Carp off the surface!

One of the most exciting things I’ve caught on a fly rod has to be a carp. The build up to actually hooking the fish is very intense. Actually getting the fish to feed from the surface on what looks like an empty lake as they sulk on the bottom can be electrifying. Recently Terry and I stumbled across a small lake (which never gets fished) full of smallish carp up to around 6/7lb – And the owner was nice enough to let us have the last hour until dark with our fly rods.

Recently I’ve been trying out the New Airflo  Super-Stik fly rod. It features a deep red colour and is available in many lengths and weights – I’ve got the 9′ 6″ #6/7 and have been using for all my small-water stuff, and chose it have a crack at these carp  - and im glad I did! It’s not easy casting a lump of foam – well. Putting it exactly where you want can be tough, especially in this instance as a brisk sidewind made things a little tricky, but the Super-Stik performed well and the accuracy you can get with ‘the stik’ is unrivaled in my eyes for the money. Anyway, enough about the rod and more about the fish.

We managed to blag a couple of slices of bread from the fishery owner, brand unknown, and hurled them into the pool. We threw the bread in at regular intervals creating patches of food for the fish to feed on, our thinking was that wherever they were in the lake, we would find them quicker with multiple sections of feed – and it seemed to work as the far right hand side of the lake was the first to see any action.

Distinguishing three different fish feeding at once, all were just out of reach, this called for more bread, creating a trail out into the middle of the lake was all that was needed to tempt the fish closer. Before the fish could make their way any closer I pitched a cast just above the bread trail, hoping mine would float down with the wind and be one of many piece the fish would eat.

Within 20 seconds or so a fish had locked onto the trail and was making its way towards my offering, a foam bung which I had cut down in size. Those lips appeared and gently engulfed my fly… From past experience you MUST leave a carp eat it and not strike as soon as you get any indication of a so called ‘rise’. So giving the fish a couple of seconds I struck and hooked into this magnificent looking fish I estimated around 4lbs in weight?

Kieron Jenkins Fly Fishing For Carp

Kieron Jenkins Fly Fishing For Carp

Kieron Jenkins Fly Fishing For Carp

Chew Opening Day!

Kieron Jenkins Chew Valley Rainbow Trout

First Chew trout of 2014

The past weekend saw Chew Valley open it’s doors to boat anglers for the first time in 2014, for the Saturday, I was lucky enough to secure a boat – And Friday afternoon we had the all clear that the boats were heading out after some hairy weather and strong winds.

By the time we arrived after meeting the Bristol boys at the Blue Bowl Inn for breakfast, many of the boats were already out, hidden away behind the island and in Herons bay. Following the Fleet, we headed that way ourselves and setup the first drift at the back of Herons.

With the usual ‘early season fishing’ in mind, I tackled up with a new fly line I got over the winter, the Airflo Sixth Sense Competitor line Di5/di7, these have been available for a while but I have never had one until now. The line has a sinking rate of 7 inches per second at the head and a 5 inch per second running line, forcing the head to sink faster than the belly.

First thing I noticed is how well it casts. It’s a VERY heavy line and is tough to aerealise, but by using the weight to shoot, just like a shooting head, the line would reach 30+ yards almost every cast. However, it was apparent that it was too heavy in Herons and hooked weed almost every cast close to the bank. As we moved out to deeper water, along nunnery and out off the point, it was working well and fishing deep was no challenge.

My cast consisted of the same flies from the week before on the Opening day at Blagdon, and an 18ft leader made up of 8lb Sightfree G3.

Terry and I fished hard through the top end of the lake without a take, until we hit Nunnery point where we both missed a fish. It was until we hit the deeper water off the point that my line locked up perfectly just a few seconds after it landed with a beautiful rainbow of around 3lbs in weight.

As you can see from the picture, the Competitor fly line features the hang markers just like the rest of the Sixth Sense range – And boy was I thankful as each time the head marker (10ft long piece in the middle of the fly line) came to the tip, the fish would take indicating they were about 6/7 feet down.

I wont tell you how Terry got on… If you’re interested, I think you better ask him yourself! (NOTE: There’s no pictures of him this time!)

Opening Day on Blagdon Water!

So March is packed with opening days on most of the major Stillwaters in the UK. The weekend just gone saw Terry and I head to the Blagdon Water for the first days boat fishing since the end of the season last year. The 15th of March was a very welcomed day in my diary this year, after taking four boats in just two weeks last season on Blagdon Water, and the introduction of petrol engines on blagdon made it all that little bit sweeter.

We arrived at the newly refurbished Seymour arms for breakfast with Dean, Gareth and a bunch of BRFFA anglers, the talk was mostly fishing and the near perfect conditions that lay awaiting outside, with a rippled Blagdon just a stonesthrow away.

It was 9am before we left the Seymour arms and headed to the lake; cars were already parking outside of the gate! After parking up and paying for our boat, we set up our fishing equipment on the boat whilst headed to the north shore for our very first drift.

By now the sun was high and the wind slightly stronger, personally I opted for the Airflo 40+ Di 7 for three reasons. 1) The 40+ gives you the added advantage when throwing a longer line, although it’s not something I do every cast when using a 40+, the added few yards are a massive bonus when there are loads of bank anglers around and getting a drift within 50 yards of the bank is tough. The longer fly line lets you cast that little bit closer. 2) The wind, which was growing in strength, means that you catch up to your sinking line very quickly whilst drifting, and being a competition angler, it’s a rule not to let it go behind the boat. The (Di 3/5/7) 40+ fly lines have an intermediate running line and a faster sinking head so the depth of the line is kept a long way from the boat meaning you have plenty of line for the time to sink away from the boat, before the retrieve of the head. 3) The angle. I love the Angle of 40+ lines for fishing the hang. The almost vertical retrieve path of the Di 7 allows you to fish the hang much better than any other line on the market.

Flies wise I set up with the same cast as last year, a sunburst booby on the top dropper with a pink and orange booby on the point. A simple two fly setup on 8lb Airflo G3.

My first cast produced a beautiful rainbow of around three and a half pounds in weight, a fish that looked to be overwintered, or stocked early this year at least. As we continued our drift down the north Shore, in and out of bank anglers, all of which were catching fish (!), Terry and I netted over 20 fish.

Kieron Jenkins Blagdon Rainbow

As the day wore on we made our way around many of the usual haunts that we like to fish on Blagdon. We found fish at almost every mark, with the largest concentration of fish being in butcombe bay. Other anglers were taking fish on buzzers and nymphs whilst Terry and I stuck to the middle of the bay, the only section we could get a decent drift due to anchored boats, and took many more fish, loosing count after the first drift through! Right at the end of the day Terry managed to reach a milestone in his lake career and I slipped the net under his first every pike!

Terry Bromwell First Pike

GAC Open Weekend

Last weekend Colin, our National sales manager and I managed to get to the Glasgow Angling Center open weekend to help promote their Airflo fly fishing tackle stock. Over the three day open weekend we met many guys in the trade, other exhibitors and plenty of great customers, which we hopefully helped them make an informed choice on their new fly lines.

One thing which was great to hear is how well the Sixth Sense lines range have been performing. These lines need no introduction and are classed as the best sinking lines in the world. The Super-Dri floaters also had a great reception, with many GAC customers walking away with either the Lake Pro, Xceed or the Elite as their new floating line for the (now upon us) new trout season.

Many of you will know that I have plenty of experience with shows, as working with fly tying material supplier Celtic Fly Craft for a few years, these shows took me around the UK and met some great fly tiers and fishermen, some of which, were at the GAC open weekend.

glasgow angling center open weekend

Where’s Ronny? Click the picture to enlarge (look for the guy in the red and white cap!)

Glasgow Angling Center Show

Happy Trout Season

Hurra! The trout season is officially upon us here in South Wales. It’s this time of year I’ve been looking froward to for so long, time to get back in the boat and don the waders to hit the upper Taff and Ebbw. This time of year has seemed so long away with the never ending bad weather we’ve been experiencing, but the fly boxes are full and my enthusiasm is fueled ready for another (hopefully) great year.

Here’s a roundup in pictures of the highlights from my 2013 trout season.

Kieron and Gavin River Taff

Kieron Jenkins Welsh Rivers Champ

Kieron Jenkins Taff Brown Trout

Kieron Jenkins Taff Brown Trout

Kieron Jenkins Taff Brown Trout

Nick 6lb 2oz Brown Trout

Fulling Mill Flies Early Season Trout

ronsfishing-rutland-rainbow

Top Team Wales

Top Rod Terry Bromwell

Kieron Jenkins with a Fish Blagdon

Terry Bromwell Fishing Blagdon

Terry with a lump from Draycote

Terry Bromwell First Draycote Trout

Kieron Jenkins Draycote Rainbow

DSCN0748

Ronsfishing tiger trout

Kieron Jenkins with the New Super-Stik

Kieron Jenkins with Big Rainbow

Kieron Jenkins Big Rainbow

A hard Farmoor

It’s not very often you head to Farmoor and see posted on the wall that there was just ONE fish caught between 4 anglers from the bank the day before. The boat statistics were better though, with 70 odd fish caught, but with the weather taking a turn for the worst, the ranger called and canceled our boat we had booked just as we were arriving. Not feeling the need to turn around and go home, Dean and I thought it would be better to jump on the bank and try our hand.

They weren’t wrong! The fishing was tough, the water had seemed to have risen to maximum capacity and with so much fresh water being pumped in the fishing tends to die off for a few days until the fish get used to the temperature of the new water and move in closer to the banks.

Each cast Dean and I made from the bank, our flies would get completely engulfed in weed, so it seemed with the water being so low for spell and no frosts to kill the week back, it thrived and grew at a very specific distance out. Now the water was higher, the weed bank was further from the shoreline than we anticipated, keeping the food out beyond most peoples range and only a BIG cast would reach the other side and put your flies anywhere near the fish. Fortunately I managed to get 4 good casts in throughout the day and nailed a fish each time. I finished up with four and lost another two at extreme range.

Each fish took the Fenton Cat Booby on a 15ft leader.

Farmoor fly fishing video here:

Ellerdine Lakes

Ellerdine Lakes are somewhere I’ve never fished before, I don’t do that much small-water fishing other than when the rivers are out of condition throughout the winter. The trout season for me is packed with lake competitions and also river comps the last few years – being lucky enough to qualify for the rivers team – So my spare time is spent practicing on these waters rather than branching out and hitting small-waters.

I said this winter that I would certainly try and fish more of these small-water venues, considering most are now offering catch and release.

So, Ellerdine? After picking up Terry and Dean we made the two hour journey from south Wales to Shropshire and were greeted by Edd the fishery owner and Stuart Smitham. Breakfast was served, some fishing tackle items bought in the onsite shop, and we set out onto the lake for some fishy therapy.

I won’t divulge too much into the day, but we caught plenty of fish on a variety of methods – Here’s a short video I made fishing ‘Lakemoore’ – an Airflo 40+ Fast Glass and one of my Krystal Strangle Cats.