingfisher-bus to transport our "fans".
The trees are greening up by the moment. Always so lucky with the weather. The day was cloudy. It felt warm at 7am, with the temp around 11C but then the wind picked up slightly wo hours later and there was a chill in the air. The river depth was just under 1m and the water was crystal clear. Using a new fishing "tool", Chris measured the water temperature which registerd 15C. Just perfect for Wet Flies for Fly Fishing.
Despite all of the elements going for us, no fish were caught on the day. Both Panda and Chris lost a lure / wet fly to hungry fish. Sandy joined us around 10.30am with his lighter-than-air Orvis Fly Rod to join the fun. Arthur stopped by en route to do a bit of salmon fishing. He confirmed that if there were any salmon in the river that day, that Sarah would have caught them based on her line-in-the-water percentage. She was using a wooden toby (a.k.a. devon minnow) given to them by Mike. You've got to love the way the little lure glides thru the water.
All retired to the Red Lion Pub where a good time was had by all.
Great Sunday on the river, Beat 3 above (towards Beat 2) Cox Comb. The weather was mild with a slight breeze. Light rain had been predicted from 9am onwards but as luck would have it there was a little drizzle for only 30 minutes. That was it. The river was clear, 1m in depth.
Rob arrived on the river just before us. It was great to have a quick chat before selecting our respective beats.
We all tried fly fishing, both single and double-handed rods. Chris tested some new flies that he bought. A March Spider and Olive Dun Fly. He hooked three 4-inch trout.
Panda lost a "big one" with the double-handed rod.
Sarah went back to using a lure after exhausting myself with the double-handed rod and caught an 8-ounce trout on a lure. The Kingfisher pin is back to Sarah. Chris' turn next week.
Always fish into the wind as the saying goes. We decided to fish the ponds because the river came up 1 metre over night to a height of 2.5m. It was muddy and fast, not good for fishing at all. We collectively decided to fish the ponds and were pleased to see groups of six to eight good-sized carp pairing up for spawning. They were moving so gently but suddenly disappeared into the deeper water when someone, who will remain nameless, stretched her arms out to describe the size several of the fish.
We did fish into the wind but did not catch a "sausage". The day was overcast, with no wind and a warmth in the air.
Bacon sarnies with out first cup of coffee made us all smile as we agreed we were in "paradise".
The morning started cold but calm and only got sunnier, warmer and "fishier". The river was clear on Beat 2, at the fishing hut and above towards Beat 1. The river has been 1.4m for two or three days.
Chris decided to fly fish. He bought waders and boots, Wychwood. Very nice too.
Panda and Sarah had plenty of devon minnows / toby spoon meppes.
My second cast of the morning landed a lovely pike. Photos attached. Although this is only my second pike, both have taken the lure so very gently. Neither have fought hard enough to make Sarah think she was going to get pulled into the river. She must be as stubborn as the fish. As for size, it was big. We must buy a scales... With pike tools we cut the tips off the three prongs of the hook and the pike was away.
The Kingfishers had a voucher from Arthur and Derrick which we decided to use to purchase an unhooking mat. First time out for the mat and it was used twice.
A bit later, Panda landed a very healthy looking sea trout. It had the nice blue markings under the eye.
Both fish were at the flat area on Beat 2 where tree trunks seem to accumulate. We used the latest one as a rod rest.
We then decided to move down to the black fishing hut. Panda hooked a lively pike. Panda, generous in spirit and deed, had Chris land his pike while he ran back to base camp to retrieve the pike tools. No photos, sorry. The fish was very tired. We wanted to return it to the river as quickly as possible. It did have two 1" long, parasites, possibly leeches, that detached themselves from the pike while on the unhooking mat. This fish had a broken lower jaw. How it is managing to fish for itself it amazing.
A great time was had by all again as documented in our base camp photo.
The water froze on our lines as we retrieved each cast causing icicles to form in the eyes on the rods. They in turn caused the line to cast at a 90-degree angle is not cleared before casting the next time. Hilarious to see. I thought that I had captured the phenomenon but sadly the wind and cold resulted in a blur.
Obviously, our conclusion, Beat 1 has been "overfed" recently by the visiting and local fishermen on the river. No knocks despite fishing with roach and lure, but a good time was had . The sun shone brilliantly on the other side of the river creating beautiful colours.
We were tucked low on the river bank to the farthest point, out of the wind. We could hear the wind howling above us and see the effect of it on the river. There was a reverse current coming up the river; amazing the force.
Much river weed and twigs were cleared. I "cleverly" caught a mussel shell atop my roach.
Onward and upward until next week.
New favourite hobby is fishing on the River Wye. Caught 10 species in my first fishing season; ranging from barbel, chub, dace, eel, gudgeon, grayling, salmon, trout on the River Wye and extending to common carp and mirror carp on Oakchurch ponds. We three Kingfishers go fishing every Sunday morning, starting at 6am in the summer and now 7am in the winter. The weather has been dry, sunny and calm except for one rainy Sunday in September and then the snow on December 10th 2017, which was very challenging with 10" of snow on the ground at 5am and still coming down. We persevered to get to the river and then fished for our normal five hours before retiring to the Red Lion Pub to everyone's amazement that we braved the elements. I managed to catch two lovely graylings which made it all worth while. We do have fun!