fly fishing sport fishing freshwater fishing
Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


02/10/2020 - A Busy Few Days That Ended With An Eventful Session

My best chub of the session

On Monday I’d planned to get in a few hours fishing, that all changed when I come across three people who planned to camp overnight on Sunday, I did eventually get them to move on but not before I made a call to the police. Monday was extremely busy I spent some seven hours putting up fencing topped off by barbed wire to keep out people who think they should have a right of access to other persons property. I was that tired I didn’t feel like fishing, so went off home, in fact I was in bed at 1800 hrs completely shattered, I’m certainly feeling my age these days.

Next day Tuesday I had two pupils booked for a days fly fishing, so no fishing, but I always enjoy these days helping other anglers catch a few fish. Both were successful catching several brown trout.

Wednesday was another teaching day, a complete novice, a lovely person in his mid-sixties who wanted to learn the art of river trout fishing, in his young days he done some coarse fishing with his dad, then as he said “Girls drinking and sailing took over” Being a recently retired solicitor he had time on his hands and chose to try fly fishing. I suggested he purchase a 9 foot 6 weight fly fishing outfit with a floating line, also some good water proofs. Having got the tackle he needed, I proceeded top explain how a fly rod and line have to work in unison, that fly casting wasn’t a matter of muscle as many seem to do, one reason why ladies make very good fly fishers, they are not using muscle trying to beat other anglers. Last week I showed him how to lay thirty feet on the water, lifting it off and replacing it lightly so the pierce of wool landed like thistledown, today we started off with that exercise, after a few successful casts, I got him to try the single haul cast, not an easy task in the heavy rain and wind, but he was getting there. After a three hour good work out, it was time for lunch, I’d prepared some cheese and pickle sandwiches which I toasted then served them along with a big mug of tea. After an hours break where I spent my time explaining other aspects of fly fishing, including discussing various dry and wet flies along with nymphs.

Back out on the water we found some trout rising, I suggested he try to catch one, explaining the fish were feeding on emerges, I reckon these were one of some 200 species of sedge, probably the smallest of the sedges. I attached four feet of 1.5lb tippet then tied on a size 20 pattern, though we found it difficult to see the tiny fly in the rippled water and poor light. Yes he made a few bad casts, but occasionally he got it right, he hooked and quickly lost the only fish but he was more than happy to know he could get the fish to take an imitation. At 1630 hrs we were both feeling cold and damp, so ended our session, after a fresh warming brew we headed off home. I look forward to next week’s lesson.

Early Thursday morning I checked the river gauge to find the river had risen nearly three feet over night, today it was going to be a chub fishing session with some smelly sausage meat paste, the swim I had in mind was where a side stream flowed into the river, I was lucky to have a large oak tree with roots plunging deep into the water just a few feet upstream of the side stream that slowed the water flow close to the bank, there was a fast flow of water from the stream going into the river, my idea was to drop the bait into the stream to it would go naturally down stream into the river, that was my plan, but would it work?

Tackle Set Up

I chose a soft Avon action rod matched with a small fixed spool reel with 6lb bs line, after threading the line through the guides I attached a couple of float stops then tied on a size 4 hook, before moulded some plasticine around the float stop I moulded it around the hook to find out how much I would need for the weight and bait to go naturally down the flow, after about fifteen minutes I reckon I’d got it about right, It was time to fish. I threw in half a dozen bits of sausage meat paste, moved the float stops up the line about twelve inches, before moulding on the plasticine, then baiting with a piece of sausage meat paste the size of a walnut, dropping it in the centre of the stream I eased it down and into the river. I really felt confident, especially with the extra water in the river which was highly coloured.

Instant Chub Action

I’d been fishing some ten minutes when the rod tip pulled round, I was soon into a fish which really did make use of the fast water, several times it took line off the reel, but as with chub it held itself in the main flow, but slowly I gained line until I got my first glimpse of the fish. “That’s a good one” I said to myself eventually it was in the net I was elated, on the scales it weighed 4 lb 14 ounces, I walked well up river before releasing the fish. Back in the swim I cast in another bait, as I was talking to my friend Tam Miller I got a good pull missing it completely, I told him “Just missed a bite” We then ended our conversation. Rebaiting I cast out again same process letting the bait go down the stream into the river. No more than ten minutes later the rod hooped round, I was into another good fish again line was taken then retrieved, but taken again and retrieved but slowly the fish was giving up, it was a case of pumping it upstream, eventually I got a look at the fish, certainly as big as the first, soon it was in the net. Dragging it up the bank I felt it was as heavy as the previous fish. Unhooking the fish, I laid the net in the water while I set up the scales and weigh bag, on the scales I was very surprised to see the needle go to 5 lb 4 ounces and stop there, time for a picture. I then walked well upstream before releasing the fish. In the next two hours I had three more good chub 4 lb 14 ounces, 4 lb 12 ounces and 5 lb 1 ounce, I fished on for another two hours without a touch time to leave, I might not have had any more bites but I did have the pleasure of watch a kingfisher sitting on a willow branch then after some minutes diving in the water, there was only one occasion when he didn’t return with a fish, most were minnows, with one bullhead. Tomorrow I will have a long day with my friend Dave Hurst, my plan it to float fish a swim with a few pints of gentles, then fish the evening well into the darkness with sausage meat in the hope of a chub or barbel.


Back to the News List

Martin James Fishing
Email: [email protected]