Monday, 2 April 2012

F is for Fun with mini species and Frustrating brown trout.

On the way home from Ullapool last week Jake and I popped into the Tackle shop in Inverness and picked up a couple of Ron Thompson Ice Fishing outfits. Only £17 for rod and reel we just couldn't resist!

The "Beast Tamer"!

I grabbed mine this afternoon and headed up the water of Leith today to try and replicate Jake's brown trout success of yesterday. I walked up the path that runs along side the river looking for signs of feeding trout. As I passed one pool I heard a splash and cast towards it. I say cast but with the tiny rod it's just a flick of the wrist! As I worked the lure back I could see a nice brown trout following but he turned away. I recast to the same spot and started retrieving again adding a few twitches. A smaller trout darted out and had a go at the lure but just nipped the tail and shot off again. I continued to fish this pool working my way upstream. Two more trout followed the lure but turned away at the last moment. I decided to rest this pool and headed off to the next one.

Started fishing at a bend in the river and noticed a load of smaller fish chasing the lure and nipping at the end of it and then I had an idea. The other day at Ullapool I had missed out on a sand goby because I didn't have any hooks small enough to hook one. Using my forceps I crushed and reshaped a Decoy Rocket jighead so that the hook gape was smaller. I also bent it upward a bit. I then cut a sliver of pink Power Isome and flicked it out again. Again a little shoal of small fish followed it as I jigged it back but I still couldn't hook one. Then Jake rang me to say he could join me for an hour or two and he suggested the tail of a Gulp! Fish Fry would also make a perfect small lure to use. I carefully threaded one onto my makeshift jighead and a couple of flicks later caught this rather big and plump 3 spined stickleback.

My first lure caught 3 spined stickleback. A new PB!

I then made my way upstream to meet Jake. On the way I saw a fellow angler wading on the far side.

I wasn't the only one fishing!

I met up with Jake and we headed a bit further upstream. We saw a few more fish rising but had no luck catching them. Then we heard a big splash a bit further downstream just under an overhanging willow tree. Jake had a couple of casts towards it and on the second hooked his second Water of Leith brown trout.

Jake's second brown trout from the Water of Leith.
 Another nice brown trout. The river seems to have a thriving population of them.

We then headed back downstream and saw a few more trout. We both had a couple of takes but no hook ups. We found a nice pool under a tree on the far bank and I flicked my Gulp! Minnow over. Big flash in the water as a trout had a go at it but again no hook up! A few more attempts produced no interest and Jake had to get home at this point so we walked upstream again. We said goodbye and  I headed back downstream again thinking that I could maybe have another go under the tree on the far bank. On the way I spotted and eel which disappeared into some rocks and also noticed a few small flounders on a sandy patch which was very surprising as I was quite far from the docks that the river runs into. Anyway, when I finally got back down there and had a few flicks there was no sign of any trout lurking under the tree. I did notice some more smaller fish again though and assumed it was more sticklebacks. I thought I'd try and catch another just to prove to myself that the first wasn't a fluke. Tied on my modified jighead again and went with a Cultiva Pin Worm this time. On the first retrieve I paused and let it drop onto a large flat rock and let the fish attack it. A quick tug and I'd hooked one! Lifting it up I realised it was a minnow. Second new species on a lure in one day.

Another new species for me on a lure and another new PB!

I rigged up a Gulp! 1" Minnow again and had half and hour working my way downstream again towards home. Just before I left I had one last trout flashing as it attacked my lure.

Then as I was leaving I saw a kingfisher flying up the river. I've never seen one before and was amazed by how quickly they fly. I just saw it streaking past and caught a flash of it's bright blue plumage. Today has really changed my perception of the Water of Leith. In places it is disgusting with all sorts of rubbish littering it but the fish and other wildlife don't seem to mind! Also catching the stickleback and minnow on a tiny lure has again pushed back the boundaries of what is possible a little bit further! Finally, the little rod is great fun and it's great for flicking your lures in tight spaces. I found the brown trout very frustrating today but there seems to be plenty of them in there so it's only a matter of time before I catch one!

Tight lines, Hutch.

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