a well-meaning friend asked me if this was still a fly fishing blog.
here you go.
generally speaking, i’m not a fan of flags. however, i like things that flap around in the wind… and have been working on a small series of wind-flappers that have no national, regional or societal connotations but instead are an attempt to, and this is a big word, to glorify nature. here’s the Rainbow flag.
this 51cm – 20″ beauty from a northern England limestone creek was a special fish, a two fisher fish.
i had spotted it holding in its shallow lie and covered it several times with several generic mayfly imitations but it wasn’t in the least bit interested so after a while i insisted that it was buddy Mark Legget‘s turn to temp it.
several “no, you spotted it, its yours” and “yeah, but it doesn’t like me and i really want you to catch it”s later, he not-really reluctantly gave in and positioned himself while i spotted from up on the bank and two perfect drifts later hooked up. after a good fight from both parties i landed it for Mark and we where able to briefly admire it from close up.
memory’s poor, i’ve always had a hard time remembering numbers, but i believe it was around 1,6kg – 3 1/2 lbs. that’s no record by any means but its really an awesome fish for such a small stream but a lot more than that, this was the nicest catch in ages.
Mark was of course happy but something deep inside tells me that i was a lot happier, reminding me of my youth and Hugo my godmother’s husband who was a ‘second father’ for me of sorts who so frequently brought me along on his fishing trips and who was always ecstatic when i’d manage to bring a fish to the net, no matter its size.
we’re of about the same age and Mark and i of course don’t have the mentor/parental or whatever else connection i had with Hugo but this fish left a similar feeling; of having shared and completed a scenario with its wished-for outcome as a team making it a much greater sum than its parts. the circle is complete.
Bubbles reminded me of being a little kid in the local lake just sitting there, feeling the water, head just above the surface blowing little bubbles because blowing little bubbles is tingly, they make a heck of a lot more noise underwater than above and it just feels good and exciting.
this is probably the most beautiful fish film i’ve ever seen.
no more words are necessary nor could they do it justice… enjoy !
no, you’re neither hallucinating nor seeing a fish who can actually simultaneously open and closed its mouth. this dark and beautiful highland-like, yet caught in somewhat southern Scotish brown trout’s strange powers come not from the trout itself but from the stacked-focus macro thingy the fishing camera can do. in geek talk…
it takes about eight images that all later blend in together but since they’re shot in sequence, those eight images need a lot more time than a standard one image so, if the subject moves during the exposers, the camera will register all the combined images similar to the trippy double/multiple exposures that where common before the digital era and thats for my eyes, a pretty darn cool thing to see pop up, specially when it ‘just popped up’ instead of being planned.
I’m having a great-great trip in Scotland this year and Mikey was gorgeous. this image doesn’t do it justice, specially in the Highland-like description I tried to give him above but just take my word for it please.
or did i just dream all that up ?
Louis Cahill’s article made me realise that i’ve never or at least can’t remember ever having dreamt of fish, fishing or anything loosely connected to one of the activities i like doing so much when awake. following through with the theory explained in Louis’ piece that dreams are there to ‘file away’ information then that leaves two possibilities: that info is already filed away or the info is unfilable. for all i know and that ain’t much, i decided long ago that as far as dreams are concerned, i don’t want to know how or why. they’re intangible beings that operate on their own on their own schedule, sometimes entertaining, sometimes not but always interesting as long as we don’t try to make any sense of them and just take them as they are.
“I don’t know what fish dream about. Maybe they dream of the Mothers-day hatch or of shad kills. Perhaps they dream of herons or bears. Maybe they dream that they are birds soaring in the clouds. I like to think that once in a while they dream of me.
“I was just there, in that big slow run, you know the one. I was eating caddis flies and all of a sudden I was just yanked up out of the water. It was like I was swimming but I wasn’t going anywhere. Nobody would help me and I just kept getting hauled up out of the water and then, from nowhere, there was this big guy, like huge with a beard. He picked me up with both hands and he kissed me. There was a bright flash of light and I was back in the water. I think he was God. What do you think it means?”
that was just the end of this thought-provoking read. click the image for the complete article and as always great stuff on Gink & Gasoline. thanks again Louis !
a real gem from Alan Bulmer at Active Angling New Zealand for your trout-hunting pleasure. Alan proposes that rise form recognition is ‘a lost skill’ and even if it isn’t completely lost, it’s a subject that’s rarely touched upon in contemporary fly fishing literature whether that be in print, on the net or among anglers themselves.
in a roundabout way, the average fly fisher will see a rise or rings and assume that the fish is feeding on or in the surface film and instantly tie on a dry fly or emerger but the keen observer will notice that there’s a lot more to it than that.
as we’ve previously seen in How fish eat, and how Alan astutely points out at the end of his piece, “The peculiarities of a rise form are not easy to observe. Often it cannot be said with certainty what fly has been taken; the rings of each pattern proceed so rapidly outwards that the pattern is always in a state of change”, as with most things in life, there are no absolutes and there’s always countless, unavoidable variables but the more we know, the better we can react to that knowledge and simply get better at what we do while feeling a bit more fulfilled.
all this hopefully inciting to spend more time observing and not just randomly looking, this article’s subject is about trout but the same principles with a few variations of course can be applied to other insect-eating fish.
here’s a few morsels to wet your appetite:
“There is one chapter in particular which is fascinating and that is a sixteen page treatise on analysing rise forms. This chapter summarises much of what had been learned through observation by the masters*, GEM Skues, Harding, Lamond and Taverner himself. These fly fishermen pioneered the sport and their observational and analytical skills were legendary. This book was published in their hey day so it must have been cutting edge at the time.
Back in the day analysing trout rise forms was considered a necessary skill for dry fly and nymph fishermen. Those skilled in the art could look at a surface disturbance, characterise it as bulging, humping, tailing, sucking, sipping, slashing, pyramid, kidney, head and tail, porpoise roll or spotted ring and accurately determine what the trout was feeding on and where in the water column it was feeding. In some cases they even counted the number of tiny bubbles appearing within the ring formed as the trout rose to determine what fly to use. This is a skill which I fear may no longer be in the repertoire of most anglers.”
click on either image for the complete article. this is really-really good stuff, enjoy !
* note how there’s absolutely no mention of the redundant Halford…
or, could that be Dick and Phillip or, Jane and Dory ? to tell you the truth i couldn’t care less about their names or genders, they’re both beautiful and doing what we love to see them do: peacefully slurping down bugs and getting fat.
filmed road-side on the Goulburn river Victorian Alps-Australia, these two video treats are wonderfully unpolluted by fisherman, their gear or raunchy music. maybe they’re there to remind us that its not all about us but whatever they are… i hope you’ll enjoy.
tip- resize the image and watch them both at the same time, its really cool.