Last Friday was the day with the highest temperatures of the week. With the end of spring in sight I found it time to go after the chub so I took a day off from work. I had gathered intel from the locals and they said it was too early yet to spot the cruising chub.
It turned out to be true as I could not spot any free moving fish. The first stop was in de middle of a small village, difficult to cast but I noticed roach in the surface. I fished a small blue dun dry pattern with a foam post and got a few hits on the fly. The noise of early morning traffic bothered me though so I moved on.
The outflow of a mill albeit shallow was my next spot of focus. It was shallow but with the water being a bit murky I figured I could get away with fishing on close range. I fished a perdigon nymph and hooked a couple of small chub and roach. Small chub but in size larger than the roach and dace I had caught upstream recently.
Further downstream the usual chub hotspots where empty. In general no fish where to be seen. The main stream was obviously not yet in summer mode. Plan b was to visit the shallow wide section of the feeder stream at the clubhouse of the syndicate. That stretch usually held smaller chub with dace.
The clubhouse stretch boasted a few fish and the one chub I saw was a decent one. The small blue dun pattern however did not yield any interest of the larger chub.
My thought where that a larger fly pattern would be the way to go. I had scared of most fish at the end of the stretch by casting so I moved upstream and found a pod of larger fish. The big mayfly I fished caused interest and in the end one of the fish went for it like there was no tomorrow. I spotted a big fish near the other bank but it has seen me to and ran off before I could make a cast.
With the targets running out I went downstream to a stretch that usually was guaranteed to hold fish most of the year. When I looked down from the bridge I noticed big chub. The problem was that the steep banks where not mowed yet and the grass was manhigh so I could not toss a fly from downstream. The approach from upstream utterly failed as I was spotted by the fish and caused the fish to run.
The last spot of the day usually good for fish was quite overgrown by the aquatic crowfoot. No fish where cruising and as I battled the long grass I finally found a spot with rising fish. All I could muster was one small chub although I had seen one large fish. The heat really got to me, in order to survive the day I had to visit the beergarden where I enjoyed my dinner under the cool shade of the trees.
Before the weekend summer storms brought lots of rain to certain local areas. I skipped fishing Saturday as the stream was blown out. I watched the river gage carefully during the weekend and figured on Sunday conditions might be fishable.
I went out early to beat the crowds at my first spot of the day. The water was dirty and flow was fast but I had confidence I would catch something. Last week yielded some nice trout and I hoped to get a few more.
With the low visibility the weapon of choice was the squirmy but I hardly got hits. I probed the deeper spots but could only scrap a few fish together. With heavy cloud cover insects activity was minimal. Nevertheless I noticed some small dace rising to the few insects that where around.
I also spotted a few big mayflies and hoped trout would go for them but it did not happen. The spots that yielded the trout last week did not produce fish either. I took a break midday at the water’s edge and sat down on an old deadfall. I failed to notice how rotten it was, before I knew it the deadfall gave way and I landed several feet lower in the stream.
Luckily only my ego was bruised and all equipment though wet survived without any damage. I however looked like a pig, dirt everywhere and the waders filled to the brim. I dried out the gear as best as I could, cleaned up and headed up the nearby hill in order to dry out.
That hill was the first major high point to the east. It housed not only a communication tower but also a derelict missile base from the good old days (detachment of Dutch Airforce and an US army artillery). I nested onto a bench on top of the hill and the wind dried out my wet clothes.
When I finally found myself presentable enough I went on my way and made a short stop at the new pond of our local fishing club. One of the members was feeding the fish and I watched the roach and grass carp go berserk, alas not open for fishing yet until further notice.
I continued my trek and eventually landed at the beer garden where I met up with my fellow club member. The cloudy weather had scared the crowds off so I could pick any seating I wanted. This was the first week when the full menu was available so I got the tasty Parmesano burger with as desert a piece of cheese cake, good days.
I Saw a news report that the Netherlands was no longer considered a high risk area by our neighbors to the east. This meant I could once again visit the good fishing waters of my German syndicate.
The trout where still on station where I expected them and soon I had the first one hooked. Water was a tad high so I fished most of the time with a squirmy to offer some substantial to the fish. I also managed to catch a few dace and roach along the way.
Big mayflies where sporadically on the water but not many fish on them. mostly the small dace. I noticed a big splash near some flotsam and figured it had to be a trout but a big mayfly pattern did not coax a reaction of the fish.
I fished some small deeper ridges at a steep wall when I got a decent hit on the squirmy. The fish got off though and I was not sure it had felt the hook. I fished some other spots downstream from the last hit and returned later in the day to give it a second try. After a few tries I got again a good strike and landed a nice brown trout.
The early start and the warm water had made me thirsty and hungry so I tried to get a seating at the beer garden of the pub. Managed to get a spot in the end and enjoyed some cold ones and pork chops. With months of bad weather and everybody holed up it was no surprise the crowds where out today.
With the river running at a more or less normal spring level I tried the chub section today. In a blustery wind with low temperatures and rain action was non-existent to slow. The dead end side channel a feeder stream yielded my first couple of small chub along with some roach and roach. The feeder stream was dead with the exception of some rising bleak. Way to early in the season of course but you got to check the regular haunts to see what is happening. Spring is in progress and the landscape already looks a little bit green. Hopefully the temperatures will rise and insect activity will increase in order to have some early season dace action.
The first time since trout opener that the river had returned to a normal level so it was off to the stream. A pretty cold day with a steady northerly breeze that made being outside uncomfortable.
It had not frozen during the previous night so I hoped on increased fish activity. At the first spot I found out pretty soon that that was not the case. Spend several hours before I finally found a spot that yielded fish. A deep fished Perdigon and Squirmy caught the fish today.
The dace where no surprise, the gudgeon was. To topp it all off I caught a nice brown trout in one of the rapid flowing spots. Warmer weather is on the way so fishing might finally improve.
The mission to catch fish after a week of stormy weather with lots of rain was sort of a mission impossible. All the water on the fields and in the ditches did not forebode anything good. As expected all the streams where filled to the brim and had coffee colored water.
The plan C of last session was now plan A but when I arrived at the side channel of the feeder stream water was blasting through. I had hoped for better clarity but alas it was not to be. I had exactly one hit on the squirmy and that was it. Had to shelter for an intense rain shower, it was cold rain.
Plan B was to fish the forest section way upstream on the main river. Flow rate was extreme and with the murky water nothing worked. In hindsight pretty normal for this time of year. Conclusion of the day … a total blank. At least I spotted another blue winged olive, if it gets a little warmer fishing might actually improve.
After a short glimpse of spring temperatures went down again. Yesterday the morning started with -5 C. I went out late in the morning when the temperature rose.
During the week I noticed that a fellow club member had caught a quite big chub on one of the streams I fish. Normally I would go there only in high summer, catching a large fish however seemed a welcome change.
I checked out the best summer spots but the water was completely dead. Water was up a bit but clarity was ok, current a tad too fast. The only action was on land with lots of roe deer roaming around and oddly many pheasants.
Plan B was to fish behind the clubhouse where the stream was wide and relative shallow. That spot had to be the day saver but it was completely dead, could not spot any fish activity at all.
Already late in the afternoon the sun was low in the sky and I was still fishless. Could it be, first skunk of the year … nah … plan C was drafted. There was one spot where the local council had done some stream restauration. A formerly straightened part had been changed in a freely meandering stream with a side channel that flooded during extreme high water.
The side channel was my target as it was slow moving to stagnant and functioned as a shelter for the stream fish. When i arrived I noticed many rings on the water so my hopes where high. I fishing only a short time but at least I caught a couple of small roach and bleak. Small fish but skunk avoided.
Next week the weather will change to a more wetter and warmer type. Maybe I will put in some more time at the plan C spot as there are bigger fish in there.
Another week with different conditions. The heatwave had passed, this morning weather was chilly … it was actually freezing. I opted for a late start and went out when the temperature was just above freezing as I hated deicing guides all the time. The skies where clear and blue in the city, as soon as I entered the farmland low clouds and fog rolled in.
Another change from last week was the fact that the water in the stream had dropped 8 inches and was a lot clearer. The good spot from last week was worthless, tried everything but could only muster a tiny dace on the squirminator. The plus side was that I noticed the first small mayfly plus a rising fish.
A spot in the forest yielded more dace with the largest one of the day. Fishing was slow, to cold during the night I figure. Trout season starts March 16th. so I hope they toss in a few stockies for some more action.
As the first day of my season yielded fish in difficult circumstances I figured a second try might be in place. This time I had more time on my hands to check out the stream
Off course the water was still high and dirty but the spot that worked a day before fished well in the morning. Plenty of bites with lots of misses as the fish would often grab the tail of the squirminator. You would feel the resistance of the bite and the moment when the fish let go.
I caught the same mix of roach and dace but this time one of the roach had had some size to it. I tried other spots nearby but had no luck. With the crowds coming out on a sunny warm day I retreated to the forest where I had no luck the day before.
In the forest I tried a few of the deeper spots and felt takes. Did not run into any trout but one of the dace I caught had some size to it. Although temperatures will taper off to more normal values for February the lack of rainfall will hopefully clear the river for next weekend trips.
Alas no food pictures due to lockdown in Germany for the foreseeable future as all eateries are closed. Same as in the Netherlands where there also is a curfew between 21.00 and 04.30 hours. Trying times.
Within one week we went from a cold snow storm to warm springs days. As I had to renew one of my fishing licenses I opted to fish the stream for the first time this year.
Off course it would be difficult as all the snow had melted and all ditches and stream where in flooding stage. The spot I choose to start my fishing session had fast colored water. Whatever I tried I did not get any bites.
I tried an hour or so to no avail, as I had some time to kill before picking up the license I did some sightseeing in the area. I went up what the locals call the mountain which is the first major hill in an otherwise flat landscape.
The license process did not take up much time so I had time left over to spend at the water. Off course I could not end my first fishing day in a blank so I went to the one and only spot that could save me.
The good spot also suffered from the high colored water. The plus side however was the large current seem with slow moving water. Fly of choice was the squirminator that was heavy enough to get deep and had a large enough profile to be detectable by the fish.
It took some time before I had the right depth and speed figured out but then I ran quickly into fish. Small fish but at least some action in difficult circumstances. I was happy to end this nice day with the first fish of the season.