Monday, March 29, 2010

March Madness

I couldn't quite get my head around the fishing this weekend...a touch of Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will").

Wherever there was an underwater snag or an overhanging branch then it wasn't long before it was adorned with a couple of nymphs hanging off it, these tight little streams can really test the patience sometimes.

Things started slow and even this poor
fella had given up waiting for me to catch!

The two rivers I fished in the Welsh Marches looked perfect, carrying a little water with a tinge of colour normally means a 'red letter day', but still the trout were refusing to respond.

Only three trout (+5 grayling) caught in two days on rivers that can produce more than that out of one pool.

Here's a couple of charts provided by DFG to show the closed fishing areas. The Point Reyes Headlands MPA might still be changing. Perhaps they left us too much. At any rate, these go into effect on April 1st. The red areas mean no take, the blue areas are essentially salmon by trolling and dungeness crab by trap only. The pink area at Point Reyes is an area of navigable water that you may no longer enter. For other areas of the coast, click here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Getting Ready For The Rise

Mayfly Dun Patterns

This current lull period that we are in at the moment where the trout haven't got going yet has really got me daydreaming about things to come.

Mid May last year on the River Edw

I'm fortunate to work with someone with as great a passion for fly fishing as myself and most days deep discussions are had debating the forthcoming season and the expectation it brings.

We know that realistically we are still a few weeks from any serious chance of catching more than just one or two river brownies on the dry the anticipation got me sat down at the tying bench knocking up a couple of patterns that should be useful in the next couple of months or so.

Stewart spiders

Midge pattern using a technique demonstrated to me
recently where the hackle is wound around the tying
thread before laying down on the fly

Monday, March 22, 2010

The official announcement from Fish and Game on salmon season:

Point Arena to Pigeon Point (San Francisco):
♦ April 3-30, 2010*
- 2 salmon per day of any species except coho
- minimum size limit: 20 inches total length

* In mid-April, the Pacific Fishery Management Council and California Fish and Game Commission will determine the ocean salmon sport seasons in effect on or after May 1, 2010.
Sport season options currently being evaluated can be found at

So, you for sure have part of April to fish for salmon. Sharpen up those barbless hooks, or better yet, buy new gear. This opener is more about the economy than the fish, so please do your part.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The pier had more and better crabs than the boats last week with the snare fishermen outdoing the netters. When the ocean is flat enough there is pretty good crabbing in the outer bay, out in front of the Estero de San Antonio. The surfperch were not biting on the beach but limits of very nice rubberlip perch are being caught from boats fishing the rocks in the bay. They are biting best when the tide is flowing. The official salmon season vote is on April 15.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Nostalgic Videos

This is a copy of a post I recently put on the 'Fly fishing forums' website and thought that for those that do not visit that site then it was worth adding on here.

I came across these videos on Youtube depicting life on the River Wye and its tributaries through the eyes of 'seasoned' people who have grown up around these rivers and have nostalgic memories to share about them.

The first one highlights some amazing stories of bygone days of Wye salmon and in particular some of the poaching that took place - hard to believe that so many salmon could be taken from one place at one time, I'm sure this could not happen now!

The second video concentrates more on the ecology of the Wye & tribs with some very interesting stories.

Well done to those who contributed and put together these most enjoyable short films.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rivers Got The Blues

Well the end of the Grayling season is nearly upon us and although the trout season has already started on the Environment Agency catchment for the Wye area they are certainly not in too much of a mood to jolt themselves into any sort of action just yet.

Saturday I fished a tributary to the river Wye just on the Welsh borders, the colour of the water here takes on a most unusual turquoise hue this time of year and is typical of a lot of other streams in this area.

Although conditions seemed good the going proved to be a bit of a challenge, this has to be quite possibly the toughest time to fish our rivers with the Grayling going out of season and the Trout in a sort of torpor until temperatures get a bit higher.

The nice thing about this particular bit of water is there is a good average size of the Grayling with some real beauties to be caught.

After 6 hours of fairly intensive fishing I managed to net a total of 9 (including 2 trout) with a few more slipping the hook, although 4 of these fish were taken from one pool.

This I would say was quite typical of fishing this time of to be found in small pockets and long stretches of river seemingly fishless.

I now look forward to the coming months when the sun actually generates some warmth on the body and the dry fly is on the end of my tippet and not in a flybox buried deep in my vest pocket. Part of the pleasure of fly fishing is that every season has something that generates anticipation for the 'all year round' flyfisher.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Well, I tried for leopard shark on Wednesday, fishing from the shore at my secret "good spot". Last year at this time there were sharks finning wherever you looked. Wednesday there was nothing. There is a lot of fresh water in the bay that wasn't there last year. I'll try again when things get saltier. Until then there is still crabbing. Also, those of you who have had thoughts of trying for sturgeon in the bay, now's the time. The sturgeon-to-bat ray ratio just improved in your favor.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nothing but the usual to report. A few dungeness, a few more reds, a few reported surfperch (best by the rocks). The leopard sharks should be moving into the shallows any time now. Best bait last year was half a sardine, the bloodier the better. For the record, it's likely that they're spawning so catch and release would be preferred. And you don't need to display your fishing license any more, starting today. Just make sure you still take it with you.