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The Doctors Log
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report Mick! I'll add some of my photos to this when I get a mo!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Autumn social comes and goes and yet again it was a fantastic occasion in every aspect. Until a few days before we should have been congregating at Thornton until the building work that had been going on at the lodge rendered the ground unfit for camping on so it was very much well done to Nigel for being resourceful enough to swiftly rearrange the get-together at Elinor instead, hardly a hardship as the site has plenty of space for camping and Ed runs an excellent Fishery.

Arriving late morning with Kevin gave us the opportunity to get a few hours in once camp had been set up. It was a pleasant sunny afternoon so I got kitted out and set off in the float tube, confident that Iíd remembered enough from our spring visit to Elinor to get the weekend off to a good start. In May Iíd had a good session fishing dries at the far end in front of the pylons but dries didnít seem right so I started with one of Elinorís winners, an apps bloodworm on point with a daddy long legs on a dropper, I fished this combo fast, slow and random retrieves but without even a modicum of success, first day blank but never mind.

This was my first September visit to Elinor and it being so much later in the year a 4.30am start was out of the question, in fact I broke with my usual preference of getting a couple of hours in before breakfast in favour of a lazy start, I did come to regret this later. As I prepared my float tube with Richard a local angler stopped by for a chat and to ask a few questions about float tubing. He was told that generally a float tube would outfish a bank angler or a boat, words that would later spell humble pie when the guy returned to announce his haul of 22 fish, all falling to an olive Daddy. Iíve no doubt the irony was not lost on him especially as Iíd caught just a solitary trout and a tiny Pike, which was the only fish I could entice to take a Daddy. Itís a constant mystery how one angler can bag up so impressively when the same tactics will prove fruitless for another. Many others in our group were also enjoying limited success until Kevin spotted a shoal of fresh stockies congregating off pensionerís point, right place, right time, he quickly added ten fish to his previously modest pair of fish. All in all this was a very frustrating day, on reflection I could have changed flies and tactics much more but at the time there seemed little point as the majority of fish were taking the same two or three flies, Daddy Long Legs, Diawl Bachs, blobs and black Montana/tadpole patterns.

On Saturday morning I decided to fish from first light but first I had to put a new leader on my floating line set up, not a task that should be worthy of mention but this was almost a revelation, Iíd been tying leaders using Wychwood finesse 8lb fluorocarbon having completely forgotten that Iíd pre-tied a number of leaders from Leeda Profil 8lb fluoro, same strength but a much smaller diameter line. I tied on a three fly team of tequila blob on point followed in sequence by Daddy long legs and Diawl bach. There were fish moving very close into the dam wall so I targeted these fish without success until I got a tip off from Kevin that there was a concentration of fish out towards the middle from the wheelie boat, he was right enough because I picked up two fish in quick succession before it became apparent that they fish had moved on though I quickly found more further towards the middle out from the boat dock where I picked up a further three, all five had picked out the Diawl bach! Buoyed by such a successful session for me I took breakfast full of confidence for the rest of the day but Elinor has a habit of luring me into a false sense of security and so it would prove to do so again, I wouldnít catch another fish until late in the afternoon, try as I might I just couldnít get on the fish. In fan casting and moving constantly it felt like Iíd covered virtually every inch of the lake. Eventually I would pick up another five fish all to either the Diawl bach or the blob, this was a much strived for milestone, my first ever double figure haul, this was more like it but was the contributing factor switching to the thinner tippet material? Itís a hot topic in some quarters, discuss.

Sunday morning came around way too soon but with much to do in dismantling the camp it wouldnít be a second first light start, but once stuff was packed away sufficiently I headed out. I like to use the final day of a social to be a more experimental, more about putting together the experiences of the previous days and trying out any ideas that I may have had leading up to this point. The wind was blowing at itís hardest this day with some big swells rocking the tube all over the place, as such holding station was a problem. Iíd decided not to venture too far in the wind, opting to canvas an anti clockwise circle from the dam slipway up to the boat dock, across to the far side then back down the margins in returning to the dam wall. Spotting any surface action was very difficult in wind but as I reached the shallow bay on the far bank it was noticeably calmer there, sheltered from the wind by trees and with lots of leaves and bugs being blown into the water, immediately there were signs of fish in the shallows and out towards the middle at the edge of the ripple. I picked up a quick pair here, both taking the tequila blob, then I got a call to say that the far right corner of the dam wall was 'on fire', even in a howling gale I couldnít get there before it was all over and the fish had moved on, this is the Achilles heel for float tubers, itís not the fastest form of transport! Following a brief break to put on another layer of clothes and pick up an anchor the final session would be spent mainly anchored off the dam wall, casting at the shallows, I picked up another pair of fish but Kevin and Nigel would be in the right place at the right time once again, both reaching double figures. Well done chaps.

Barring any impromptu gatherings 2017ís Socials have drawn to a close but I have gained so much fishing knowledge this year, it has been amazing and I can wait for the angling calendar 2018 to begin.
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Last edited by drsixty7 on Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:24 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good report there Mick. Sums up the weekend's fishing.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:22 pm    Post subject: Elinor 2018 Reply with quote

Years come and go with increasing speed, not always a bad thing when it means Elinor comes back around quickly too! I love this social, so much that together with Zimfisherboy we stretched this one out from Thursday to Monday! The weather forecast wasnít great with rain, thunder and lightning all in store for the next few days but I thought I had all bases covered... after a short stop for breakfast we arrived on site at around 9.30, in packed, sorted out tents then wasted no time in getting the tubes out onto the water. As usual it takes a while to figure things out but I generally begin where I left off the previous year so first fly on was a black blue flash damsel, followed by the other usual suspects, apps bloodworm, blobs, Diwali Bach and even buzzers, I managed six fish on the opening day to a mixture of apps, damsels and my first ever catches to a daddy. The greatest luxury of Elinor is being able to fish from first light and I managed to be on the water by 4.45 ish, there were lots of fish topping of the dam wall, before I set sail I made a couple of casts from the bank at rising fish and to my delight I was in, second cast! I managed another three from the tube before stopping for breakfast, after which I struggled to get back the fish until much later in the afternoon when I spotted a pod of fish lazily finning around in the middle of the lake, I had an F-Fly on my smaller 8í 4wt. They went for it every cast and thankfully I made five or six fish stick though I lost easily as many before the light failed and I was forced off the water.

My favourite fly is the F-Fly but it does have an Achilles heel, fish slime, catch one and thereís really not much point continuing with that fly, it will have lost its buoyancy, even frogs fanny doesnít fix it. My own Achilles Heel continues to be failing waders, despite my best efforts and those of Diver Dave it would seem that my current set will never be good enough.

Saturday morning and another esrky start but there was nothing doing this time, not before breakfast at least, maybe it was the weather, clear skies or my own superstitious feelings about the big match in the evening but I just couldnít get on the fish. I did manage one in the morning to an apps but then had to toil until early evening to pich up my second and final fish from the reeds on the far bank. Following the drowning of the sorrows I didnít manage my customary early start but once tha nausea had passed I made it out onto the water to do battle with the stiffening breeze. Despite feeling worse for wear I decided to cover as much of the lake as possible, venturing off first along the the margins towards pensioners point, i got sporadic interest but nothing major until hitting the weedy area near shallow bay where the best tactic seemed to be to travers the weed bed retrieving flies right across the weeds, there was a good supply of fish either side of the weed bed and I picked up four or five fish this way, all falling to a small browny purple hopper, the middle of three similar flies. Next I paddled along the line of the pylons picking up the odd fish, then I found a good concentration of fish near the entrance to the bay to the left of the pylon, switching to F-Flies again was irresistible and I picked up fish regularly by casting into the calmer patches of water. This tactic lead me to experiment by paddling back through the entirety of one long, wide wind lane to the bank adjacent the boat dock, a chat with Bob the previous evening had lead me to this when heís said the fish like the flatter water because this is where food is deposited. I got plenty of interest by casting too the edges of the flat water and at any rises I saw, I picked up another one or two fish switching between F-Flies and my team of daddys. That evening there was a very lively rise off the dam wall and I picked up two late fish to complete my best ever day at Elinor.

Monday was a bonus day so maybe it was the lack of pressure or the honing of skills and knowledge gained over the past four days but Kevin and I found the fish quite quickly and had loads of fun. There were two boats anchored fifty yards or so off the dam wall, the second boat to arrive got into the fish immediately and stayed on them, they reliably told us they were fishing with pork pies(!) but as I didnít have any I Pete severed with an F-Fly which despite taking four fish was vastly inferior to Kevin who picked up 12 with his big daddy, I got plenty of offers, six casts in succession but they wouldnít stick, tremendous fun all the same. Although we were still on the fish we called time on Elinor 2018 at 1pm, I loved every minute of it as always.
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Last edited by drsixty7 on Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:37 am; edited 7 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report Mick.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report, Mick! Cool

Sounds like you did far better than I did this time and I too am looking forward to my next visit. Cool

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was my Dad that taught me to fish, introducing me to coarse fishing as a young boy. It had been many years since weíd fished together, the distance we live apart being one factor, me preferring to fish with a fly rod being another. A couple of years ago I promised him weíd have a day out for Fatherís Day but finding a suitable venue in the North West proved difficult, that was until by chance he found Latham Fisheries, just a 15 minute drive away from his house. Although it boasts four lakes itís not the biggest of venues but beggars canít be choosers. We dropped in on the venue the day before to be doubly sure and check that my tactics would be permitted too. The two guys running the fishery assured me it would be OK but couldnít guarantee Iíd catch anything, no one had tried fly fishing there before. We both got up early Fatherís Day morning, full of anticipation for the morning ahead. The car park was packed as we pulled in, two matches had been arranged and scores of wheel barrows were being loaded with all manor of who knows what. As a result we had a choice of just two of the four ponds, my dad not being great on his feet opted for the nearest and smallest, choosing a peg midway along the rectangular shaped pond, I took the peg to his left limiting me to less water but it was the widest section too.

Armed with 5kg of the cheapest mixer dog biscuits and half a dozen deer hair imitations I chucked a handily ofvfreebies into the near margins to see if I could entice anything to come to the surface, it didnít take much more than a minute for mouths to appear and even less to be into my first fish, a Mirror of 6-7lbs, my Dadwas still setting up but he was even more surprised to see me fighting my second just minutes later, and so it continued without a let up until we called it a day at 2pm with a total in excess of 25 fish for me and ten for the senior citizen. If Iíd landed every take Iím confident the count would have been half a century.

Such was my success and the apparent unorthodox methods I had started to attract attention from other anglers, suspicious glares from some while others came to chat and enquire further how it was done, one pair said they didnít know you could do this with fly rods, we thought it was all feathers and tweed, Ďit doesnít have to beí I said, Ďitís just fishing but if a coarse water will let you on it is the best fun and much more affordable than a Hampshire chalk streamí. AscI packed up I took some biscuits to a small group of kids and told them that if they can get a biscuit onto a hook they should be able to imitate my methods, my dad had successfully caught using a deer hair fly fished under a weighted waggled!

This was one of my most memorable days fishing ever and canít wait to do this again, Iíll defint fish at Latham again but would like to find other venues that would allow a fly rod on their water. If you havenít tried it yet I urge you to give it ago, it really is great fun

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:47 am    Post subject: A varied day and a new fixation Reply with quote

When one of your best friends enquiries about one of your passions itís only polite to accommodate them and so when my mate Andy said heíd met a manager of a Test beat I said Ďyou best learn to chuck a fly line thení. And so yesterday I gave him a crash course in fly casting, after an hour or so heíd nailed it, not that it should be any great surprise, heís an intelligent fellow and an experienced carp angler, but this was the first time Iíd attempted to articulate the method of casting to anyone. Ironic too that it took me such an age to get any distance out of my own cast. Following a quick lunch we decided to have a go at catching a fish, it was a warm day, bright sunshine and high water temperature, those fishing gods were against us, but he got it completely, the stalking, portability etc itís just a shame he didnít catch. I sent him home with a spare rod, reel and a selection of flies to practice with and a loose plan for a days fly fishing, perhaps even for carp!

While we fished that afternoon we noticed a constant parade of tench in the margins, I tried everything in my fly boxes but nothing but a yellow blob could make them turn and that was all too fleeting. Theyíve probably never seen sweet corn so would they even associate an imitation as food? This will now become my new fixation, the search for a suitable fly and baits to imitate is on.
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