Friday, 24 May 2013

Fly Fisherman has just seen this years FIRST Mayfly!!!

Wow, the season is late this year on the Wiltshire Avon.  Last year at this time we were desperately short of water, this year we are desperately short of sun and heat!  Having assisted my son in law with a little paint job I found myself walking towards the banks of the River Avon with condtions over cast and windy.  A fellow angler was walking away from the water and I could tell he was not a "happy bunny".  He said "I am wet and cold and the wind makes casting impossible, no fish are rising, take my advice and go home!"  I thanked him for his advice and agreed it did look unpleasant with grey clouds scudding across the sky.  However, when home is 110 miles away, and the river only 50 yards away you have to have a look.  I had timed it just right, the wind eased, a ray of sunlight hit the water and a fish rose with a splash.  Darn it I was hooked, so I legged it back to the motor and got kitted out ready for action.  Slowly the weather improved and so did my optimism!  The river was high but the water was clear and I could see fish clearly taking nymphs and only occasionally rising to take an emerger.  On the SADAC club waters at this time of the year it is strickly upstream dry fly only.  So I persevered with a selection of dries and emergers.  Why dry fly only I hear you asking?  Well one of the characteristics of English sportsmen (and women) is that we like to create obstacles to make things difficult for ourselves so that if we are finally successful there is an enhanced sense of achievement!  It does seem a bit daft to be fishing on the top when the quarry is dancing around on the bottom.
Well to cut to the chase, I saw my first mayflies (green drakes), hooked a couple of nice fish but they ejected the hook before I could bring them to hand (I say hand because I had forgotten my landing net)!  I need to re-read my post dated 30th Jan 13 which advocates using, and details my tackle list!
The weather improved and so did the number of rises.  I found I was responding to takes too quickly and pulling the fly out of mouths that were still open.  This is something I have to overcome every year.
Highlight was when someone crossing a bridge sprinkled the crumbs from their lunch box on the water, suddenly the water was alive with fish, one or two of which were probably 5lb plus!  A fellow angler cast a fly into the boiling water but the fish were intelligent enough to know the difference between wholemeal bread and fluff a la hook!
So the Mayfly have returned.  Sadly I will miss a lot of the Avon action this year as I have two days next week teaching reservoir fly fishing on the drift and then I am off to the States for 6 weeks!  Have rod, will travel, have blog, will post!  Promise!

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