Late Season 2007
To all those caught by the fly...
Well, the season has been extremely good and could have been even more productive had the months of June and July given us less wind speed. Clients this season saw just under 2000 bass coming to their rods with just over 10% of these were fish from 3.5 lbs to 7lbs which is double that recorded of mature fish in the last five years, to those of you who had these fish and to name a few (Paul Harman, Anthony Cope and Nigel Holland ) well done and I hope your season was as enjoyable as mine.
On a number of occasions during 2007, we had enough time to experiment whilst working heavy lines over parts of the fishery in Chichester harbour and were rewarded with consistently better fish. Four to six inch per second lines were retrieved on a slow figure of eight with Permit crab patterns popped up in their bodies with polystyrene balls allowing the fly to be retrieved like a booby on a trout reservoir. The most interesting observation was the ferocity of the strikes unlike when fishing standard clousers, when the takes can be really quite tentative as the fly gets hit with the tail or snapped at by the tail feathers. The crab patterns seemed to invoke a very confident response almost as if the bass were so used to seeing this particular quarry that they would vortex the fly in without hesitation and then continue to forage for the next victim, the results were extremely violent strikes with the fish firmly tight on the line.
Once again this year the lunar cycle dictated where we concentrated our time and the most productive sessions were seen against the intermediate tides and not the big spring tides, keeping the clarity in the water column clear enabling the Common and Little Terns the ability to spot the herring fry and white bait through the water. As a guide and to all you fly rodders alike, these birds will narrow your target zone as visually they allow you to home in to where the bass are feeding. Remember, feeding birds do not necessarily mean there are Bass in your area and if you are unsure there are two indicators I use to increase that probability. The first is to watch how the water surface reacts when a bird aborts its aerial assault maybe due to its quarry moving deeper. The shadow of the birds wing beat when working just above the surface will normally spook a bass feeding near the top layer which results in a break in the water column. The bass will dive for deeper cover. If you recognise this sign it’s a safe bet your predator is in or near the bait ball. The other indicator I use is to recognise when birds are resting or marking an area of water. To recognise when birds mark a potentially productive area watch what they do with their heads when sitting on the top layer. A bird has eyes where a human’s temples are and in order for them to see in the water column when sitting on the surface layer they move theirs heads to the right and left. This has leant me to believe that their quarry is too low for them to reach by aerial assault but is however below them and they therefore wait patiently for a feeding shoal of bass to push the bait ball higher. Not the best sign for you and I but a sign none the less and one which may potentially offer up sport at a latter stage of your day.
Lastly, my season here was finished off with a week’s trip with Chris Stuart to the Eastern Seaboard in Connecticut. We fished from the shore whilst guided with Ed Mitchell who is regarded as one of the best fly rodders in the U.S as well as being guided in big 29 foot Tritons by Dan Woods and his team.
I am still in shock from what we caught and we managed to triple up on False Albacore, Blues and Bass all into double figures whilst there. This fishery is very mature and offers the salt water fly rodder the opportunity to test 8-10 wt’s to their maximum test curve. Albacore are in the mackerel family and are so quick you can hear your line cut the water when they run, whilst Blue fish have the appetite of a lion which hasn’t fed for a year! Finally the Striped Bass, which although is a different family to Dicentrarchus Labrax looks not only similar but feeds in the same way and can be found in areas you wouldn’t be unfamiliar with if I have guided you myself. You’ll be at home fishing for them, they’re just bigger and further away from home.
If you would like dates for the 2008 season for being guided in Chichester Harbour and casting instructionj ust request the spread sheet and I will send through accordingly; or if you are interested in travelling to Boston at the latter end of next season which will be hosted by myself I have a number of slots left so either call me on 01243 785496 or 07767 820 268 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out prices, dates and details.
Remember, Gift Vouchers are now available for the 2008 season in West Sussex and proved very popular last year. A great Christmas present alternative so just email for details. Tight lines,
Tel: 07767 820268 or 02