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SWFF in the SW - Jul to Sep 2016

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fly Fishing' started by Matthew Pierce, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Matthew Pierce

    Matthew Pierce Member

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    Here's a roundup of my SWFF season so far.

    Late July - The Lizard

    Over a few dusk and dawn sessions I had mackerel, horse mackerel and pollack on a 3" whitebait fly. When mackerel were striking the surface one evening they ignored a sandeel pattern and would only take the whitebait. It makes sense as I'm sure they were chasing sprats - maybe they don't always just grab anything that moves!

    My best fish was this 1lb 8oz pollack after dark:

    [​IMG]

    Mid September - Devon

    Down with two friends for a week. Conditions were iffy much of the time, with wave action colouring the sea. On the first two tides we blanked, except for Nick who picked up a wrasse on a hard plastic.

    We found some mullet on the estuary, patrolling the margins in hot sunshine. You couldn't miss the bow waves and heavy boils. I think they were feeding on floating scum (as described by MulletFly in his 2015 report) - there was plenty of it and they were avoiding the clear areas.

    Annoyingly, all my shrimp / bug type flies were at home. I had a few small flashy wet flies however. On my first outing I had no takes, but foul-hooked a mullet in the head which took some landing and turned out to be a thin lip:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next day I tried again. After two mullet-free hours, something small and silvery grabbed hold on a slow retrieve - 'basslet' I thought - but it turned out to be a mullet (I'm not sure what kind):

    [​IMG]

    A few casts later I foul-hooked another thin lip - just outside the mouth this time. Impossible to tell if it was trying to take the fly, or just got in the way.

    Next day we tried for bass at LW on an open beach:

    [​IMG]

    The sea was a bit murky close in, but cleared on the flood. In the bright conditions I used a longish leader and a fairly drab fly:

    [​IMG]

    My roly-poly retrieve over a shallow reef was stopped by a bass. Playing it through the waves with the sun beating down felt like the SWFF dream scenario. It was just shy of 2lb:

    [​IMG]

    Shortly after I saw one sneak past my waders parallel to the shore, then had a follow from another. Rich had a schoolie and we met a nice old boy who gave us some local info, so it was an interesting day.

    Back at our usual mark in the evening I was grumbling about coloured water again, but managed three small schoolies on a 5.5" sandeel (Oz's Livebait Fly):

    [​IMG]

    Takes dried up as the light went. Bait was around so I tried the white fly again. No interest, and I still haven't had a single bass on it. Meanwhile, Rich was flying on surface plugs with five bass to 3lb 5oz. I was tempted to use lures myself the next day.

    We started before dawn with 90 mins to HW. As it got light I was in a rocky corner of the bay - still fluff chucking. The water was clear. A schoolie ghosted up behind the fly (OLF again) then turned away. Shortly after I had a gentle take from what felt like a tiddler until it pulled the rod down hard, dragging out line. A three pounder:

    [​IMG]

    Great fun along the beautiful shores of the West Country once again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
    • Great Catch Report Great Catch Report x 8
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  3. SALTWATERFLY

    SALTWATERFLY Guest

    Nice report, well done
     
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  4. galoshes

    galoshes Member

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    Most excellent stuff, my heart always leaps when I see a UK bass SWFF report. Sounds very similar to the fishing I have done this summer though you have done better at sticking to the fly than me- one on the fly is worth many on lure I reckon! Good work
     
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  5. Matthew Pierce

    Matthew Pierce Member

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    Thanks for your comments chaps.

    Galoshes - I would probably have caught more if I had used lures sometimes, e.g. when the water was a bit murky. But as you say, they count for more on fly! Anyway, with limited experience so far so I don't mind fishing in all conditions just to see what gives.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
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  6. SeaCoarseGame

    SeaCoarseGame Member

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    Crac
    Cracking report Matt, loved reading it from start to finish.

    ANY fish on the fly is more rewarding than on a lure rod. Sadly I find myself fishing the fly less and less as I have a shoulder problem but when the opportunity arises and I think I can get away with it the fly rod makes the scene.

    Good on you for sticking with it when your mate was chucking lures as well. Judging by the way you've brought some Mullet to the net you're no slouch.

    Keep the reports coming and thanks for taking the time to post.

    SCG
     
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  7. Matthew Pierce

    Matthew Pierce Member

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    SCG - Thanks and I'm very glad you enjoyed my report.

    I'm hoping to do a lot more fly fishing next season, including for mullet - but with the proper flies as per MulletFly's reports - Daiwl Bach, Shrimp etc. Some of the fish I spotted in Devon looked over 4lbs...
     
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  8. SeaCoarseGame

    SeaCoarseGame Member

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    There's some belters in South Devon. I have very fond memories of big catches of Thick Lipped Mullet from Brixham breakwater in the early 70's ( up to 10 fish per session on bread flake). The shoals are still there but you have to fish for them blind as they stay deep and the new seal population doesn't help!!!

    Torquay harbour used to hold some monsters ( I haven't been for 7+ years) and I'm sure the one I saw lazily meandering about a few years ago must have been close to a British record. Long and as fat as a pig but there's no fishing in the harbour!!!!

    Have fun.

    SCG :)
     
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