March 20, 2012

Salmon by the day

As at dusk yesterday evening, the 19th of March, 26 salmon have been caught and safely released on Wyebank and Courtfield, of which 8 have been fresh run and 18 have been kelts. All, excepting one 15lb fresh run salmon from Wyebank, have come from the Courtfield water.

The kelts have been upto 40″ in length (27lbs pre spawning prime) and the fresh salmon upto 42.5″, 32lbs plus on the conversion charts. This has been a staggering start to the 2012 salmon season on the Wyebank and Courtfield fishery and surpasses all previous records for many decades for this water.

Jason Conlon's magnificent 27 lb large springer

Rudi Lighert set it all alight again yesterday with a 15lb fresh fish followed by a huge 42-43″ cock salmon from Legg Meadow estimated at 32lbs plus.

These extraordinary results give  8 fish at an average weight of 20.7lbs. Quite remarkable.

Again I cannot stress how good the condition of all the kelts is and how it augurs for a good sea run of healthy feeding kelts which will add to the stock of large fish over the next couple of years.

Wyebank is the challenging water for the fly fisherman and I have no doubt that fish are lying in the pools and runs.

The river is now dropping sharply with the continued dry weather and although there are undoubtedly plenty of fresh fish still to catch the water temperatures will be rising soon and we may have another week or two before they start to colour up. Everyone dreams of catching a great salmon so now is the time to do it.

March 16, 2012

What a week for salmon

After my last post I am proud to report another 18lb salmon for myself from Courtfield caught yesterday on red and silver flying c and a fabulous 27 pounder with sea lice caught today also from Courtfield on a black and silver flying c by Jason Conlon from Chepstow. Jason’s fish was caught in the Willow pool, downstream from the Boat pool, same place as Peter Chilton’s 24.5  pounder on Wednesday and my fish was caught in the Boat pool.

Jason also had 5 kelts today between 10 and 15lbs of a quality that could deceive many fishermen and I had one yesterday giving a total of 9 kelts since Tuesday. The fresh fish caught this week now tally at 10lbs, 15lbs, 15lbs, 18lbs, 24.5lbs, 27lbs giving an average weight of 18.23lbs.

38.5inch/24.5lbs Salmon caught on the Courtfield water by Peter Chilton.

I messed up on the chance of a lifetime by losing a fish yesterday in a break, having not retied my lure after being wedged in a rock and the ensuing tug of war. One never thinks that the unbelievable is about to happen, well we ordinary mortals don’t! Its what separates the truly successful fishermen from the average. I paid the price in a way that has sort of made me come of age in salmon fishing terms.

It was like this. I knew from last Saturday  the position on a very big salmon pointed out by a barbel fisherman. That evening it was too bright and although I covered the fish I decided to leave it until more favourable conditions. Yesterday afternoon the conditions were perfect and I covered the look of the lie to perfection with the fish taking firmly exactly at the spot. Two or three massive and crunching rod bends and surges forward left me in no doubt I had hooked a biggie. After a few minutes of being dictated to I attempted to maneuver  the fish so as to get him towards a slack, when he surged to the surface and rolled, exposing a huge black green back and with a whack of an immense looking tail, sending spray like goodness knows what, went down and literally, down river as I struggled to get the drag right. twenty five to 30 yards out and bearing in on snags I had no option but to apply the brake and stop him. Big mistake, as the rod was straining at maximum the line went and I knew my possible 30 pounder was swimming off laughing. I have yet to land a twenty pounder and have lost two mid twenties. This fish was significantly bigger, maybe high twenties like Jason’s today or maybe a thirty.

Big Fish are here!

March 14, 2012

Amazing salmon start at Wyebank and Courtfield

What a start to the 2012 salmon season the first weeks are proving to be on the Wye.

Yesterday the 13th I had a 15lb fish from Wyebank, upstream from Wyebank crib, on a 2″ black and yellow tube. Today Jason Conlon caught a 10 pounder from Courtfield and lost a 20 pounder and another fish plus a further take on black and silver flying c. Peter Chilton has also today  landed a magnificent 23 lb salmon and a 15lb fish as well as two exceptionally well mended kelts from Courtfield to black and silver flying c.

In two days we have caught half last year’s total of eight fish, the first of which was’nt caught until the 5th of April

March 1, 2012

Back in Action

After a prolonged dead spell of fishing between late November and mid February, with only a relatively small number of pike caught to 20lbs and a huge pike lost, both the barbel and chub have been coming on the feed since the 17th of February, kicking off with a magnificent brace of barbel at 11lbs and 10lbs3oz caught by Paul Haydon from Exeter. Chub around the 3lb mark and a brace of fish in the 5lb class have been caught over the last week. Adam Tobin had a great bag of 5 barbel including 2 sevens, 2 eights and a 10lb4oz fish last Saturday. That is a great catch for the time of year! Jonathan Avery and his Dad from Cadbury Tackle had a good brace of barbel and lost two others on Tuesday 28th.

The top end swims in Legg Meadow have been the favourites, down to the Bay above the alders. The wood bottom end is also producing. I suspect that barbel will be found throughout the fishery so check the where to fish guide and bring a print out with you, when you come fishing.

I shall be away next week but can always be contacted on 07748534782

Now is the time to make the best of the end of season sport which promises to pick up well over the last fortnight as the fish feed to get into spawning condition. Bookings are coming in pretty fast for Courtfield but there are plenty of days still available on Wyebank which is now getting to a good fishing level as the river falls away and not much rain about at the moment.

Tight lines

Don