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.
In the latest – autumn issue of Pêche Mouche one of the authors inserted an article about fly-fishing for white fish. This is indeed an interesting alternative, in particular in months when both trout and greylings are protected (whole 3 long months in Luxembourg!). One of the fish mentioned is naturally the chub – it turns out that in the past many French fishers considered the chub to be in direct competition with the trout and killed every one hooked, leaving them on the bank (the meat is considered not to be very tasty). The author says their assumption about the chub competing with trout were false but, unfortunately, doesn’t present any arguments on which his own assumption was based. The issue is of particular interest to me as, especially this hot summer, I saw the whole lots of rivers completely dominated by the chub, with no sign of trout presence.
60 cm Alzette chub, how many little trout were in his stomach?
I do not pretend to be an ichthyologist but I consulted one and read some articles on the web: the early conclusion is following: the chub can be and often is a menace to trout population. Let me cite you just one article concerning Irish waters:
Chub, a popular coarse fishing species in Britain, has already wiped out native trout on one of the most popular trout fisheries in Co. Westmeath. The problem poses such a threat to other trout waterways that the Minister for the Marine, Noel Dempsey, will next month introduce emergency legislation to prevent the introduction of chubb to Irish trout waterways.“
Nice Sure trout, this one is rather safe from the voracious chubs
Yes, both species compete for the same food and habitat and it would be probably naive to think they don’t affect each other. With the difference that chubs are much more tolerant to unfavorable environmental conditions and can survive even in a very polluted and warm water. I saw myself many trout ‘hot spots’ occupied by big hoards of chubs ranging from 30 to 60+ cm. No trout could penetrate there.
“When chub and trout are side by side competing for habitat, the chub will always win”
The question is now, how to deal with this situation? I don’t support killing the unwanted fish (i.e. chubs), apart from it, they are simply too numerous. A good starting point would be a solid research project evaluating the potential threat posed by the chubs in Luxembourg and monitoring it’s influence on other species. This, however, is only a dream, as mentioned in an earlier post, here even the most basic data are kept secret and there is no sign it could change in the near future. If no effort at all was taken to deal with gobbies in Moselle, what to expect?