No new entries for some time. Reason? This beginning of the season was simply a catastrophe. The guys from the dam were releasing cold water every single day from the middle November, whole period of trout mating period. Add to this very late Spring and you have a mixture which is nothing but ‘perfect’. I started fishing this year on the 16th of March already, in Belgium. The water had 4 grades, nothing worked. Then it wasn’t any better, insects were very late to hatch and I saw first fish feeding on them only in May! So far only few mediocre trips with a dozen of dry-fly caught fish, mainly small. I don’t count those caught on streamer, for me it’s rather a hybrid, fly-spin method. Yesterday though it was quite interesting, All started
with a terrible storm that caught me 10 minutes before my fishing lot in the Sauer, the temperature dropped by 10 grades and the water became immediately
dirty, I knew I could expect ‘the best’. I should have given up immediately but decided to stay and try my luck. After 45 minutes of dry and nymph
fishing I reminded myself about a box of streamers in my backpack. Then
the show began, I had a strike of a 35 cm with the first cast, then
every 2 minutes on average. I had my ultra-dry-fly 2 m delicate rod so
used only light baits working directly under surface, saw every single
attack. In around 2h I had approx. 60 strikes but….no single fish
hooked. They were all fish above 30 cm, some nearer 40, they attacked
every kind and colour of streamers but were apparently in ‘no-kill’
mode. This was simply unbelievable, I need to ask Eurostat how it’s
possible statistically-wise. I learned on this occasion how many big
fish live in my lot, they were simply everywhere, behind every stone.
I’ll see perhaps 10% of them with fly-fishing methods, that’s really
sad. However, now I know that you can have fun even on totally hopeless
days, on the condition you have a bunch of streamers. To my joy, the most efficient turned out to be my own baits, even if they don’t look very much spectacular yet.
Having said this, I’m still waiting for the real season to begin.
Baltic sea is rarely considered a true sea in the Western Europe, however it does hide some real treasures, also for us, fishermen. The guys from the FLPS-section Pêche en Mer know it very well and go to Poland every year, looking for cod and other nice fish. I have a colleague who decided to try his luck at the Polish coast with his fly-fishing rod and look for some trout. Before he went we discussed the challenge and I could give him some advice which later proved so valuable. In particular, as his double-hauls are still far from perfect, I told he him to take a running line and a shooting head in order to gain on distance. I recommended also attaching a stickleback imitation. And yes, during his first two hours he caught two beautiful fish, one sea and one brown trout! Carry on the god job!
I can bet the localisation of this ad would contribute more to the popularisation of fly-fishing than years of patient education or hundreds of my videos. It says ‘it works in all kinds of situations’, in this concrete example a champagne bar. To go to one directly after a fruitful session with graylings and trout, who can imagine a better trip? ;). As for me I prefer fly-fishing ‘nymphs’ but one has to admit the ad has a big potential here :). Having said this, I refuse to say anything about the product itself, it can be perfect or miserable, I don’t care.
Not many entries recently as the fishing became very challenging – the trout are protected from the end of September so only graylings can now be targeted with flies. Barbels have somehow disappeared from the water, chubs are naturally still there and in big quantities as usual but I’m afraid they’re only fishable with streamers (that I don’t fish with normally). I don’t want to be boring but yes, the damn dam is doing it’s job, recently the big releases of water take place very often and when such flood wave devastates the river you can forget about fishing. Graylings are quite numerous in the Sure and its affluents despite the fact that the State releases there only relatively small quantities of fish and of private owners only 3% do according to the latest data, which can be probably partly attributed to the fact that the Pisciculture in Lintgen doesn’t have graylings material. I still don’t have all graylings spots worked out, so I’m still experimenting, this concerns also flies but in general all pinkies work fine, while orange ones are also effective. I try to use nymphs in tandem with dries whenever I can, but recently only heavy nymphs who often touch the bottom seem to be popular among the fish. My favourite water are tiny streams hidden somewhere in the forest where I’m completely alone, if we don’t count the company of numerous fish.
They are full of trout and graylings and, what’s equally important, don’t depend on the dam.
Otherwise it’s only thanks to patient exploration of every promising post that you can fish a grayling now. In the summer I like to be mobile and cover big distances, this must change now. However, it’s a different kind of satisfaction when you finally work the fish out. I think I’ll continue till the season closure in December, hope the fish will remain cooperative like the ones on the video below:
In one of my earlier posts I’ve already described the ‘bienfaits’ of our beloved Obersauer Stausee and the damage it makes to the aquatic world in the Sauer ( Green energy?).
I could recently experience directly and painfully the destructive power of the dam. Few days ago, exactly when the graylings started to rush for my nymphs, I suddenly felt a wave of dead cold water flowing down the Sauer. Wearing light waders I could hardly withstand the cold. Needless to say the fish disappeared immediately. Unfortunately, it was just a beginning of a long period of water releases which completely ruined my end of trout season’s celebrations. Imagine what temperature the water has now in the bottom part of the Esch-sur-Sure lake. 6-7 grades? That’s exactly this kind of water that is now released to the Sauer. You don’t even need to go the river yourself to see it, it’s enough to verify the water levels at www.inondations.lu , if there’s no strong rain and the water level suddenly jumps up, this can only mean that the water has just been released from the dam and you better stay home tying flies or gaining some credits with your wife. Currently the water level in the Sauer remains constantly high:
and, believe me….it’s really cold. I think this phenomenon can affect the whole Sauer, until it joins the Moselle, which, in turn, is artificially overheated by the Cattenom nuclear power plant…..complete disaster. As you can see fishing in Luxembourg is not a piece of cake and you must be really versatile and always actively look for alternatives to be able to continuosly practice your hobby with decent results. As for me I plan to visit some smaller creeks in this difficult period, they should not be affected by this effect of shortsighted environmental policy.
When you admit you often go fishing the reaction is normally similar: surprise and a condescending smile, as if really every method of fishing was identical and could be reduced to growing a beer muscle while patiently waiting for some poor little fish to become interested in these terrible stinking worms that we always hang at the other end of our rods. I wonder how many of thus reacting people would have the courage and determination to visit one of those small bushy creeks lost somewhere in the Eislek to try to catch one of these beautiful trout or graylings. One thing is sure, they certainly won’t see what I can see there. i.e. (however it will sound) the nature in its all wild beauty within a very short distance from where they live.
A true fly-fisher must be versatile and quickly adapt to prevailing conditions. If the fish are not very active or hesitating one can for instance switch to shellfish, concretely crayfish:
In the small stream I fish now they are very numerous. Unfortunately, these are all invasive signal crayfish, they look nice but the seem to have completely swiped away the native species. I hope by harassing them regularly I’ll at least slow down their expansion 🙂
It seems they discovered a new fish species, the name given to it is really funny: Plectorhinchus caeruleonothus, deriving from ‘blue bastard’. Why? It is blue when adult and ‘a bastard to catch’ :). Here is one of the websites that describe how to deal with it with fly-fishing tackle. Wish there were some in the Stausee….. 😉
I undertook today’s fly-fishing trip with great hopes as the weather seemed to have finally stabilised, there was some rain lately and the sun was hidden behind the clouds, simply perfect. However, after 3 hours I had only one 25 cm trout and the fish I mostly saw were those pushy chubs. No, I’m not obsessed, they were everywhere, including another big shoal of around 20 fish behind which were shyly hiding two small trout. A disaster, in short. I started to return to my car going downstream and making some occasional casts. Then, suddenly, my fly got swallowed by a fish whose purple-edged dorsal fin made it clear: a grealing! It was a nice one and the fight was tough. I didn’t insist as I really wanted it to make it to my landing net. Unfortunately, after around 2 minutes it simply ‘spit out’ the fly! It was very sad, my biggest one so far simply flew down the stream…..Almost automatically I started casting again, hoping to catch one of his (even if smaller) colleagues. I don’t need to say how happy I was when after 4-5 casts my old friend took the fly again! The fish was already tired and I was even more determined so the compromise was achieved quite fast, it let itself to the landing net and I, from my side, didn’t bother him too long. So the photo is perhaps not ideal but I just wanted to make sure not to do any wrong to this delicate fish:
35 cm grayling will not sound very majestically for some (e.g. Scandinavian readers) but here it is already a nice fish and I’m very proud to be the one to caught it. I hope from now on the graylings will only visit more often my landing net.
I caught both fish today (trout + grayling) with the same fly:
This is for me what French fishermen call “sauve bredouille”, i.e. the last hope in difficult times, just like today.