Winter's Here

Get out and enjoy it..but stay warm!

The Elusive Kingfisher

We as Anglers are fortunate enough to witness many magical things whilst on the bank, but what can be more magical than this?

It's River Time

The Chub and Barbel will be feeding.

The Local Legend, Alan Taylor!

Just one of the many lumps that Brown's Consultant Alan Taylor has landed during his trips to foreign lands...

Get out and enjoy being there.

The fish are just a bonus.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Alan Taylors Rainbow Diary - April 2016

I had returned to Rainbow. 
The water level was still high and the weather was still all over the place, high pressure, low pressure, warm, cold and just like the weather the carp were the same. The odd good day followed by slow days with not much action anywhere around the lake.
I was in peg 17 which consists of fishing to the far bank into the snaggy 60' foot pine trees that had been blown or collapsed into the lake over the years, at about 150' yards range. The only problem, apart from the mass of snags is that there are very few places in shallow water to fish. One spot in 12ft being the shallowest and from what I could gather from around the lake was that the carp wanted shallow, calm water that got a bit of sun, unfortunately this was scarce in 17.

Anyway, we had been fishing five days and nights and I was still waiting, along with the majority of others. 
The walky talkies used by anglers around the lake to keep in touch with each other for news had been full of doom and gloom. people blanking. Especially those on their last night not wanting to go home with the humiliation of going to France and catching nothing, cos' even next doors cat knows that going to France guarantees the catch of a lifetime!...if only!
 Some were first timers expecting daily runs, others were summer anglers, again expecting constant action. Some were complaining of strange occurrences rod tips bouncing, bobbins twitching,  good old bream, carp trailing rigs or liners - the real reason was they were getting done by cautiously feeding carp.
Time to try Something different I thought.
  I was pretty sure I hadn't had many fish in front of me, or indeed that I'd had an enquiry of any sort, but if they were being awkward and cagey I wanted something that would trip one up...should I get an enquiry.
 I wound in, went for a wash and brush up and came back a few hours later refreshed. I re-baited three rods as before and one rod (the one I could fish on my shallow spot) I changed over to Mainline Baits Essential Cell and put on my favourite "scratching rig ", an old faithful that's a bit different and comes out when the going gets tough, presented in a PVA bag full with only dry ingredients, which will instantly dissipate leaving the little trap perfectly set. Once in the mouth, it don't come out! A modicum of freebies were spread in the vicinity.
Well,Saturday around 1oclock there's a ding a ling on the rod tip bell, brilliant for early indication in these snaggy situations..

 ..The tip pulls down the buzzers sounds and we are away on the "scratching rig", a major battle ensues as I take to the boat after walking him back from the snags.
 I have to use the boats motor to stop the powerful carp reaching the snags, I eventually entice it away from the other three lines and the far banks snags until he is over the deep water. The  battle continues for sometime, until it finally surfaces, it's a nice deep common and quite long as I have to give the net a shake to get its tail over the cord.
 I carefully wrap him in the net and head ashore slowly with me prize, I roll him into the retaining sling ready for taking ashore for weighing. Matey calls out, "Is it a nice one ?" "Yes it's 40, maybe make 50 any chance of a photo please ?" He comes over takes one look and says, "That will make 70 lb all day long". 
 I had been deceived, he just didn't seem that big, and sure enough on the scales to my amazement 73 lb of immaculate common carp!

That was it for me I had been lucky enough to catch a another big one following on from my 86 lb last trip. I just chilled for the rest of the trip managed another common of 37 lb  and drove home a very happy chappy,

I'm off somewhere new next trip that has a 90 lber. You never know, and as that old Chinese proverb goes, "You gotta be in it, to win it "

Until next time...

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Alan Taylor's Diary - September 2015 Back at Rainbow

I had been given the privilege of fishing the right hand side of peg 6, I had fished in 6 before but never on the right. On that side there was a large area of open water directly in front of me which led right up to a large opening leading to swims 11&12 with islands and bars to the right and a channel leading up to peg 5. The left hand side of the swim was a little more tricky a narrow snaggy channel, a few close in islands and lots of humps and bumps.
 I had a plan, which was to only fish half way up the open water onto a nice big plateau, to allow the fish to move through and around the swim without cutting them off by fishing to the limit of my swim with lines all over the place. As I've said before they love where there are no lines and feel a lot more comfortable. The plateau was about 8 foot in depth, which seemed perfect considering all the extreme hot weather they had been having making the water temperature very high.
 I had a good prod around on the plateau finally finding a lovely bit of bottom to place my hook bait a nice big hand rolled hybrid bottom bait, with plenty of the right stuff in, so that I could leave it out as long as was necessary. I pulled the boat back to the plateau and gave it a real good scattering of boilies. The other rods I fished in likely looking spots in shallowish water with a handfull of baits around, just enough to get a bite. Once again a nice big hard bottom bait lowered onto the chosen spot with a pva hybrid stick mix, glugged up with the usual goodies for added attraction. Unbelievably after two months without a sprinkle of rain on the first night we had a massive thunderstorm, one tree on the lake was hit by lightning, another was felled by the high winds blocking the track, and some sheer devastation occurred to those whom had erected gazebos, these were completely blown away or smashed to pieces!
  The morning arrived and it looked bob on for a bite, I was well happy with my spots and the plateau rod felt like my banker rod, and fishing in fairly open water was a real bonus for Rainbow fishing. To make matters even better the French lads in peg eleven were out in their boats constantly. Hopefully them making a disturbance on the water will move a few fish my way. I was sitting tight now for a few days, until a bite or whatever.

 I didn't have to wait long, 6 o'clock that evening I am away.  That's an early one I thought after all the boat work and sure enough it was the plateau rod. Into the boat ,off we jolly well go in hot pursuit, and after a bit of a battle with no dramas a lovely looking scaley mirror rolls into the net. Happy days I am thinking and not only a pretty one but a big one to boot, back on dry land a quick weigh and photo it's 59lb that will do very nicely, thank you very much.

 I lost one down the channel, just seemed to fall off for no good reason, then had a 20 lb+ common and a barney rubble on the channel rod and a nice 44lb mirror from the plateau rod.

  The weather was nice and sunny again now. The peg 11 men continued to be constantly on the water but I didn't actually see them land a fish,they may just have been topping up their tans as they were both cavorting around in their "budgie smugglers" !! Some people just can't sit still and stay off the water, I wasn't complaining as the plateau rod and another I had managed to 'fit in' the area were busy! Twice I was in the boat sorting out fish and one of the other rods went. I had another take on the plateau rod but by the time I had got into the boat and out to the fish it had found a non visible under water snag. I have described my snag set up before, I believe it to be the ultimate from the hook all the way through to the 50 lb braided mainline, when I got close enough I could tell it was definitely snagged, I got right over the top of the snag and had a little pull on the 60lb nylon leader sure enough it had swam under a cluster of branches. Don't panic Captain Mainwaring I say to myself, I have been in this situation countless times before, it's obviously not coming back through all those branches so out with my little grappling hook lower it down and try to locate my line exiting the other side of the snag, slacken off and pull it up, right cut through the nylon, ( it's easier to do it than describe it) on the rod side and pull the now slack line out of the snag and quickly rety it to the other end, I am now free of that snag and ready to do battle, if the fish is still on that is! 
 I move another few yards closer but it's snagged again, this time it's the old landing net handle trick. Take the arms of the net wrap the spreader around the leader and follow it down to the bottom. Whooh! The fish is still on, I can feel it now, patience, it's a virtue you know! Well this went on for some time, in fact long enough for my mate to write in his log that I had had a bite and lost it! I could feel the line under another snag the landing net trick lowering the line under the snag worked a treat. The carp was free and surging up the lake. Chasing the fish up the lake and trying to re-assemble the landing net head to the handle was fun. It felt a good fish and on first glance as it rolled ready for netting looked a nice forty, I quickly unhooked him in the net checked everything was ok gave him a little rest and decided not to put him through the rigours of a trip back to the bank but to set him free there and then, as he laid on his side it I thought mid-forty lovely, but as he righted himself in the net it was very broad across the back and as he slowly swam out the net he got longer and longer.
 I thought to myself HMMMM! Schoolboy error there my son, he could have easily been a fifty not to worry ( w****r, is what I really thought) . I can't remember the last time I left any gear in the lake, let alone in a fish, if the fish has gone I wrap everything round my pulling bar, and give it the big heave ho. I have raised a few impressive "trees" from the depths! And have to be careful not to sink the boat at times. 
 I use two hook link materials either the Camo coated hook link in 65lb, or Duracord which I splice onto the hook and the swivel (no knots), the toughness and abrasion is phenomenal, this is attached using a new super strong Kwik link which I have been testing, then I use either Kable XT extreme lead core 70 lb or Armacord 85lb approximately 4 ft.-6 ft length, then a nylon leader XT snag leader 50lb or 60lb in an 8 metre length this puts a tiny amount of stretch into the set up which I like when playing fish particularly from a boat and helps considerably if the fish becomes snagged i.e. does not cut into snags, finally attached to Apex mainline braid 50lb.
 I don't know how many times I have said this but I believe this to be the ULTIMATE snag set up, that's why I have listed everything concisely.
   The weather became changeable some really hot days followed by heavy thunderstorms with strong mistral winds. I could have easily gone down to the two plateau rods,as the other two had completely dried up, and these two continued to catch come rain or shine, I had some nice commons from 40lb up to,48 lb and other lovely carp of 58lb and52lb.

  A few things cropped up so I had to,head home early but hay- ho no regrets had a lovely trip with some nice fish.

  Until the next time, be lucky.


Monday, 21 September 2015

Alan Taylor's Diary September 2015 - Les Teillatts

I had been once sometime ago on the coach, I won't go into details here, suffice to say it was a lesson learned and I was a little naive at the time. The coach thing wasn't really my cup of tea, consequently I had not returned.
  This time it was different, it was drive and survive and I had received a kind offer to attend by Tim Paisley.  Around this time last year he had a super catch and was keen to return.
 I have a mate, "Brushstrokes" who is a coach trip regular and he just loves the place his tales of the big fish and Tim's result made it very exciting and I was really looking forward to having a go.
 I had gleaned as much information as possible about the place. What was really obvious was that the big ones were real boilie munchers.  I had 20 kg of Mainline Clockwork Orange which TP informed me was nowhere near enough and he kindly supplied me with another 20 kg of the same, if I get to use this lot it will be a good trip, I was thinking to myself!  Arriving at the lake at the allotted time we assembled in the clubhouse with a cup of tea, to make the draw for swims. As usual everyone was keeping their cards close to their chest as to where they wanted to fish, even a few little wind ups, bluffs and double bluffs going around.
 Mr.P was to fish the top bank where he did last year, this bank had also done the most fish last week. I fancied a bit of that, it looked really good. A couple of northerners tried to avoid the draw and blag a couple of the top swims, throwing in their doctors note and wanted to fish together 'cos one was scared of the dark and they only had one torch between them!
 The draw was made I don't know why I bother or worry I had my usual luck with these things and came out last. From what was left I picked the bottom of the left hand bank, as it happened to be the furthest away I could be from my first choice, but a quiet corner with a bit of my own water.
I got my secret treasure map out with all the info I had gleaned drawn all over it and took to the rowing boat. I think my drawing must have been rubbish because I couldn't find any of the supposed features that littered my swim. I managed to find a little hump, the rest seemed pretty uniform with silty and gravelly spots, no weed.
 Marty the bailiff called in and confirmed my findings and pointed out a few spots that had done fish previously, always handy to know.  I was quite happy with my lot and sure if there were any fish out there or showing up I would get a chance or two.
 I had read the the cc rules and cast out my 15 lb line with a nice long length of rig tubing. Om Sunday evening I had my first take a real screamer, but before I could get out of my chair it was all over, I had been cut off on the take ! I had a quick chat with Marty and soon put things right.  On Monday evening after a lovely meal cooked by Marty (he is a bit of a chef) I had another flyer and my first fish a 35 lb mirror, no problem this time after my tackle adjustment. On Tuesday before dinner a lovely looking old English type mirror of 53 lb, another lovely dinner and a 29 lb mirror.

 I had a few nights where the catfish were really on the feed and I got wiped out early on and didn't bother to re-do the rods. I didn't want to disturb the swim more than I needed so left the rods out until first light. On the nights the catfish didn't feed an early morning bite was always on the cards, the carp being very active before the days turned unbearably hot.
 I had a nice 42 lb8oz mirror a short fat one. I also managed a few in the day which I played from the boat and didn't bother to trouble them with a trip back to the bank in the extreme temperatures; preferring to unhook them and let them go.
Anyway after the initial loss I went on to land 18 on the bounce and my biggest one was the biggest to get caught on our trip a lovely old mirror of 60 lb 4oz, we had a really enjoyable and relaxing time.

 I even managed one on packing up morning which is a rarity for me a mirror of 44 lb which finished the trip off lovely. Tackle used all Korda end tackle, with new hooks on test.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Alan Taylor's Diary September 2015 - Lac Serriere

Lac Serriere - Badgers Holt.

It's been all go at the minute with trips to France, they have been coming thick and fast. A trip,to Lac Serreire on Badgers Holt followed by a trip to  Les Telliatts and then down to Rainbow.
I haven't fished at Badgers Holt for a good few years now, last time I took the Mrs.and the youngest son Luke and did a little article for Carpology magazine. At the time we had it right off with about 40 fish, the Mrs. catching the biggest common in the lake at the time of 40lb, TWICE! I remember the Korda long shank hooks just come out and I think she had 8 fish or so on the same hook, no sharpening, and Luke had the big mirror Jo Jo at 57 lb.
On arriving at the lake and reading the log book it was obvious that things had changed the fish had got a lot bigger and certainly a bit harder to catch, it had become a real big fish water with the average size a lot bigger somewhere in the region of 46lb, a lot of 50lb plus fish now present and obviously fewer fish getting caught. 
 The new owners Corinna and Simon had also been very busy, the facilities had been fully modernized; new showers, toilets and decor the place looked immaculate. Badgers Holt is a beautiful little lake, but gets constant pressure from April through to November with lines in 24/7 apart from three hours on a Saturday when the anglers change over. 
 As keen as I was to get started I decided to put out some bait on Saturday and not fish till Sunday (old Rainbow trick, and Chinese proverb "don't rush to skin the monkey"). It was nice to have a catch up with Simon and Corrina and have a nice meal, my favourite homemade chicken pie.
 Being the summer the crayfish were at their most active, they aren't a major problem but I like to leave my baits out as long as possible, and didn't want to take the chance of fishing with a baitless hook for a couple of days.

I am a Mainline baits man, but at times it's silly to be stubborn, Simon sells excellent bait at the complex and it's now part of the fishes diet, you are doing yourself no favours not taking advantage by using the going bait along with a few of his pellets, they see so much of this it's a no brainier really. I will have a little fiddle about with a few bits and pieces throughout the week, I dare say! The far bank seems to be the where most bites come from, I am told they bubble and fizz a lot in the middle of the lake but don't often get caught from there, that sounds like a challenge. When crayfish are present I like to put my free bait out first, then introduce my hook bait a little later. I don't use pop ups the crays are attracted to them I reckon, they eat heavy metal/ tungsten putty so don't bother with that. Use a quite robust hook link material because fine limp braid will get mangled, don't use too smaller leads as they will march off with your rig etc, glue or tie on your bait/hair stop and/or put them under the shrink tubing or they will remove them and then take your bait. They DO eat nuts of all sorts, there is nothing they won't have ago at. They are a bloody nuisance this is about all I can tell you about them, carp do eat them but only when they are small and their shells are soft, that's my reckoning on the subject. It's always a bit hit and miss even then as some hookbaits will be pounced on as soon as they hit bottom and others will be left alone.
Luke is fishing at the dam end so has the longest chuck to the far bank, he is casting a lead across the lake, then going around the far bank and attaching his rig and then spooning the lot in, I am well impressed as its a fair chuck and only a small gap to cast into, he is clipped up so it drops nice on the far bank a nice scoop of pellets some crushed and squashed boilies, hoping the crays will pick them up before a hard shrunk hook bait. As it happens the crays were not as active as we thought which was good news.

I had been fishing four hours and the rod, when a bait under the trees on the far bank was away, it was a mega battle with a heavy fish attached, it beat me up bad and eventually a nice looking mirror was netted, weighing 53lb, happy days and a nice start.

 I replaced the bait on the spot slowly sinking the TOUCHDOWN mainline from the lead to the rod tip, then attached a lightish bobbin but with enough weight to signal a drop back, which is what I would be getting fishing the far bank.

Sure enough Monday morning fish bubbling and fizzing in the centre of the lake after a bit of messing around managed to winkle out a 45lb mirror. I had to wait till Wednesday for my next bite I finally netted another hard fighting fit mirror of 51 lb having to follow it up to the shallows.
 Luke was catching steady having a couple of Koi, from koi corner to 27lb and an absolute stunning mirror with great big apple slice scales of just under 53lb.

I had a real strange occurrance on Wednesday afternoon; I hooked a fish on the far bank which again put up an almighty scrap. I once again found myself down the shallow end of the lake, this entailed passing my rod round trees,and following it along the bank.
 I saw "the fish" it was a koi and it all seemed a bit weird as I could see the fish but the line from the rod tip did not seem to be following the fish, and the fish seemed a lot heavier than the twenty pound koi I kept seeing, the fish was swirling and boiling on the surface and the koi had turned into a large common, alongside it was the koi at this point if I could have netted them they would have both gone in together, how bizarre. The battle continued but it was clear now that I was indeed attached to the large common with the koi shadowing it everywhere, eventually Luke netted the large common for me, one of the jewels of the lake and an absolute stunner at 61lb 4oz.

What a trip can't wait to get back.