Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Trout Fever!

After months of waiting the trout season on the Water of Leith is finally open again, needless to say I have been out chasing brownies since the first day! As I've had very little time I've had to take every opportunity to see how the river is faring and over the past week I have had three decent sessions.

On day one of the season I nipped down to fish a couple of pools that had proved productive last year. I geared up with my LRF kit comprising of 7'10" Graphiteleader Corto EX rod, Shimano Technium 3000SFC reel, 6lb Sunline Super PE and a 6lb fluorocarbon leader. I rigged a 1.5g Shirasu jighead with a pink EcoGear Grass Minnow SS and began to fish the pools down the river. I began firstly by casting up stream and twitching the lure back towards me a little faster than the current, then I cast across stream and allowed the lure to swing round in the current before twitching it back up towards me. I worked my way down the pool but it was devoid of life. I approached the next pool scrambling down a wall and crouched quietly behind a willow and I flicked the lure slightly upstream. As the lure made its way back across current towards me I saw a gold flash and watched a nice trout chasing behind the lure. Just as the lure came into the margins he grabbed it, I struck and pulled it out his mouth!

I let the pool rest for five minutes and rigged up the small pink grass minnow on the jig head, cursing my over eagerness and hoping for a second chance at the trout. Keeping things stealthy I knelt and cast across the burn and worked the lure across current. I worked my way down the pool and after a few casts saw a gold flash then another followed by the electric shock of the bite as the trout grabbed the lure. I set the hook and the trout thrashed on the surface before kiting off in to the current, I began lightly playing the fish and fumbling for my camera. I have recently been messing about with taking pictures whilst playing a fish one handed, however I really should have been concentrating a bit more on landing the fish as the fish took advantage of my lack of concentration and threw the hook!

Fish on! The trout kites back into the main current.
Almost ready to land...
Or not as the case may be! Note the taught line...
Doh! note the lack of line in the picture...

I was pretty annoyed with myself as I knew I could have landed the fish if I hadn't have been busy taking photos, lesson learnt! I managed to get out again a couple of days later and decided to fish further upstream. I would only have a couple of hours so I decided I would just hit a few of the pools I knew from last year. I arrived at the first pool to find it beautifully sun dappled and running nice and clear, it looked perfect.

Springtime on The Water of Leith,

Using the same lure and jig head I began to work the lure across and downstream from me. I had got  a quarter of the way down the pool before I saw the wonderful gold flash and felt a sharp bite as the trout slashed at the lure nearly tearing it off without getting hooked. I quickly re rigged another grass minnow and flicked it back across. As the lure swung around in the current the take was instant and solid, whallop! A flick of the wrist set the hook and the trout hung in the current thrashing on the surface. To combat this sneaky trout trick I have the drag set really loose and I drop the rod tip and apply pressure from the side with the rod tip virtually touching the water. The fish then fights deeper as it's not being dragged to the surface. The trout made a few darting runs upstream but soon he was in my net, (see I told you I had learnt my lesson!).

First brownie of 2013, Ecogear Shirasu fine jighead and pink Grass Minnow put this fish in the net.
I have waited months to get back on the brownies and no wonder, stunning fish!

Fantastic, a really cracking wild brownie lean and fin perfect measuring 36cm,what a fine first brown trout of the season. I kept the fish in the net and readied the camera grabbed a few shots before releasing the fish. It went back strongly and I managed to get a load of nice shots of the fish as it headed back into the main current, before disappearing upstream.

As soon as the fish went back I started snapping away.
With the polarised filter on the lens I could see it swim back into the main current
See you next time!

I carried on fishing a few pools further up but there was no further action and my time was up so I headed back. I was elated as it's fantastic to get the trout season underway and although the fishing is very hard at the moment I cant wait to do it again!

Tight lines, Schogsky.

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