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For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
Mayflies and seatrout.
It's mayfly time. In most years the bulk of the mayfly hatch on my local river is in early June but this year, for a change, there has been a fairly large emergence of these trout delicacies in the second half of May. My pal Nigel, a keen exponent of the maggot fly for catching mullet, was keen to try his hand in freshwater so when he rang to ask whether I was 'going out to play' (my wife's description) I suggested that we might venture to the river.
In fact I'd been out myself a couple of days earlier with the spinning rod (we're allowed to spin after the 16th of May) and had caught four seatrout on a silver Mepps. While I was fishing I'd seen quite a few trout and grayling rising to take mayflies so I knew that Nigel would be in with a chance of breaking his duck. As we walked upstream before starting to fish I said 'I'll just have a cast across the tail of this pool!' Half way back the no 4 Mepps was grabbed and I thought for a moment that I was into a decent trout but it turned out to be a pike. Now I always fish with a trace of knottable wire for exactly this contingency, so landing the pike wasn't a problem. Nigel took a couple of pictures as I landed and released the pike before we continued to the upstream end of the stretch.
I left my pal casting to a rising fish while I tried another spot with my spinner. Apart from a couple of tentative bites I had nothing else but a shout from Nigel suggested that he'd been more successful. I dropped the rod and hurried to take his picture with a nice trout. A little later he had another smaller trout, so he was well pleased with the session.
Our next trip was almost a repeat of the first one with me catching a pike on the Mepps but this time Nigel blanked and I had one seatrout on my lure. The mayfly season won't last long in the current warm weather but there might be another chance for my pal to brush up his dry fly tactics (he's already tying mayfly imitations) before it's back to more conventional approaches.
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My first seatrout, only a tiddler but nice and silver.
A better trout for the Mepps.
My first pike - disappointing but it gave a lively fight.
A mayfly resting on the flower head of a dropwort plant.
Three mayflies that were eaten before the trout got at them.
Nigel casting a fly.
His first trout on a dry fly.
One of Nigel's early, home made imitations.
Another seatrout for my Mepps.
The same fish. Note the strange line of big black spots on its flank.
My second pike. Wire trace essential.
Nigel about to return a smaller fly-caught trout.