With summer in full swing and harvesting going on the best time for chub fishing is near. If only the weather would be more stable things would be easier.
Mission big chub was a fail once again as I messed up the only chance at a big fish. Although some of the banks where finally mowed the high and murky water prevented me from spotting any fish. A few small ones went for the hopper anyway though.
I had three shots at one big chub. In the first and second cast the fish would follow the fly but hesitated to grab it. At the third shot I launched the hopper with a splash in the water and the fish followed and tried to take the fly. Tried as I lost my cool like usual and struck to early … will the hurting never stop… But we will try again with mayflies, hoppers and the odd crane fly imitations.
Last Saturday was predicted a 100 percent rain day by the weather guru’s. It actually stayed dry all day and I even got a tan in the end. Once again I tried to fool the chub and even had some new weapons in my armory. Besides the large abstract hoppers I usually fished I decided to try a more natural and smaller pattern hoping to fool the wary fish.
It was tough again to even get to the water which was btw very murky. This summer is completely different than last one, unstable weather with a constant supply of water. The water just was not as clear as last summer.
I tried some of the known spots and noticed a few fish in the murky water. The first reaction to the new hopper where promising as it was instantly attacked. After a few missed bites and one hooked it went quiet … fish gone. The other spot on the main stream remained fishless.
Next stop the feed, it was clear and had fish in it. Also big ones but I only nailed one slightly larger fish. The problem here was the extreme shallow water, dumping a hopper usually meant all the fish took off. Noticed one pike in the water but without the proper streamer it was no use trying, lots of weed in the water with no real depth to make a long retrieve.
With the fish not cooperating I did some sightseeing and took the long road to the pub. Went for the double cheeseburger this time.
On Sunday I tried the home stretch hoping to find a trout but I hardly found any fish. The squirmy yielded a small dace from one of the pools and that was it, The only thing hitting the squirmy where the gudgeons, small bottom feeders that constantly grabbed the tail section of the squirmy,
I tried some other places but the water was shallow, found a few small dace and fished a small dun pattern to get some bites. The pub visit was early as I had hoped that I would find fish surface feeding in the nearby village. Alas the surface waters where void of feeding fish, a small pink Perdigon yielded one roach and that was it.
A cloudy day with some of the clouds looking like thunder heads, it stayed dry though. Maybe it is time to visit some of the spots that are more off track in order to find fish.
Another hot weekend day thus again on the quest for a big chub. This time I tried again at the home waters but I had difficulty finding fish. Again the banks still overgrown so there was hardly an open space to find to reach the water.
The feeder stream had visible fish and indeed some of the big boys. The big mayfly did not work so I downsized to a crane fly pattern. The cranefly did work as long as it hit the water, free drifting and the fish showed no interest. I got two of the smaller fish relatively fast,
I spotted again a pike along the bank, it had seen me first though and retreated to deeper water. Further upstream I noticed the big chub and I made a good cast near them without scaring any fish. One came up and nailed the fly, I battled the fish successfully but just before I could net it the fish got off.
Back on the main river I battled the long grass and countless horse flies to find any fish. It was really hot and access to the water was virtually impossible due to the tall grass. I spotted a few fish moving but not the stationary feeding fish I wanted. In the mean time the storks where circling overhead, a sign of summer.
I tried the feeder stream on the way back but in the late afternoon all activity ceased. Last stop off course the pub, as the clouds gathered and rain and thunder where predicted I opted to sit inside.
As starters I ordered the Manta platte, a curry sausage with fries. Next was the salad with baked feta cheese. Skipped the desert as I was stuffed. The beer garden had plenty of visitors, amongst them pagans who ordered the strawberry beer .. beer with strawberry sirup and strawberries (lady drink). I made a picture of it otherwise you would not believe what savagery goes on at this side of the pond.
On Saturday I once again went after the chub, there was more activity and I had shots at two good fish. The first big chub had no interest whatsoever for the mayfly I was throwing. The second big chub was in a school amongst small fish at a feeder just behind some rocks.
The strong current made a good presentation virtually impossible so I opted to fish with a heavier streamer. The streamer landed behind the rock and a big chub plus a small one raced forward to intercept the streamer. The small chub was first and nailed the fly.
At other spots I saw fish but could not get them to take the fly. In the afternoon the heat got to me and I went to the main stream upriver in the forest. The shade made it more comfortable to fish. I had two ferocious attacks on the mayfly by a trout but the fish missed both and did not return later.
The next day I opted to go after the trout but the weather had turned as a front with rain, wind and lower temperatures passed overnight. The stream was up and murky but still good enough to fish. I opted to fish the squirmy and had many hits from the small gudgeons that where pretty active in the increased flow.
I hooked a good trout but after a long battle it threw the hook before I could put the net into action. Nymphing did not work that well so fished a small blue dun pattern with a foam post and caught several small dace.
I tried the spot where I lost the trout earlier later in the day. After many fruitless casts with the squirmy and the mayfly I tied on a heavy perdigon nymph. Heavy was the way to go as the fly went deep and yielded an attack of a trout, a different one than the one I had seen earlier.
Before I left for home I tried to get the first trout out of the pool that I had lost earlier that day. I decided to fish a small weighted conehead streamer and to my surprise the trout I was looking for chased the fly a few times. The fish did not commit so I called it quits and went to the pub for dinner.
For last Sunday I had planned an early trip to a section of the stream that is beyond the stretch I am allowed to fish. I purchased a day ticket and was at the water around 06:00 watching dozens of fish rise.
As with the trip last Friday the banks where virtually inaccessible. The only way to safely reach the water was by means of the steps at the small gage house. I fished a small blue dun pattern and the first fish of the day was a small bleak. Most of the fish rising where small bleak but some chub where mixed in.
The water was just too deep to move around in hip waders. Next stop was the fast riffle above the weir that was accessible by wading from the bank. No fish where rising in that section and blind casting a big mayfly or dropping nymphs in the current yielded no bites.
I moved down to the end of the riffle where the weir started. On the calm water I noticed one rise so I made a few casts with the mayfly. One one of the cast a fish came up and nailed the fly, it was a trout. I only got one jump out of the fish as it threw the hook, bummer.
Further downstream in the shaded part I noticed a couple of chub behind a tree in the water. Casting from the bank would not cut it so I had to go in. The sediment left over from the recent water was tricky though and I landed faster down the bank than intended … in the drink again. With only some wet waders and a covering of mud I continued fishing,
The part of the stream that flowed through the open landscape had no visible fish in the surface. Too early in the season I guessed. I noticed one big chub under a tree but the banks again overgrown with a very steep incline. The water was also deep, once you fell in almost no way to get out. I tried one hot spot upstream but nothing present so I left for the home waters.
At the home waters again no fish visible. I blindcasted a know hotspot with the mayfly and a very big chub came up to suck the fly in. Unfortunately that was at the end of the drift and when the fly began to drag the chub disappeared into the depth.
Next stop the feeder stream, talked with a guy who walked his dog and he told me some big chub where present at a bend in the stream. I went there and behold a few big ones where moving around but rather deep in the water column. Fished from the steep high bank in the outer bend was no good so I had to go to the other bank. I guessed the depth would be just right to wade through but I was wrong, anyways I was focused so I moved on,
The big fish would not surface to intercept the mayfly, I only managed small fish. Obviously these fish where not easy to fool and I guess they did not like my presence. Last stop was the clubhouse where some fish where present in the wide shallow section. Again the mayfly did not generate enough interest for a strike. The only big chub I spotted in the open was not interested in my mayfly as it was pursued by a rather large pike. Both fish disappeared out of my vision, hint for the next time to run a streamer through there.
At the shallow section I noticed small baitfish jumping out of the water and suspected a perch or pike might be present. It turned out to be a chub so I tied on a woolly bugger and blind casted some spots but no hits.
Got a call from my friend that they where fishing the main stream and where taking a break at the pub later so obviously I had to go. Left the pub late and a steady run back home until I came on the bike path through the moor. They had recently installed a set of gates with a cattle grid to give the cows access to the pastures at either side of the bike path.
The cows had decided the bike path was a good place for a blockade. Cows a big and stupid so there is an element of danger, I was locked in a stare down with them. I had no intention to around several miles so I slowly pushed forward and was ganged up by the lot sniffing and inspecting my fishing gear. They made way though in the end … no bulls present this time.
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.
Another sunny day was upon us so again back to the chub hot spots. As it had not rained for ages the water in the stream was extremely low and almost stagnant. I did not manage to spot any large fish or many fish to be precise.
With the sun low in the sky I had again problems just seeing fish. The many bow waves in the shallow water indicated to me that the fish had none of such problems.
I finally spotted a collection of fish near a brigde. The reaction to a dry fly landing in the water was not what I was hoping for. The fish scattered with even the larger ones running scared.
Switched to a squirmy brought a small chub to surface and later on a small sedge did the same. The fish which I did not where totally uninterested in any flies I offered them. Hopefully some rain will fall soon to get some action started.
A bright sunny day just beckoned for chub fishing. An early start was out of the question as it was fall and the morning temperatures where quite low. The first spot I visited boasted some chub and I had the first fish quite early on.
A little walk along the stream revealed a very big chub in the middle of the stream hovering in the surface. I managed to put the fly right in front of the fish without scaring it as I usually do. The chub moved slowly towards the fly and tried to gulp it down.
Tried because yours truly was again to quick on the strike and yanked the fly out of reach of the fish. The fish submerged to be never seen again. A trip to a feeder stream yielded chub nr. 2 of the day and later finally the largest one of the day measuring 40cm.
Fishing was tough, quite some wind from the east and also a sun low in the sky that made spotting fish very difficult for me. Alas the fish had less problems seeing me … they ran …
I left for the stream just as the sun was appearing in the sky. The weather forecast was questionable but early morning started with patches of fog and a clear sky.
Fall was here, crisp mornings with fog and still the possibility of warm afternoons. With the sun low in the sky I could not really have a good look in the water and thus had difficulty with spotting fish. I scared the fish off before I could make casts with only on one occasion a fish that took a look at the large dry fly twice before rejecting it.
With time the sun came higher but also clouds appeared and the wind picked up messing up my chances for sight fishing. A small sedge yielded a small chub so at least I did not blank. The spot I fished was clearly not yielded any fish so I headed to a feeder stream where surprisingly the fish where absent.
With some luck I got two larger fish but still not the size I wanted, fish in the 40 to 50cm range. It was late afternoon when I tried my last spot which frankly had not been good to me this season. Again the lack of sunshine made spotting fish virtually impossible with the fish seeing me first and running for cover.
I was lucky that I spotted the orange fins of a large chub upstream from me close to the bank, I noticed in fact two large chub. I could not place the large mayfly under the bank from my position but I did manage to toss the fly near to the fish.
The fly was close enough to make both fish turn and one of them gobbled up the mayfly without any hesitation. I kept my cool and struck at the right moment resulting in the landing of an 48cm long chub on the 4-weight.
I wondered if moving to the chub section on a day with fog and thick clouds would be a wise move. On the other hand the low water at the upper reaches of the stream seemed equally a waste of time.
I arrived at the chub haunts and had difficulty spotting fish. With some luck I managed to catch one chub near the bank who failed to spot me. I dropped the fly over the edge of the plants on the shore and got an instant hookup.
Other fish I spotted ignored my fly all together, to smart to be fooled by my attempts. I witnessed the rare sight of an eel moving in the surface and if my mayfly had not been stuck in the shrubs I would have tossed it in front of the fish.
When the cloud cover lifted somewhat blue skies appeared, the sun made it easier to spot fish. I still struggled to sneak on to the chub which where in ample supply. Plenty of opportunities but wary fish as expected in a small stream with low water.
Before I caught fish nr. 2 I had some heart stopping moments when a big chub hovered under the mayfly I tried to zip it in only to refuse at the last moment. I refrained from prematurely striking so I had the chance to target the other chub nearby that swam upstream. One cast near that fish was enough to entice a strike.
Time passed quickly and just before I decided to quit I made a second pass at the fish I had scared off earlier. Again the bank side vegetation obscured me from the fish and a cast near the bank yielded fish nr. 3 of the day.
With three fish on the mayfly my day was made and so it was time for a pub visit. With temperatures on the low side a vest was required to enjoy the outside dining. Fall is definitely around the corner.