Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Aggh the dreaded caenis, Straid 21st July

Managed to escape for a couple of hours in the evening. Everything looked great, the was a slight breeze and the sky was clouded over. Confidence was high for an incredible night fishing.

Unfortunately their was a big hatch of caenis and the fish were on them solidly. Started off with my old favorite the f fly but these didn't even get a look in. Switched to a rat faced mcdougal and tried to fish in the holes in the weed at the far bank. This proved more successful and I was soon into a great fish that took me down to the backing, my backing hadn't seen daylight for a long time.

After the first fish the trout moved in close and locked onto the caenis. it was incredibly frustrating seeing them so close and have them refuse everything. After a brief conflab with the manager, a shuttlecock fly was used. This proved to be successful and another smaller fish was hooked. By this time the night had fallen in but we still pushed through till we couldn't see the water let alone our flies.

We had been at Straid about a month ago on a boat but as we were bank fishing this time, we were able to see what the new fishery manager has done to the place. The banks are very accessible now, with new paths cut in the long grass and new pegs. Whilst it was alwaays a great fishery, I feel it will get even better over the next year.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Blackwater Canoe Expedition - The big day

After a week of planning we finally made it onto the water. No thanks to some builders at Blackwater Town, the slipway was made inaccessible so we had to chuck the canoes in at a fly tippers paradise a bit further upstream. Once onto the water everything started to go smoothly.

I had measured the trip using a bit of local knowledge and some common sense, this had lead me to underestimate the length as 3 miles. In the end it was more like ten but somehow we managed to cover it in the time predicted.

As Paul hadn't been in a canoe for about twenty years I took it upon myself to coach him in my softly softly manner, luckily I've known Paul for some time, so he didn't cry after being shouted at for the first half an hour. I would have tried to teach him some more strokes and techniques but he had stopped listening to me after five minutes. Ian needed no such encouragement, an avid sea kayaker in his youth he was happily zipping up and down the river in no time. It wasn't long before we tried to harness his enthusiasm by tying him to our canoe and getting him to tow us.

As usual our progress was hampered by our constant need for caffeine and nicotine, this meant plenty of stops to get the trusty stove and camp cow picnic bag out. Also as I had remembered a camera this time every time a photo opportunity presented itself, five minutes had to be spent rummaging in the waterproof bag to get the camera and then a further five minutes extracting ourselves from the foliage which we had drifted into.

Going at the speed of a one legged tortoise enabled us to appreciate the wildlife and we saw a great many different species such as kingfishers, herons, buzzards and a dead cormorant.

The luckiest animal conversation was brought up shortly but only to get Paul up to speed with the standard of chat.

Luckily we all managed to end the day without any major injuries although Paul nearly received some after leaving one of my life jackets at a lunch spot.

All in all we had a great day and i would recommend this canoe trail to everyone. We wouldn't be of the highest level of fitness, in fact we probably wouldn't even be at the lowest level of fitness, but we covered a good distance and were able to walk afterwards and by the time we reached Bonds Bridge we looked like seasoned pros.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Blackwater Canoe Expedition

This is it. The canoe expedition of the century.

At the moment Thursday 17th July is the official date. The plan is:

1. Ian the Intrepit Explorer and Paul the Paddler and I meet at Blackwatertown.

2. Put both vessels into the water at slip way(fingers crossed they both float)

3. Wifey takes car and visits her friends nearby

4. We paddle down the Blackwater river

5. Stop for lunch at Moy

6. Paddle (or drift, the beauty of going downstream) to the Argory

7. Meet Wifey

8. Wifey takes Ian back to car at Blackwatertown

9. Wifey and Ian drive back to the waiting canoes and we all load up

More information of the Blackwater River can be found here

Also because this is pretty dependant on weather you can check here

Also important to note that we will be covering about six miles of river, even if we fall asleep in the canoes this will take us three hours. I'm expecting to do it less than that once all pee stops and tea breaks are taken into consideration

It is also important that Ian doesn't pick any more fights with inanimate lumps of metal. See previous post for reason.

*Update* As usual once you put anything down inwriting the details change. Originaly planned for the 16th the confirmed date is 17th. My Bad