It’s not that often that I manage to fit in a whole weekend of fishing but this weekend has been just one such instance. My monthly boat fishing trip was booked in for the Sunday which meant Saturday was to be the day for flexing the fly rod. Following the success of my last session to the River Brue I decided it really did warrant a return trip.
A slightly overcast and chillier than of late, afternoon saw me walking the Brue looking for chub. I saw a few and spooked the majority with my less than stealthy approach. The chub really do deserve the reputation for eagle eyed alertness! I tried various large chub flies, and other assorted smaller dry flies but without a great deal of success other than a few missed takes from smaller fish. Eventually with frustration getting the better of me I switched to the flicker spinner and managed a couple of chub with the largest maybe around the three quarters of a pound mark. With a couple of fish under the belt it is always easier to relax, and at this stage I then felt more comfortable switching back to ‘proper’ flies. I had a few respectable chub come up to mouth the big flies but was still unable to tempt any into a proper take. I did get a few of the smaller chub but just couldn’t tempt any of their bigger brothers. Even with quite large files it is quite amazing how the tiny little chub will have a go, and given their cavernous mouths maybe they’re not being overly ambitious either.!
A move to a different stretch of the Brue did see me manage to get up unnoticed to a shoal of good sized chub. From my hiding place amongst the long grass I could see about a dozen fish up to 2 or 3lbs. My first cast into their midst resulted in an eruption of water as several fish went for the fly the moment it touched the surface – but despite the frenzy I didn’t hook anything. At the sound of the commotion a couple of much larger chub rushed out from the lilypads – maybe 4 or 5lb fish?. With heart in mouth I managed another cast that to me looked perfect and again resulted in a flurry of activity and again no fish!!!. At this point the larger fish all melted away leaving me with just the smaller ones to target. The lesson I think I can take from my experience in this instance is that with the bigger chub a stealthy approach is essential and also that you need to make the first (or second) cast count… Maybe next time!
The successful flies of the day were a Letort Hopper and a klinkhammer.
Just to round off my weekend of fishing I had my monthly trip out of Minehead on the boat on the Sunday. A box of fresh peeler crab, a coupe of packets of frozen sandeels and some ok weather forecast. All should of been great. As it turned out, it was really windy which made the day uncomfortable and the fishing was harder going the anticipated. We did manage a few smoothhounds (both common and starry) as well as a nice spotted ray and shed load of dogfish (as usual) and also a bonus bass! Having said that it was a strange old day really as the hounds didn’t show up in the numbers or size we’d been expecting (or had seen last month), and likewise neither did the rays. Still, that’s fishing…