Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Freestone sculpins craws and ornmentals

Last week I was lucky enough to have a free slot in my schedule and managed to get out to a new river with recent carp convert Hideto.  Actually Hide had fished the river once before and suggested we go.  after a quick train ride we were at the venue in the outskirts of Tokyo.  The Yanase river is a beautifully clear freestone river running between Tokyo and Saitama prefectures.  

Hide was keen to show me the whole of the stretch we were going to fish before fishing it, which to be honest I found difficult.  There were just so many positive switched on fish feeding in the gin clear water I hated passing them by.  I think Hide's trout stream background maybe still has a grip as he seems to favour and upstream approach - so he didn't mind walking down past the fish to come back up at them.  I think with time I can turn him. I almost never want to present up stream to a carp as it just makes it far too easy to line them.  I mush prefer to cast down and across to almost square to a fish and let my fly drift into the feeding zone ahead of my line.  Make the fly the only thing the fish sees, that way you might get a second shot.

Anyway we started fishing in some water that was pretty deep and fast making it hard to get a good presentation, so I moved a bit further down stream and managed to get a take in the margins on a hybrid, but the fish came unstuck after a couple of runs.  after that we started moving up river.  There are some sections with big rocks and slabs have been set into the river bed creating a lot of pockets in the rough water, there were a load of good fish showing whipping in and out of the fast water and grabbing stuff that was being swept along.  The only thing  I had that would give me a chance of getting deep enough was a small Fish Skull sculpin, It almost did the job for a couple of fish that chased it but weren't willing to commit.


After this section things started to get good the river slowed  and widened a bit and it was easy enough to walk up and around fish so I could make a good presentation that I was confident in. While I was moving upstream Hide managed the first fish of the day on a tan backstabber, it was also the biggest of the day, of probably around 12-15lb (sorry no picture, I'll add it when I get one off him).  I then dropped my sculpin in front of a fish that was feeding behind a tree, the fish was clearly a player because  it moved to the fly only to reject it at the last second.  A quick change to a brown mottlebou backstabber saw me get off the mark after the same fish that knocked back the sculpin inhaled my second offering
Hide took this from the tree the fish was hiding under


as soon As I released my first fish I spotted a lovely ornamental Koi in a small eddy on the far bank.  It was a pretty easy cast to drop the fly in her face and she liked it.  This is the best fish of the year for me so far, far from the biggest but I just love the clourful ones.


After that we continued picking up a few fish before Hide left to get lunch and I stayed on the water, I took another 5 averaging about 8-9lbs while he was away, but only one was particularly memorable.
 there was a fish feeding horizontally against a concrete wall on the far bank quite near the surface, The carp was actually swimming on its side with it's back pointing at me. By this time I had changed flies to a Whitlock's near'nuff crayfish to cope with the deeper water-so not ideal for a fish that was sitting shallow. luckily the top of the wall was covered with enough water that I could drop the fly on it without worrying about it bouncing, a quick almost square lob with an upstream mend to slow the swing and let the crayfish imitation appear to creep off the ledge and dive for the bottom.  The carp loved it and charged the fly hitting so hard it hooked itself .  You can see the wall on my side  in the picture.


Near'nuff crayfish