Sunday, 29 April 2018

Perch Needle in a Watery Haystack

Date fished 27/4/18 to 28/4/18

For Giles's Annual Birthday fishing trip, he invited me to Ullswater to fish for Perch with lures, light rods and a roving approach that would require cars. At 7 miles long, half a mile wide and up to 60m deep, Ullswater is one big haystack.

We met at Pooley Bridge at 10am after both dropping the kids off at school ( non eupho),  no such dawn raid on this incredible water. We parked up and started with small lures around the old pier structure. Trout all around us taking the emerging flies off the top. We both changed to spinners, casting right on surfacing Trout but they were all preoccupied with the flies and none wanted our lures.

We continued, wading out to where the ledge started, plunging from waiste deep to 20 or 30 feet plus. Switching back to paddle tails, I was first to have a follow. A Trout following right in to the clear shallows chasing my lure. A few casts later, I was in. The rod shaking as I did battle with a small but strong fish. We both hoped Perch. A Trout of about half a pound came in, darting around. Unhooking itself just as I bent down to pick it out the water.

We then walked to the new pier where Giles worked a drop shot rig in and around the structure, only to be interrupted by the steamer coming to collect passengers.

We then went back to the cars to try a different spot. Driving to Howtown, remembering to pause the Finygo App that was recording me. This time we arrived at a different pier, again working our lures around the clear water that suddenly turned dark as it dropped into deep water. Here we were happily fishing until once again the steamer arrived! It seems we were on the wrong timetable, maybe the Finygo App could include local ferry timetables in its database?!?!

Eventually we left to find a new spot, where the water and wind were warmer, because although the sun was shining, the air was bitter cold. We fished under the trees, again casting to surfacing fish. No Perch came to see us. We wondered if they were still in the deeper water, maintaining a constant temperature.

Birthday boy had to head back, but I fished on. I had booked a bunk in Helvellyn YHA so could benefit from evening and the following morning. I drove to the West Bank and fished as many of the parking areas as I could. There were plenty of Trout still surfacing but as the wind got colder, these soon stopped. It was time to pack up. No further fish were caught.

A bite to eat and a pint in the pub, followed by reading my magazines in the common room made for a nice evening.

Saturday was expecting to be cold and wet. I woke early, looked out the window, no rain but the wind was bitter. I checked out and made for the water. I saw two other anglers set off on a boat, I assumed to fish for the Perch. This gave me renewed hope, so I continued to thrash the water. Nothing, not a sniff.

It was too much, my tummy was rumbling, so I headed for Patterdale shop for a legendary Cumberland Bagette. There were no problems with the photography this week!

For the lure anglers that measure their catch not weigh, this bagette was 28cm!

I fished the day in reverse. Up the West side and finishing back at the Trout spot at Pooley Bridge. A different outcome and no additional Trout caught.

As I headed for home, I thought how hard such a big water was to fish. I like the view of my Finygo App showing my distance traveled, although mostly that was driving. As I stored my trip, I hope the info can help other anglers. It dawned on me that having "winning" methods on a particular water is always the place to start when trying to find your needle!