Hi! My name is Sam Edmonds. Those of you who know me are aware that I am just 'ever so slightly' keen on my fishing and the love of the outdoors.
Fishing has been a part of my life since the day I was born. I suppose it comes as no surprise when you have a Dad that's fishing crazy. We fish together literally all of the time and have had some fantastic times spent trying to catch all kinds of fish here in the UK and on holidays abroad. Along the way I have met some great fishermen and some of these have become really good friends.
The more I fish the more my fascination and appreciation for the sport grows and catching fish is just the start - there is so much more to angling: travelling, nature, wildlife and watching some spectacular sunrises are just a few.
So I'd like to share in my blog some of my fishing experiences, captures and other related interests such as photography and writing. I hope you will enjoy reading it and find something that interests you too...

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Lea Perch and Rib Valley Trout

A couple of days after returning from holiday I was really keen to get back on our local river in search of some nice perch. I was also eager to get a couple of trips in before I went back to school after the Christmas holidays. My Dad was still feeling really jet lagged, but after lots of ear bending he finally gave in to a trip on the Lea. I'm glad we did as, on New Years Eve, I banked two lovely perch caught on jigs; 3lb 7oz and 3lb 3oz. My Dad had no perch but caught two pike.

Over the next week we managed to get in a couple more afternoon trips and had some great sport catching more stripeys. The biggest one was caught by my Dad, weighing 3lb 14oz. It must have been feasting on all the mince pies over Christmas as it was really fat!

Because of a reported large perch being caught on the Lea, Angling Times emailed and asked if I could write an article as they know we fish the river. It was published in the magazine on 25th January. As soon as I receive the pdf from AT I will post it on here.

The Lea was also mentioned on Keith Arthur's 'Tightlines' on Sky Sports in the Fishery Focus.

Unfortunately, our jigging on the river was then put on hold as heavy, consistent rain set in over the country and most waterways became chocolate in colour - only in the past few days has it begun to clear. Because of this we fished a local gravel pit, which had only just thawed out. The freezing cold water made the fishing really tough but thankfully, we still managed to bag half a dozen pike to 8lb and 2 nice perch to 2lb 6oz - mostly on jigs.

Every year, our club, Rib Valley Flyfishers have their annual Fur and Feather match. It had been postponed from it's original date before Christmas because of the freezing cold weather that hit the country. We wouldn't have been able to fish anyway as we were in Cuba at the time, but luckily there was one spare spot left for me on the new date. After a hearty breakfast at the Three Lakes Restaurant, 23 keen anglers set off down to the lake to tackle up and find out their peg settings. Peter Edwards, RVFF competition secretary sounded the horn - and the match began. It was the first time since October that I'd fly fished for trout, and I wasn't sure how I'd get on.

35 minutes in to the match and I finally hooked a fish - but it wasn't on for long as seconds later it came off. However, I felt confident of another take as fellow anglers were landing the occasional trout. The horn sounded after 45 minutes of the match starting and I moved 3 pegs along. On my first cast I had a sharp 'nip', and then the second cast I hooked up - it took a small black and green lure fished on an intermediate line, with a short, 'twitching' retrieve. With a nice rainbow now in the bag my confidence began to grow.

The next swim hadn't produced fish for other anglers, so I was a little concerned, but before long I was hooked up again using the same fly, again to another rainbow. I then went on to land another, and lost a good fish too. All I needed was one more trout to bag up.

My last swim was a good spot where I felt confident I could catch my last fish. I fished hard but the fishing had got tougher for everybody as, literally nothing was being caught. Unfortunately, I ran out of time before I could get that last fish and the final horn sounded bringing the match to an end. I felt gutted, but so did quite a few others. After the weigh in it was back to the fishing lodge for the presentation, where there was coffee, sausage rolls and scones - and lots of banter! First place went to Bart Farmer, who had just qualified for the England Stillwater Team - well done Bart. I finished in 7th place with 3 fish for 2.63kg. Everyone takes in a prize and everyone goes home with a prize, and I came home with a new Sixth Sense floating line, which I'll be spooling up soon!

The fishing had been pretty tough but everyone had enjoyed the day.

Here is a nice Rib Valley fish that I caught in 2010 as we didn't take any pictures on the day as the weather was pretty rubbish: