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Netherlands 26-06-2022

Netherlands 26-06-2022

And Now for Something Completely Different …

I almost forgot about the date today but it was that day when one of our retired palls would do a little guiding for us at an ornamental pond in order to catch carp.

The evil plan was to chum the carp up to the surface with dog biscuits and then use imitations to catch them. Not my kind of fishing but what the heck … one day was bearable.

So the dog biscuits flew into the pond and not long after that the carp came up carefully sucking down the biscuits. 
The Fulling Mill Disco Biscuit fly was by chance a quite accurate imitation of the dog biscuits
fed to the carp.

The fish were wary though and I missed quite a few strikes but I did manage to catch a few fish.
But it was fun to watch the fish come up and most of our group except the guide caught fish.

Netherlands 29-12-2021

Netherlands 29-12-2021

The last fishing trip of the year with the guys from the flyfishing club was upon us.
Location was a nature preserve were by experiment flyfishing was allowed with
a special permit.
Pike fishing was generally not my thing but it was more of social thing thus I
went along for the fun of it.

While the rest of the guys boasted heavy pike outfits capable of throwing halve
chickens through the water I used a trusty glass four weight.
To be honest the water did not look inviting, visibility very poor and no life
to be seen.

The weather looked nice at the start but just as we mentioned this it
started to rain and it did not end until sunset.
One of us soon had a pike attacking the lure, I spotted the pike as it
charged for a second time and it was a decent one.

The first spot did not yield more action for us.
Our guide of the day decided to relocate to a sure shot spot further
The relocation was a good shot as two guys caught pike quite early on.
Even yours truly caught a pike or rather pikelette regarding its size.

And again there were a few misses so fish where present.
At sunset the skies cleared for a moment and the sun actually showed itself
for a brief moment.
Everybody was busy trying to hook those fish that missed bites earlier on.
I was lucky enough to hook one of them, fortunately a lot larger than my first fish.

We ended the day with everybody catching a pike, not a bad closure of the season.

Netherlands 23-05-2021

Netherlands 23-05-2021

A windy and wet start of the day with quite a disappointing temperature to start with.
I went south again to fish the small stream that I had explored recently.
Maybe the rain that fell recently would improve the fishing.
My theory was that the increased flow and murkier water would make the fish less wary.
I soon found out it was not the case as I only managed two small chub and a tiny perch.

I spotted plenty of insects and quite a few large mayflies.
There was nothing on them expect the gulls with the fish going awol.
I also did not see any flanking fish indicating feeding fish.

A loud splash almost made me think a big chub had taken a mayfly.
It was a common grebe who scared the little fish that where present away.
I explored the stream further upstream to see if I could find larger fish.
The water was very clear but alas I did not see any fish running.

The next stop was local stream back home.
I walked for miles and did not see a living thing, completely dead.
I found it odd as mayflies and other insects where on the water.
No rising fish to be seen all day.
The last hope spots yielded a tiny dace and roach.

Water was a bit up, visibility still ok but no action on the surface.
This month was unusually cold and wet so we have to wait if things will improve in June.
As I am up for a vaccine shot I might be visiting the other side of the border again
to see if fishing is better there.

Netherlands 15-05-2021

Netherlands 15-05-2021

Last Friday was another day off for me but it rained most of the day so
I did not go out fishing.
With the last blank still on my mind I put my plan in practice to visit
the feeder stream that was put in use as a bypass of the main river.

I had picked out a spot from the satellite imagery and it actually looked
as good from close up as from space.
The water was clear and looked well … fishy.
But again … no signs of life on the surface or elsewhere.

On my regular water seams between slow and fast water would house
roach, dace and the like but here they seemed empty.
When I explored the stream further the depth diminished rapidly to only
2 ft.
At a slightly deeper pool I noticed the silvery flash of a fish on the bottom
so I tried to catch it.

No big fish but at least something to avoid being skunked.
After a few casts I had actually caught a small chub, very rare in my neck
of the woods.
Think the bigger chub might not be far off I tried further sections of the stream.
Unfortunately no big fish to be seen, I only managed a few small yellow perch.

I followed the stream until it flowed into the main river but even there no
fish where to be seen.
In the afternoon the skies brewed up some rain and I just made it to a shelter
before being soaked.

I was now at the section of the main stream that formed the border between
the Netherlands and Germany and I just could not resist to visit the other side.
I found a neat border stone from 1766 marking the border between the Duchy of Gelre and the Bishop of Munster, still the border today.

Dark clouds of the showers I just dodged headed north in the direction I had to go
so I killed some time trying to fish the main river.
Nothing was moving though, it is not a good sign when a mayfly can sit on the
water without a murder attempt of a trout, dace or chub.
When the coast was clear I made a run north with in my pursuit some nasty clouds
that brought the next batch of rain just as I got home.

The whole shiner fishing obviously is not up to par right now.
In a few weeks’ time the closed season for pike and perch will be in swing and
fishing with streamers will be allowed again, I think I give it a try.

Netherlands 13-05-2021

Netherlands 13-05-2021

Another public holiday meant another fishing session for me.
With the proper fishing spots still off limits due to the covid restrictions I had planned to visit a new water further south.
The route led me again close to the border, easily recognizable by the wind turbines common on the German side of the fence,

The river in question was not a fly-fishing water in my book.
I had been destroyed de facto in the sixties and seventies in the name of agriculture and progress.
It meant the end of a free meandering river and the loss of migratory fish species.
In recent years some work had been done of the section near the border so I had a look.

The upper section looked good from the satellite images and when I saw the water from
a distance I had hopes that maybe some fish where to be caught there.
A closer look however made me think otherwise.
The water was extremely murky and slow moving.
Despite the presence of insects (even some mayflies) nothing was moving.

All in all not inviting but I tried anyway and dropped a nymph at various locations where
I suspected fish would be hanging out,
No luck though as I only dragged debris from the bottom.
After the restored part the river entered a basin used to collect the sediment brought in from
A large weir retained the water, on of those killer weirs with a strong undertow right behind the dam.

Fishing seemed useless so I explored the canalized section of the river hoping to see some life.
I found life at another weir where dozens of large fish where milling around in the fast water.
They looked like ide to me, a large shiner species that migrates upriver in spring to spawn.
Seemed they had missed the bypass further downstream and where stuck at the weir.

Tried nymphing for a while but with no takes I called it quits and went north again.
I passed the local stream a few times where some tiny fish nibbled at the nymphs
but in general it looked pretty dead.
Again plenty of insects around but no fish to eat them.
I did spot a few rises but that turned out to be tiny fish of a few inches long.
I fished a small dry F-fly to see what was rising, hooked a tiny dace when I struck on the take.
Yanked the fish almost directly on the bank but it landed in the water before I could grab it,

Seeing all those ide in front of the weir puzzled me, I thought I had red that the river was
fully passable again for migrating fish.
With some further research I found out that one of the feeder streams had been issued
with fish ladders.  The feeder was then again connected via another manmade ditch to
the upper restored section of the river.
Seeing the ide meant obviously that that plan did not work but then again the feeder is
my next target in search for fish.

Netherlands 09-05-2021

Netherlands 09-05-2021

With a sudden rise in temperature I hoped fish activity might be on the up today.
Still not able to get to my waters across the border due to pandemic issues I fished
the muddy stream on my side of the fence again.
Insect activity had increased but I could not spot a single surface feeding fish.
A few nibbles of small fish was the only thing I could muster fishing the nymph.

When I finally hooked a small roach and thought skunk was avoided a pike came
out of nowhere and took off with my fish.
Now I had to battle the pike on very light tippet, but believe it or not the pike 
remained connected.
I made the net ready but at the last minute the pike let go, apparently not hooked.
What remained was the little roach which consequently fell of the hook.

Bites where scarce but finally I hooked another small roach.
Fishing was not going great, the water was a bit higher than usual and murky.
The faster shallow water behind a weir yielded one dace and another small roach.
The last spot of the day was also pretty dead, nothing at all was moving.
The sudden heat had brewed up some dark clouds during the day so I called it quits early.
My skills of forecasting electrical storms had let me down in the past so
I was not going to risk it by staying out.

Netherlands 27-04-2021

Netherlands 27-04-2021

The blank of a few days ago had to be erased so it was off to the stream again.
We had a public holiday due to the Kings birthday and for a change we actually
had nice weather.
The sun was out, the easterly wind was manageable and the temperature was ok.

I went out in the afternoon to enjoy the highest temperature of the day and
started fishing at the spot I had blanked recently.
A deep fished nymph actually yielded a dace which was a good start of the day.
Forgetting the memory card in the camera was not so good.
It had happened before so I was prepared and soon was in business again.
and actually caught a dace at the first mark when I
That second fish however would not materialize.

I had to try another spot and soon found a nice set of weirs.
There was a rising fish but it only came up once so I continued nymphing.
The faster flow behind the weir yielded dace nr. 2 of the day, a good
size fish for this water.

Although the insect activity had increased due to the warmer weather it
was not enough to bring fish to the surface.
With the sun getting low I had one last spot to visit.
The stream at that spot had been put back in a more natural state and
boasted some interesting features.

Dace nr. 3 came from a shallower stretch after a couple of missed takes.
To bad I had not brought my hip waders with me because some
spots required a little wading to get the best drifts.
Three fish was not bad, the sun was already moving behind the trees
so I called it quits.

I took the shortcut through the moor and circumvented all the highland
cows that where laying on the road.
Best not to startle them when they have offspring moving around.
As usual the roe deer came out at dusk so I managed a few snapshots
of them along the way.

Netherlands 25-04-2021

Netherlands 25-04-2021

The new covid restrictions in neighboring Germany had cut me off from the good fishing grounds
across the border so I had to hit the B-waterways at home.
As if the pandemic troubles where not enough we also had the coldest spring on record.
With the constant northerly winds temperatures dropped deep and fast during the night which
was not very helpful for fish activity.

The weather forecast foretold clouds in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon so I left
pretty late for spot nr.1 on my list.
Tossing small nymphs on an indicator yielded some subtle strikes but nothing stuck.
When I went to spot nr.2 another fisherman had setup on the location I had in mind.
I tried further downstream but did not see any indications of fish … totally dead.

About two before sunset I was back on spot 1 … but now occupied by a flyfisherman which
was pretty rare. 
Turned out to be a tourist from the west of the country who tried his luck.
Talked a little shop and watched how he falsely hooked a little bottomfeeder, at least
he was fishing deep enough.
He had the same problems though … just dead water.

When he left I tried as the sun was setting and it was getting cold again.
The last cast was extended dozens of times and I finally hooked a fish which I
subsequently lost.
As we still had a curfew I had to stop otherwise the day could end expensive.

Tomorrow we have a public holiday, might give it a go once again but
with an east wind and a cold night I fear it will be tough.

Netherlands 28+30-12-2020

Netherlands 28+30-12-2020

With the year ending it was time for the annual pike fishing session with some of my friends.
Due to pandemic  issues we where left with four attendees but all in good health and spirit.
The plan was to visit a local stream and harass the pike if any where around.
As a result of several days of rain the stream we wanted to fish was  dirty and high.
Combined with  the presence of other anglers we switched to plan B, fishing a nearby canal.

The canal was dug in 1887 to transport goods from nearby Germany to the Netherlands.
Soon after its opening the competition from railroads made it obsolete and shipping ceased in the sixties.
Some of the bridges where replaced with culverts and now it was just used for drainage and recreational purposes.

We tried but the action was slow to non-existent.
Only one of us actually landed a small pike while another one had a hookup but missed the fish.
It was still a pretty day to be outside and nice to see everybody doing ok.

The fact that I would end this shitty year with a blank sat not well with me.
With the company closed for the holidays I had some time on my hands and decided against better judgement to give it another try.

A look at gages from nearby rivers did not promise anything good, everywhere the levels where
double of what they should be.
When I came at the stream close to where I live I heard the water rushing and as expected it was high and dirty.

I first tried to dump a squirmy along the edges of the fast flowing water hoping to entice a yellow perch to hit the fly, it did not work.
With the lack of visibility I figured the only thing that could work in these conditions was a large flashy fly.

As I had the four weight with me large flies where a no-no but I had two large black and silver streamers that where light enough to do the job.
I added a nice trace in front of the fly and probed the more slowly flowing eddies.
Within half an hour I got a hit, a small pike had grabbed the fly.

This was surely a lucky shot and it would be hard to replicate, I tried anyway.
With the water  flowing so fast the only other feasible spot nearby was a
removed weir.
The weir had been replaced by a cascade of small dams and the wide pool at the end would be my next target.

This time it took longer for a fish to hit but again a small pike decided to hit the fly.
As I noticed the crowds arriving I figured it might be a good time to spot.
So in the end the last fishing session of the year ended with success leaving me to wish everybody the best for next year.

Netherlands 30-05-2020

Netherlands 30-05-2020

I fished a local stream late in the afternoon.
The perdigon nymph yielded the first fish quite early in the session.
I caught a good size roach and hoped for more of the same.
Alas it stayed quiet for a long time.
I tried the squirminator but only had a few hits of small fish.

I switched back to the perdigon as the worm did not perform that well.
The perdigon was intercepted by a gudgeon, fish species 2 of the day.
I tried several other spots hoping for fish but nothing happened.

I switched to a heavier tippet and a lure as the sun was low in the sky.
My choice of weapon was a small woolly worm with a bullet shaped head.
Something was chasing the fly, a perch lunged forward and took it.
To my surprise a second perch about twice the size tried to eat the fish
I had just caught.

I continued fishing the spot where I had last fish contact.
The perch where wary though and only nibbled at the fly.
I suddenly felt a tug on the streamer.
A small pike had hit the fly and was actually going ballistic.
I landed my first pike of the season despite the lack of a trace in the leader.

I tried the last mark of the day as the sun was setting but only
hooked a piece of submerged wood.
I called it a day when the mosquitoes came out at dusk.