Wednesday, 5 November 2008

End of Days

As winter slowly ebbs closer & closer my window of opportunity to get out and chuck some fluff dwindles due to a number of factors. Firstly daylight this far north becomes shorter and shorter and the ever decreasing temperature becomes colder and colder and before you know it the lakes start to freeze over which for a Pike fly-fisherman like myself means only one thing. I have a long four months ahead of me.

With my boat back on the trailer and the float tube packed away in a box ready for our move to Vaasa at the end of the month I’m left with having to skulk the shoreline of some of my favourite lakes by foot, and at this time of the year is certainly not the most productive means by which to fly-fish due to a couple of factors. Firstly any respecting pike will have now moved into deeper water, which would be out of reach of any cast I could make and secondly finding a lake that doesn’t have a tree line that cloaks its shoreline allowing me to have a decent length of line out during a back cast is practically impossible.

With all that in mind I managed to motivate myself enough to get out anyway. Clear blue skies, 0’c temperature and a mirror for a surface are what greeted me & are certainly not ideal conditions in any stretch of the imagination. To be truthful I’d decided that if I was going to have any fun today it would have to be targeting Perch, so I was pleasantly surprised when only after my third cast I felt something snaffle my small black and red streamer. I always have this sense of achievement knowing I have something on the end of the line that I have specifically set out to catch. Their erratic head shakes and skittish darting movements under the water as well as their reluctance to come to the surface is a sure give away that you have managed in that quest.

He fought well and like all Perch seemed much larger than he actually was (size unimportant). Actually I must have stumbled across a decent shoal as over the next twenty minutes lobbing out short 8-10m length casts I banked 5 more, the largest just under a pound.

Although an exceptionally enjoyable little session was had, I walked back home wondering whether It might be my last for the yr………..I can only hope not!


dry flies and deadbaits said...

I love perch fishing, they are truly amazing fish, their aggression never ceases to amaze me. Most of my perch trips are in summer on a local canal, similar to pike most of the takes are close-in and very visible, brilliant sport on my 3 weight!

David Edwards said...

Perch come a very close second or even equal first with pike... I think these little thugs of the fish world are one of the most attractively marked fish... Mmmm... maybe I'll go down to the river tomorrow and have a go at the perch... sadly the stillwater doesn't have any perch of notable size.

All about the grab said...

Scott: When you go out with your three weight are you specifically going out to target Perch on the fly? and if so are you doing it with or with out a wire trace.I know a wire trace wouldn't been needed but just in case you manage to accidentally hook a small Pike!

David: You took the words right out of my mouth.I have read so many wonderful stories over the years about perch. Like so many kids growing up it was the first fish I ever caught with my Grandad and where my love of fishing started.
My favourite fresh water species has to be the Grayling, and yet I don't fish for it very often.Something that I am definitely going to start next season though.We have good stocks of the species here, and in Lapland they reach sizes in excess of 3-5 lbs.

dry flies and deadbaits said...

Simon i do intentionally target them, patterns dont seem to be overly important but the action has to be right. I favour flies with a heavy head which gives a good nose-dive jigging action. I dont use a wire trace as i catch pretty much 0 perch with them. The pike very rarely spring up and when they have there have been no problems.

The pike tend to be tiny, like 10 inches long tiny and are 99% of the time hooked in the scissors.
It's something im paying more attention to now though.
Possible solutions include using heavy fluorocarbon, say 15lbs, this should be tough enough to withstand the tiny pike teeth, but invisible enough not to put off the perch.

failing that, i could use some clear plastic tubing over the leader.

All about the grab said...

Scott: there is a chap in my blog list called JayMorr with an interesting fly called the "Macdaddy" an offshoot from another fly tier which you should have a look at.He catches salmon and trout with it but as he says it might be good for other species as well.I will tie some over the winter and give them ago for perch in the summer.The dumb bell eyes he uses on them would be perfect for that jigging action you were talking about.
Have a look its a blinding photo tutorial.

dry flies and deadbaits said...

I really enjoyed reading through the blog you recommended, how cool do tiger musky look?!?!
I think i'll have a bash at tying up some of those, they look like a great pattern for perch and early season river trout. Thanks for the heads up!