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.
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.