Plenty of Firsts in the Fjords – Part 2

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Following on from the previous week’s post, this is the second instalment of my look back at last summer’s trip to the Norwegian fjords.

The trip provided a number of angling ‘firsts’ for me starting with sea fish on the fly – a colourful wrasse from the shore, followed by a beautiful mackerel caught one blissful evening out on the boat.

A small spate river which, by chance, flowed into the fjord just a few miles down the road from our house would provide a few more new experiences over the course of the week.

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Off to a Flyer

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The season for brown trout fishing on rivers in the UK typically ends this month or, in certain cases, some time in October. This year has flown by and I only managed to get out twice, both trips taking place on consecutive weekends back at the start of the season in April.

I got off to a flyer on the first trip, but then was brought back down to Earth with a bump on the second. But hey, that’s what’s great about fishing – just when you think you’ve got it mastered, nature twists and turns and puts you back in your place. There’s always more to learn.

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A First Winter’s Grayling Fishing – Part 1

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In fly fishing circles, the grayling was for many years considered a nuisance fish. Falsely considered to prevent the more ‘noble’ brown trout colonising our rivers and streams, the species was even culled in certain parts of the UK. However, as angling attitudes have become more enlightened, increasingly grayling are viewed as a prize quarry. This is particularly so in the winter months when the trout are busy spawning and ‘the lady of the stream’ (as the grayling is affectionately known) is in peak condition.

My first attempt specifically targeting grayling in winter was on Lancashire’s river Hodder in 2016 (see Banter in Bowland). I hit the jackpot with two lovely fish gracing my net. Inspired by that success, I vowed to devote some more time to chasing this beautiful fish over the winter of 2017/18. Here’s a look back at how the season went.

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Simple Grilled Brown Trout

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The first fish I caught and ate myself was a brown trout. I was probably around seven and caught it with my Dad on a float-fished worm on the River Wharfe. Since then, I have eaten many and cooked them in numerous ways, but this is my current favourite recipe – very simple, but absolutely delicious.

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Return to Fly Tying

As far as 30th birthdays go, mine was a bit of a non-event. I was in the middle of a big project at work and was at my desk first thing in the morning and did not get home until after midnight, so basically missed the entire day. Moreover, our daughter had been born only two months earlier so things at home were rather chaotic and any thought of birthday celebrations had understandably taken a back seat. However, I did get one great present from my wife and newly born daughter – two Richard Wheatley mahogany fly boxes with a lovely engraved message on them.

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Festive Flies

There are two types of freshwater fly-fisher in the UK: the one that hangs up his or her tackle in the autumn at the end of the traditional game fishing season and the other that ploughs on through the coldest months chasing grayling – the lady of the stream.

It is unlikely that you could read far in any literature on grayling fishing before coming across the name of a fly which is synonymous with this branch of the sport – The Red Tag. Numerous versions of The Red Tag have been resident in my fly box over the years, but only recently did I try using one for the first time.

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Two Birds with One Stone in Lancashire

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Back in July my oldest friend was getting married at Mitton Hall in Lancashire. As I live and work in Moscow, I decided to make a long-weekend of the trip back to the U.K. and, amongst catching up with friends and family, sneak in a day’s fishing.

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