Monday, October 10, 2011

October Gloom

After an unusually warm and sunny (and fishing-wise very dull) September the Czech Republic was hit by the old fashioned dull October drizzle. The temperatures dropped about 15°C - from over twenty to just about 6°C - and the fine autumn gloom settled in.

The same change in weather has also signaled the start of proper Grayling season, and as such was eagerly anticipated by many fly fishermen. We are strange creatures indeed...

For the weekend I headed north of Prague to my favorite rivers Kamenice and Jizera. The thin drizzle has caused a slight rise in the water, but as there has been hardly any rain in the past few weeks the countryside was very dry and soaked the thin rain very easily. The rivers were thus still rather low and only a little off color. A hatch of lightly greyish Baetis mayflies started to appear very predictably at around 1 PM and woke up the grayling to action.

I struggled in trying to catch a sizable fish, chiefly because of the sheer numbers and activity of the grayling youths. After a while I stopped my casting and settled to watch the drift of hatching duns and their slaughter by hungry fish. From my place on an old tree stump I could not see any surviving dun passing by alive. The Baetis duns came down like little sailing ships, drifting very gracefully downstream and the grayling picked them off one by one as some sort of sea monsters without showing any hint of mercy.

In a wilder stretch of the Kamenice river I happened to catch an out of season brown trout lady. I released her quickly and carefully, and she rewarded me by posing for a while in the shallow water, so I could make a picture of her in the slow drizzle.

On the Jizera river I caught a smallish Rainbow trout. It has quite surprised me by its unexpected beauty - I am not partial to stocked fish, grossly overweight with their short stubby fins and foolish need to attack anything remotely resembling a food pellet. I was however reminded how graceful they can grow, if stocked as small fry and left to grow feral. Not to mention the unmatched fighting spirit of a nature grown rainbow,

The best imitation of very lightly colored duns proved to be my Eagle Owl emergers, tied in size #18 with wing of CDC and bodies of Eagle Owl herl.