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...

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Time flies when you're fishing the fly!

I do like to try and keep on top of my blog and not let it get too far behind, but for this post I'm really playing catch up! This was meant to be about the fishing I managed before heading out to Holland for the Predator Tour, but it now also combines the fishing I've managed to fit in since returning.

Most of our fishing throughout May was on the fly, targeting a number of different species. At the beginning of the month we had a very warm, sunny spell - the first of the year, which brought the Carp up on top in my local Rib Valley lakes, and the conditions were perfect for targeting them on the surface.

Flyfishing for Carp is similar to stalking Bonefish and Permit on the flats - landing your fly exactly in the right place is so important, but the excitement of watching a fish come up and slurp your fly down is worth all the effort of chasing a big fish. Then all hell breaks loose with that initial first run that makes your reel scream!

Over the course of a few trips we landed quite a few Carp, most of which weighed 15lbs or more.

Two of those fish were quite special for me - the first of those was a 20lb Ghost Koi, which is a fairly recognisable fish when you look at its blunt-shaped head. I thought I recognised it, and after looking back at old photos, it turned out I'd caught it 10 years and 17 days before, aged 11, on popped up maggots!

The second of those special fish was a new P.B for me, weighing 25lb 9oz. It gave me a brilliant fight and I'm pleased to have caught it on the fly!

On one of the days we were flyfishing for the Carp, we spotted some huge shoals of Roach, and in amongst these were some big fish, which Dad and I were sure were over 2lb. Unfortunately, we only had our 8wts on us at the time - we did target them, and we did catch a few, but the 8wts were a bit overkill. We returned a few days later with a 5wt and some small nymphs and damsels and managed to stalk some of the bigger fish. Although they aren't as big as Carp, it was just as exciting to watch them take the fly, and over the course of a couple of hours fishing we had Roach of 1lb 4oz, 1lb 5oz, 1lb 6oz and 1lb 7oz.

What was interesting to watch was the Roach were being followed by some nice Perch, and Dad managed to catch a couple of these on small damsels.

The Roach were also being followed by four or five Pike, and one of those fish was pretty big - we managed to film it on my GoPro chasing a Roach my Dad hooked, and we both thought it was around 19-20lbs - which links in to my next story. Hopefully, by the next blog post I will have had some time to edit it and put together a video, along with the other fish we saw.

Throughout May, the Angling Trust set up a scheme called 'Get Back in to Angling', aimed at getting people who hadn't bought a rod licence for two years or more to try fishing again, and I organised a couple of sessions aimed at lure fishing. Rib Valley very kindly gave us special permission to lure fish the big lake, and we had two great sessions, firstly with Nathan Inns and the last session with John Cousins. John hadn't lure fished in 20 years, but it didn't take long for him to get back in to the swing of it and catch a Pike. We then went to the area where we'd seen the big Pike chasing the Roach, and sure enough, we watched it follow his lure right to the bank and take it at his feet! It was incredible to watch and we didn't actually realise how big it was until we got it in the net - it weighed 20lb 7oz and was a metre long!

Mid May marks the opening of flyfishing for predators on the midlands reservoirs and it's something I really look forward to after a few months of being closed for targeting Pike, Perch and Zander. The sport can be brilliant and there's always the chance of hooking in to something special, although the fishing seems to have been a bit harder this year so far on Grafham for us, which is the only reservoir we've fished so far. We have had some nice fish though - Dad's caught the biggest Zander at 10lb 10oz and we've had a few 8-9lber's too - hard fighting fish on the fly that I never tire of catching.

The Perch have been obliging though and some nice fish up to around the 3lb mark have fallen for our flies.

Whilst targeting the predators we've also picked up some nice Brownies, all of which have been over 5lbs.

I've also fished in a couple of loch style competitions for the Pitsford Pirates, in the Sportfish Championships and the Airflo International Midland Heat. Unfortunately, we just missed out on qualifying by what equated to just a couple of fish in the Sportfish heat, but thankfully our luck changed in the Airflo heat a few weeks later where we finished fourth and qualified for the next round. Fingers crossed we can qualify for the Airflo final on Rutland in the next heat!

A few months ago, Jonathan Fromant, who had been doing his work experience with Get Hooked on Fishing, invited me and my Dad fishing for Smoothound out of Bradwell from John Rawle's boat 'Daphne Carole'. It was an opportunity not to be missed and we quickly snapped up his offer, not just because if we were to catch a Smoothound, it would be a new species for me and my Dad, but also because the last time we'd seen John Rawle was when I was six, as my Dad and Grandad had many great trips fishing with him on the Florida Keys, whilst my Mum, Nan and I explored Islamorada.

We had action all day long, boating over 100 Smoothounds. To add to the fun, we occasionally had schools of Bass come close to the boat, which we caught on Sébile Koolie Minnows.

There was one crazy period where five of us were all hooked in to double figure fish, the biggest of which turned out to be Jonathan's new P.B, a fantastic fish of 22lb.

It was an awesome day all round and another species added to our lists - cheers Jonathan and John!

Five days later it was June 16th, and whilst we really wanted to fish the Thames on our boat, I couldn't afford the time, so we spent a few hours on my local rivers targeting Chub, Perch and Pike. It was actually quite a hard June 16th compared to other seasons for us, the hardest I think I've fished for four or five years, but we did catch a few fish, including some beautifully marked Brownies, Perch, Pike and a greedy Minnow which took a 1.5" Gulp! Hellgrammite, intended for Chub!

Dad had the biggest Chub of the day, weighing 5lb 3oz, which he watched slam his Havoc Pit Boss Jr!

This month will be a busy and exciting one for me - Fish'O'Mania, The Game Fair, BBC Countryfile Show and other Family Fishing days are coming up quickly, and hopefully, it won't be long before we can get back on the Thames - our boat is calling and I can't wait!