Martyn White | Thursday, 25 May 2023
Well I didn't follow up on the mullet this week. The forecast kept changing and I almost didn't fish at all, but luckily I woke up on Monday and it was glorious weather rather than the forecast storm. I was still feeling cautious in case the weather turned, so decided to stay local and take a walk up the local river.
The fishing was great, but less successful than It could have been. I had a 12 or 13 fish within a couple of hours but then I ran out of the right flies. That's not something that I like happening to me, in fact it alost never does. But everything was way ahead of when I was expecting it to be happening. I had actually been planning to top up the very flies I needed that day if the weather had been stormy as forecast!
As I walked upriver intending to fish my way downstream I saw a big pod of fish bunched up under an overhanging tree on the opposite bank, they were clearly competeing to eat stuff dropping in. I sat and watched for a few minutes and decided to rig up my rod, I wasn't sure but I thought maybe it was some beetles or maybe ants blowing off the branches. The fish were definitely charging and eating anything that plopped on the surface, so I put on a wee foam beetle and dropped it under the tree, 2 fish charged it. The first fish turned away instantly, the second tracked the beetle for a while before refusing it. I let them settle for 5 minutes and tried again. Same thing, this fish touched the fly with its lips but didn't suck it in.. wrong fly. I'd seen a few biggish ants cutting about so stuck on an appropriately sized imitation and put it in. Refusal. This in itself is fairly unusual for carp, they tend to be opportunistic and less likely to key onto a single prey item than trout or other species.
The fish weren't spooked and kept eating, charging in groups after whatever was falling from the tree. I briefly considered moving on, but that wouldn't do thered be 2 or 3 fish to catch under the tree if I could get them to eat. I didn't want to just cycle through flies because they would eventually spook no matter how tasty the terrestrial morsels were. So I had a mooch in the trees on my bank, no fish under them, but still worth a look. Ants mostly, a couple of beetles but not much else. I sat down under another tree and watched, a big tannish brown caterpillar abseiled down onto me - I'm not sure which butterfly they're from but I usually see them doing this in mid June as rainy season starts to get into full swing, just before the mullberries start to feature. I always look forward to these caterpillars because they make the fish stupid for a little while. I wasn't confident, but I saw another a few minutes later, so back into the fly box. Only one of them in there from last year. On it went.
Cast, eat, short fight downstream of the tree and a nice 5lber was in the net. A quick release, let things setlle for a few minutes and did the same again smaller fish but still good. I burst the hackle on the fly with my forceps, but I was hopeful it'd still work. It did, I had several more fish before I evenially lost the fly, it was sinking by that point and I managed to snag it on some subsurface thing. The only other suitable fly I had in my box was woolly worm type creature. It wasn't he right colour but would stay inthe film reasonably well and look buggy. So I stuck it on and kept going, it worked. Almost as well as the actual caterpillar imitation, as long as it was dropping in under the right trees where the fish were stacking up, I even managed a nice barbel which are always fun to see eating on the top.
I was almost caught out by the creatures being ahead of schedule, and I noticed some very ripe looking mulberries too. Once I get this posted it'll be straight to the vice to get caught up on the fly front!