Feeling the pressure…

The new issue of Trout Fisherman, out today, contains an article on barometric pressure and its effect on fishing. John Parker recorded periods of rising, falling and static pressure and their attendant catch rates, for each day on which fishing took place at Earith Lakes over a 12-month period.

The demands of space meant that only a summary of his findings for each of the four seasons could be printed in the mag, so for those of you interested in the full picture, his day-by-day data is set out in the tables below. We will be happy to refer any queries you may have to him.

Click on each table to open it in full size.

KEY TO TABLES:

Winter: Dec 21 2013 – Mar 19 2014

Spring: Mar 20 2014 – June 21 2014

Summer: June 22 2014 – Sept 22 2014

Autumn: Sept 23 2014 – Dec 20 2014

Temperature reference:

A – Feeding Prospects Poor – Water temp (deg C) below 4

B – Feeding Prospects Fair – Water temp (deg C) 4 to 6

C – Feeding Prospects Good – Water temp (deg C) 7-10

D – Feeding Prospects Excellent – Water temp (deg C) 11-16

E – Feeding Prospects Good – Water temp (deg C) 17-18

F – Feeding Prospects Fair – Water temp (deg C) 18-20

G – Feeding Prospects Poor – Water temp (deg C) above 20

Pressure:

Rise = an increase greater than 2mb

Fall = a decrease greater than 2mb

Steady = an increase or decrease of no more than 2mb

summer&autumn catch rates winter& spring catch rates Rev1

Salmon fishing – be prepared for deep-pocket water…

Just had some ads for salmon fishing courses sent to me.

Three days on the Tyne – in February – for 100 pennies shy of a grand, per person.

Four days on the Tweed in August, £1,399.

And then I had an email offering me a week’s five-star accommodation on the Greek island of Kos for £579. I won’t be going there for the time being, either, but it was at least nice to be back on planet Earth.

How’s your freeloading skill set?

Freebie

Image by Scott Maxwell

What starts as an innocent enough eulogy to blagging freebies at fishing shows turns into a shameless masterclass in the art of proving that there is indeed such a thing as a free lunch.

Were the GoFishing Show still in existence, I and my colleagues manning the stands would have had a field day using the Golden Beetle’s pointers to unmask any copycat impostors.

As it is, should you be in the market for some top-of-the-range gear at this year’s CLA Game Fair, you might be well advised to leave your polo shirt in the wardrobe…

Funny how you never see a mending instructor

American fishing guide John Berry speaks up for mending as the forgotten side of the line delivery process:

“The Federation of Fly Fishers has a complex and complete program that trains and certifies casting instructors. There is nothing in their curriculum that pertains to line control. The emphasis of the program is distance and perfect loops. That all looks nice, but line control is more important in catching fish than casting.

“Line control is the control of the fly line on the water after the cast has been made. Whether you are fishing a dry fly or a nymph, the object is to manipulate the fly line in order to achieve a perfect, drag-free drift for your dry fly or strike indicator.”

The steamy quest for Cumbrian sea trout

English: A 60cm sea-trout caught (and promptly...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, so I’m sure it can get quite lonely in Cumbria’s open spaces, but is this really how sea trout fishing begins to feel to those who fish there? Or is it simply the presence of the BBC that drags everything into trouser territory?

For 13 minutes of Radio 4’s Night Fishing documentary, in which Grevel Lindop celebrates the life and work of local poet and angler Tom Rawling, against the backdrop of a night fishing session on one of Rawling’s old haunts, it is captivating fare.

Thereafter, things take a bizarre turn, as the angler accompanying Lindop through the nocturnal gloom alludes to a sensual dimension to the pursuit of their prey. As if relieved to discover that the drive north from London hasn’t been a complete waste of time, the presenter pounces on this titbit like an owl on a rat.

“That’s fascinating, because in the poems, Tom Rawling often talks about the sea trout as being female and there’s very much the sense that fishing is some kind of courtship…or seduction…”

Like two adolescents whose guard has dropped while sharing a copy of Razzle, there’s no stopping them now:

“She’s calling us…luring us back to the water…”

“Mmm, tempting…”

“The catching of the fish is the marriage.”

Her virgin scales cling to my hands…

All of this triggered by the quite preposterous statement at the 13:55 mark – “It’s almost a sexual thing, I think – flyfishing at night…”

I’m sorry, I’ve had some wonderful evenings with rod and line but never have I been even remotely tempted to draw this analogy. There are some things you say when you’re fishing with your mates and then there are things you say when fishing with a Radio 4 microphone under your nose, and this, I would suggest, is a Category 2 statement.

But then it could just be me. Why not make the same point next time you and the gang are wetting a line, with darkness closing in around you? Do let me know if the conversation goes any differently from this…

“I don’t know about you guys but this is starting to feel like a sexual thing.”

[SILENCE]

“You still there?”

[AN OWL HOOTS]

“Guys…?”

Mike Roden

There’s nothing informs quite like the Internet but it has no sensitivity filter.

One minute you’re scrolling quietly through Twitter feeds – the ‘rods for sale’, ‘caught this yesterday’ and ‘my mate’s stupid hat’ mundanity of it; the next you’re sitting bolt upright in your chair.

“Just received details of Mike Roden’s funeral…”

I think I met Mike Roden twice, both times at the charming Curley’s Fly Fishery, one of those rare in-town waters where flyline routinely soars against the backdrop of a passing bus and where, on a clear day, you can turn away from the reservoir on the dam wall and see the Irish Sea glinting beyond Southport in the distance.

If it’s not the only fishery in the land with a baby grand piano in the lodge, I’ll be astonished.

Mike was in charge of tuition at Curley’s the first time we met, and running the venue’s fishing operation the second. We shot some instructional video with him on the latter visit and were so impressed at the confident ease with which he imparted information in front of camera, we christened him ‘One-take Roden’ in the car going home.

Friendly and helpful, some people you only need meet twice to warm to them.

Thank you and God bless you, Mike, and my condolences to those you loved.

Flyfishing’s place in the wider universe

From a review of World Cup Cortinas in When Saturday Comes:

“In 1970, the Ford Motor Company loaned every member of the England World Cup squad a car ahead of the forthcoming Mexico World Cup. With the exception of Jack Charlton – who requested a Ford Zodiac because he needed a bigger boot [trunk] for his fishing tackle – they each received a Cortina 1600E.” 

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