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 and sunsets 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...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A Few Surprises

On our first trip after returning from Scotland, we fished a half day on Grafham fishing for zander. It was a difficult afternoon but we did land 2 Zander each. With only an hour to go, my Dad hooked in to something substantial though. It was giving him a hell of a scrap - which gave us the impression he may have hooked in to a nice Pike, and we were proved right. The scales tipped round to 20lb 13oz - an immaculate fish and our first 20 of the year.

We had another 2 half day trips after this and together, we landed 14 more Zander to 11lb 8oz, plus 4 nice Pike.

Before returning again, I'd been invited to fish with my mate, Ashley Gillies, who also fishes for the England Youth Team. He wanted to take me to Elinor, a venue I'd never fished before, to trout fish from the bank. Ed Foster, the fishery manager, also an England International for the men's team, suggested that we start at the North end of the lake. So with Ash guiding the way, we walked round to find a weed-clogged bay that was rammed with trout! There were fish jumping everywhere and shoals of 10 or more would swim past you as you fished - but it wasn't easy. By the end of the day I'd caught 8 rainbows up to around 3lb, many of which were caught just a rodlength or two out, fishing a floating line. The most successful patterns were Diawl Bachs, Hares Ears and 'The Thing'.

The next day Ash and I fished Grafham, and whilst we waited for my Dad to arrive so that he could be boatman, we fished from the harbour arms. Ash fished a Di7 with a booby and a blob whilst I opted for a midge tip and a team of nymphs. After half an hour of fishing I had a delicate bite. It felt much smaller than the average trout - when I got it in it turned out to be a Pike about the length of my hand hanging on to my size 12 Diawl Bach!

Not long after, my Dad arrived so we quickly loaded our gear in to the boat for an afternoon afloat. It wasn't easy but we landed 3 trout each - I caught a good one of 4lb 10oz from Pylon Point.

Ash had never caught a Zander before, so at around 5pm we decided to take him to a few spots where he'd have a good chance of catching one. At our first spot, Ash soon had a bite but unfortunately missed it. After no more bites in that area, we moved on. At our next spot I managed to catch a small one but they were proving difficult, so we kept searching. I was still confident he could catch one, and in our next area he hooked in to his first Zander. He was well happy with his fish, which weighed around 7 and a half pounds. As he was playing it he said it was the best fight he'd ever had - but it would be nothing compared to what he was about to hook next!...

About an hour later Ash hooked in to a much heftier fish - at first, my Dad and I thought he'd foul hooked a big Bream as he could hardly move it and I'd just bumped out of one and there were a few rolling around us. We were both proved wrong as a huge Pike eventually boiled on the surface - but that was only half the battle because it plunged straight back down to the depths. After an amazing fight, which went on for quite some time, we netted a real monster!

My Dad and I fish Grafham a fair bit for predators, and we've only ever caught 5 over 25lbs from there, but on his first ever trip fly-fishing for predators, Ash had landed a fish of a lifetime weighing 27lb 11oz - Wow! I wasn't really jealous...! We took a couple of quick pics and then raced back to the harbour as it was getting late. What a great couple of days Ash and I had - I know I'll never forget that fish - I can still see Ashley's grin now, and who can blame him? Well done mate!

Our next fishing trip was to be on Coleman's Cottage lakes. A good fishing friend of ours, Paul Henson, who works for Rackhams Carpet Company, had organised and invited us to help out and fish at a corporate day for Rackhams there. It was a match consisting of about 60 anglers. After a good breakfast at the lodge everyone began fishing at 10am. My Dad and I took it in turns fishing. Whilst my Dad fished first I tried to help a few people out with my limited knowledge of coarse/match fishing. Some anglers were catching really well including Paul and his boss Ian. We had some nasty rain, but it didn't seem to put the fish off as anglers were consistently catching. At 4pm the horn sounded and the match had come to a close. There had been some big bags caught and the heaviest was 176lb 4oz by Richard Richman. Paul and his boss were also up there with a big bag too, plus Paul also caught the biggest fish - a nice mirror around 15lbs. My Dad and I only managed an average bag of 40lbs exactly. It had been a great day - everyone had caught and after a nice buffet the trophies were given out to the worthy anglers.

A few days later, we returned to Grafham for a couple of half days practising for Trout, as we had had a surprise email from Keith Arthur of Tightlines and Fisherman's Blues. Keith had kindly invited me to fish with him at Grafham for Trout, filming for Tightlines and, if we had time leftover, maybe try and catch a few Zander. To get an idea of how it was fishing, I fished a midge tip with nymphs whilst my Dad pulled with a Di5. Together, after two afternoon's fishing, we managed to catch 21 trout, plus a couple of Zander. Both methods seemed to work and most of our fish came from along the North shore.

The practising went well and leads to my next blog of the actual day fishing with Keith...

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