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Levels 2019-20

 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:13 am    Post subject: Levels 2019-20 Reply with quote

My first Croc trip of the season on the Somerset Levels nearly had to be called off when shortly after arriving I realised I had left my reel back at home. Embarassed Evil or Very Mad However the conditions looked so good that I decided the 60 mile round trip to fetch my reel was worth the effort even if it did mean I wouldn't start fishing until early afternoon. Sad

However looks can be deceptive. While the water clarity was good, I soon discovered that the higher water level meant that access to the waters edge to net fish would be challenging in many areas without waders so I had to avoid areas I would normally fish. This meant lots more walking than I planned to do was necessary.

Despite this, I was still expecting to catch my first fish fairly quickly but after a couple of hours with just one half hearted pull, my spirits were beginning to sink especially as I encountered more weed the higher up the stretch I went. But eventually everything locked up and after short pugnacious fight this rather lean fish came to the net ... Very Happy


After that I fished my way back to the car and as the light started to fall, lots of baitfish starting topping but there weren't being harried by anything below and I didnt have any more action. So despite a slow start it was good to get out again, although I think I'll wait until more of the weed dies back before next time. Smile

Alan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the weather looked promising on Tuesday with little rain over the previous 3 or 4 days, I decided another trip to the levels was in order. I arrived around 10am and was pleased to find that although the water level was up on last time, there was little flow and the clarity wasn't as bad as I feared at around 18 inches. The weather was pleasantly overcast with an almost non existent breeze which later developed in a right to left direction that was no problem at all. Very Happy

I normally fish a clear intermediate pike line I've had for years on the Levels but it has developed memory issues and needs replacing so this time I decided to try a #10 weight sink tip that I have spooled up in my Chew bag instead. I wasn't sure how this line would fish but I had no trouble casting my flies across close to the other bank so I was confident I would get a pull or two.

Sometimes I get a hit fairly quickly but this wasn't one of those days and I got to the point of wondering if it was the presentation or the pike when I felt a hard knock followed by a boil on the surface and a solid pull which told me a fish had locked on! It gave a good account of itself before coming to the net and I 'guestimated' it at around 6lb before returning it to its lair. Very Happy

That fish gave me more confidence in my set up and I didn't have to wait long for my next hit which came from a small jack that would struggle to make 2lb. Rather thoughtfully it threw the hook at the net so saving me the bother of releasing it Another Jack followed which was probably 4lb followed by a missed pull before I reached one of my rest points where I have a brew and take stock. Normally I am prepared to walk another half mile or so on upstream after my break to find fish but instead I decided to retrace my steps back to the car park and fish the clear intermediate instead to see if that line picked up as many hits as the sink tip. To cut a long story short it didn't, and as I couldn't cast the same distance as before I went back to the sink tip and stayed with it for the rest of the session.

I had two more hits before I called it quits. The first was a big single/scraper double that grabbed my fly as I was about to recast but it threw the hook after taking me into some submerged bullrushes and the last one was a short but stocky fish that I weighed out of curiosity and found it came to 6-4 ... a good fun size a fly rod! Very Happy

A few pics from the session. Even when they don't stick they mess up your fly..... Laughing



Good fun on a fly rod. Very Happy


Alan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That fly is well mangled, did it comb out or get binned?
P
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks bad but I've never had to bin a fly that has been munched by a pike, Peter. They are usually easy to tease back into shape with your fingers. Smile

Alan
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