With the relentless heat and weather conditions my salmon fishing and guiding has been effected horrendously, to the point of only fishing a couple of days and guests cancelling due to un-fishable conditions. Now when I mention un-fishable condition I refer to water temperatures of up to 23 degrees and really low dissolved oxygen levels in the water and air temperatures of nearly 30 degrees. Selecting specific times of the day like first light and last light have given anglers a best chance of getting any interest from fish!
It’s not all been fishing doom and gloom though as myself, ripon and mr Hywel Morgan have been filming our current Untamed Anglers – Iconic Fish series! To give you guys the low do on our project it’s consists of us 3 travelling the length and breadth of Britain in search of some of The most incredible species in inhabit our rivers, lakes and seas. The great thing about our series is that it doesn’t just concentrate on the fish, we also meet some very familiar faces that have spent a lifetime chasing these fish. Our special guest each week gives us a crash course on how to understand and hopefully catch these incredible species, but it doesn’t just end there, myself and ripon go head to head against each other matched with either Hywel or our guest in a big competition to battle it out for supremacy.
Our first episode saw us head to Winchester in February and to the world renowned chalk streams of the test and Itchen in search of the lady of the stream. We Would not be alone tho and our Chief helper was the one and only Charles Jardine who’s knowledge of these rivers would help us bag our prize, the spectacular grayling! Tactics over the 2 days fishing would be something new to me and a style of fly fishing that I’d really only read about through social media and books – French nymphing! The style of casting consists of more of a raise and flick rather than your standard airborn false casts, along with the casting using heavy weighted fly’s on a jig head style hook with both the eye and bend of the hook being upright so that when fished it minimises snags due to how low in the water the fly’s are fished. The final piece of the puzzle consists of is a multi coloured French leader that is used as in indicator and positioned in the surface layer of the water, I can happily say it’s a really productive, addictive and exciting way of targeting Grayling and won’t be the last time I use it.
Episode 2 had to wait for warmer weather and the months of May when our next target species would be on the well on the feed and hopefully gorging on a specific and famous species of fly. Yes you guessed it Trout and with the chance of some mayfly action. Even tho Hywel is probably one of the best trout anglers I’m lucky enough to know and fish with we still needed another legend, this time it would be the incredible Peter Cockwil and again we would be Hampshire bound but this time to the chalk streams of the river Kennet and the lambourn and the added bonus of a trip to one of the original “big fish” fisheries – Dever Springs. During our 2 days fishing we got to fish and see some of the most pristine water I’ve ever seen that held some incredible brown trout, which is credit to the river keepers that work tirelessly to keep them in check. Dever Springs was at the other end of the fish scale as we used our stalking skills gained from the previous day to stalk monster rainbows, browns and tigers at this historic fishery.
Episode 3 was something i literally couldn’t wait to try, being totally different to my usual target species and something that had been on my bucket list forever. So this time the whole squad headed north to the only lake in Scotland in search of one of the fiercest fish in Britons water – The notorious pike. As always we would need help to catch and understand our prize, this time we were fortunate enough to have predator pro and fish fanatic Dan Esox, as you’ve probably guessed by dans surname this week was the incredible pike. Over the 2 days fishing we would be targeting these top predators from boats using a mixture of both lures and fly’s with the hope of getting some surface action and tail walking croc’s for camera, obviously due to not wanting to spoil the programme im not going to say anything apart from it being absolute carnage at times.
Unfortunately for now you will have to wait to see how our iconic adventure has panned out but I can guarantee its full of what fishing is all about – Being outdoors experiencing something you love, making new memories and friends with a few incredible fish thrown in.
For now Tight lines……!