Monday, June 28, 2010

Into the West...

The westernmost part of the Czech Republic is a troubled country - since time immemorial inhabited by ethnic Germans, who were expelled in the aftermath of WWII it was for 40 years a no entry zone due to its proximity to Western Germany. History left many scars in the countryside, but an interesting side effect was that the  isolation resulted in some fabulous trout fishing.

For this weekend I received invitation from my friend Rosťa, who besides having an interesting job as a moulder of lava in basalt foundry is a first class fisherman of small streams and a veritable font of knowledge of the west country rivers. I have agreed not to delve too deeply into the details of the rivers we fished, but a couple of pics should be OK.

Rosťa is a terror on the small streams, in part helped by his unusual fly rod - an ancient 7 and 1/2 foot Cortland fiberglass rod rated AFTMA 6/7. The heavy line loads his wimpy rod easily allowing for hellishly accurate casts, while the short length leaves lots of room for manoeuvrings under the overhanging foliage.

Rosťa gave me a grade C for my fishing - I got positive points for tying flies that fish liked, but negative for not having sufficiently mastered the arcane art of jungle casting. I took it as an overall compliment :-)

We successfully pursued a number of indigenous brown trout and grayling and introduced rainbows and brook trout. The rainbows and brookies don't spawn naturally in our rivers, but over here they were stocked as fingerlings and left to grow naturally to perfect condition - not like the malformed sickly stockies so common in the rest of the country.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Aphid fly

This Saturday I came to an unusual situation on my favorite stillwater: the expected buzzer hatch did not materialize - I suspect sudden change in air pressure, accompanied by drop in temperature of about 15°C was to blame - but some fish never the less were rising. No insect activity was apparent and the fish ignored all my flies: both dark and pale mayflies, caddis flies, beetles and daddy long legs I kept changing in my increasing desperation.

I finally succeeded in provoking a couple rainbows to attack a red & white lure; autopsy showed that the cause of the rises was a fall of rather large aphids, which were carried by wind from surrounding aspen trees. Until then I had no aphid in my fly box, a sad fact I set today to rectify.

The tie:
#20 Hanák 130BL hook (a #22 or #24 hook would be even better, this was the smallest I had)
green Hends body thread for the body
2 layers of lacquer (the buoyant kind, not epoxy)
tip of a CDC feather
17/0 white UNI Trico thread
a light touch of black CD marker

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Olive Dun

Soon it will be time when the Mayfly and Caddis hatches (and hopefully the awfully cold & rainy weather that confined me to the tying table for the weekend) give way to the small pale olives of summer. To this purpose my today's creation: The Summer Olive

The tie:
#18 Hanák 130BL hook
tan UNI 8/0 thread for thorax and head
yellow Hends Grall thread for abdomen
Mole fur dubbing
two smallish CDC feathers

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mayfly Spinner

The time of the Mayfly is here! When the trout key on the danicas no other imitation will suffice :)

The tie:
TMC 109BL #9 Hook
8/0 White UNI Thread
4 Moose mane hairs
Cream UNI floss
black embroidery thread
Polypropylen yarn
Hare dubbing spun in loop
light touch of black marker on head

The best way to fish these is on the margins, where big, fat and lazy fish sit on the edge of current and eddy and wait for the dead and dying spinners that float by in large numbers. Then they feast on them in leisurely pace... yummy!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

After very enjoyable trip last weekend I headed North also this Sunday. This time not to Kamenice, but to its bigger sister Jizera. It was my only second fishing trip to the area, but I can already feel it growing on me...

The river was a bit high after recent rains, making wading in hip boots a bigger challenge than I expected. On the other hand it serves me well as a reminder I really should buy new boots for my waders - it is already some time since the old ones finally gave up on me (may they rest in peace in the Happy Wading Grounds).

The faster riffles held - as expected - Brown trout, which could be tempted to rise by my Drowning Caddis imitation.

The slower stretches held Grayling. Some caddis were hatching, but the hatch was very sparse, and Grayling refused the big imitations. A change in tactics was called for, and the finesse approach of #17 No hackle CDC quill on long leader was soon rewarded by a couple of beautifully colored Grayling.

When I exited the stream, having had my fill of Grayling fishing for the day, I encountered two love struck toads. June it is long past their normal mating season, so I can only assume they were doing it for fun rather then procreation ;-)