Sunday, 11 May 2014

Fishing by the Paddy Fields

Today I went to check out a river near by that  I hadn't fished properly, it's part of the same system as the one I usually fish-they both feed the same lake.  Every time I've been it's been full of old guys bait fishing for crucian carp and it's generally pretty dirty because of the wind and the rice fields.  I actually only realised how big an impact the rice paddies make today.  So I had checked it out on Google maps and I was sure it would become more fly friendly if I followed it away from the lake and the easily accessible spots.  I was right... to an extent
Clear water, overgrown banks for cover, but very tight ad a lot of high banks.  It had quite a good head of fish including some of the biggest Asiatic barbel I've seen,  didn't catch any today though.

The river

So the nice tall grass is great for hiding, but the dead rushes and bamboo that was lying around not so helpful.  I spooked about a million fish before I actually got a shot at a nice little fish. which was perfect, except the fish flat out refused my San Jaun worm.  A quick change to the egg that was in my hat and I was off the mark.  A small fish, but it's always nice to get your first on any water.

The river stays nice and small and clear for a couple of miles, before it opens up a bit.  after the water got bigger I switched to a brown tailed hybrid and caught another couple.  The third fish took me to 150 for the year, so it's shaping up to be a good season.

Then disaster struck, and I learnt a lesson about rice paddies and fishing.

AS I was working my way back downstream I noticed that the farmers were planting and flooding the paddy fields, it seems that they flood and drain them before re-flooding after planting.  However I'm no expert and it might not be how it actually happens.  The thing is though, all these fields were connected to an irrigation system that drains into the river bringing tonnes of silt with it. As soon as I got level with the area they working on the water was like chocolate milk, forget sight fishing.
Obviously this has been going on for generations, but I still wonder how it impacts the system.  I'm sure the carp like it as they are getting mineral and invertebrate rich substrate to root around in. But I wonder about the impact it's having on the rest of the inhabitants? Problems caused by agricultural run off are well known in the west, I'm sure the natural balance must be affected here too.

Some fish in one of the irrigation canals