Good Times

Yesterday was the first day of the official coarse fishing season, when the rivers open up to anglers after a three month break, during which time the fish spawn and recover.

After a couple of months fly fishing and coarse fishing on still waters yesterdays trip was a one which i had looked forwards to for quite sometime.

Tony took us to one of his favourite stretches of the River Ribble and armed with our trotting rods and three pints of maggots each we started off the season in style.

Have a look at the photos below as i dont think my words can really do justice to the great days sport we had, which involved new personal best Barbel for Phil, Neil and myself.

(above) 10 pounds 4 oz of smile! the fish wasnt bad either.
I didnt fish the "hot swim" for long, and had a great walk up river with Tony who showed me some great pools and runs. We even saw a stone loach, a weird looking fish that looks like a cross between a gudgeon and a tiny barbel. As always we turned a few stone over to take a look at the general bug life, there is an amazing variety of creatures that live on the river bed. My next purchase is going to be a fly tying vice so that i can learn to imitate these creatures in order to catch more fish. The quality of representation of the insect is so important and i have yet to find a shop which sells flies of the quality which can be tied by hand. Tying flies will also give me another way to be involved in fishing once the nights draw in, and fishing is impossible. I am sure that the fish which we caught yesterday could be caught using fly tackle - the main factor being able to find a fly rod powerfull enough to land them. My 15ft trotting rod was bent over like a hoop by the fish below which weighed just over 5lbs i wouldnt like to think what one of these fish could do to my fly rods!

I am 42 years old today, sometimes after taking under 13's rugby training i feel 102, somedays after work i feel 102, but yesterday i felt as though i was sixteen again, out fishing with my mates, having a good time catching fish. Was a day out with the guys i shall remember for a long time.