•  First fish of 2020
  • Witness

First Fish 2020

Never have I caught such a large specimen as my first fish of any season.


Trout opening 2020

This year’s trout season started with a bang. Quite literally. After about 20 minutes at the river, I hooked a tree on my back cast and tore my rod apart. The awkward cracking sound startled me quite a bit. Looking at the damage, it was clear to me that there is no chance for any fix. Luckily, I was not far away from home and within half an hour I was back in the water with the next rod – yay. Yet, the streak of bad luck seemed to be on my heels, and I did not even have a bite whatsoever. Nonetheless, it was good to be back out there.

First Fish 2020

A couple unsuccessful fishing trips later, I met Jan with whom I was in Sweden a couple of years ago. We decided to have a quick look at the nearby river. Usually our trips are quite successful for one or the other. We visited several low-profile dams, which offer the only structure in this desolate canal and therefore are frequently inhabited by trout. Whereas Jan rigged his new rod, which was gifted by his girlfriend, with an indicator and two (of my ) nymphs, I opted to improve my Czech nymphing skills. Back in New Zealand, Claudio taught me how to fish this rig and it was quite productive.

Czech Nymphing

The method called Czech nymphing is a special technique where long nylon leaders are used. The fly line barely leaves the rings of the rod. The aim is to drag the heavy nymphs through pools and riffles and feel the tinniest bite. Apart from the sensual strike, there is an additional visual indicator with high-viz line. The heavy nymph quickly sinks to the bottom and drags smaller nymphs on side-arms into the striking zone. This is a very exciting way of fishing due to the proximity to the fish and its feel. However, I usually miss casting of regular fly fishing, which is why I barely used this technique. Nevertheless, it is very successful since there is no indicator to be adjusted for varying depths.

Fly fishing the low-profile dam
Fly fishing the low-profile dam

Almost done

Jan looked at his smartphone and told me that he needs to leave soon. We were just about to arrive at the second pool, but he allowed me to try first. My nymphs got stuck twice, yet I was able to retrieve them. A couple of casts later, Jan also tried his luck from above the dam.

Meanwhile, I still tried to get a perfect drift in the riffle right next to me. All of a sudden, I felt a brief resistance and striked. Immediately, there was movement on the other end. I shouted to Jan, who asked whether he should help me netting and how big the fish was. Not being able to reply to either, I was 110% focussed on the drill as if in trance. Not wanting to risk breaking the line, I did not put a lot of pressure on the fish. After one more run towards the washed-out bank, Jan competently netted my first fish 2020. Thanks bro!

 First fish of 2020
First fish of 2020

Summary

This was a great little adventure and once again the our duo managed to have success against all odds. The magnificent trout measured 40cm and gave an impressive fight. Never have I caught such a large specimen as my first fish of any season. I think I need to practise more Czech nymphing.

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