Season in Full Swing 2017
The fly fishing gear is packed away for another season. Been a busy last month and a demanding one as the weather finally came right but the rivers didn’t follow suit and reflected the damage done by continuous high flood levels and discoloration throughout much of January. Put that beside the weeks and weeks of strong winds and I suggest its one of the most awkward and frustrating fishing seasons I have had in close to 30 years of guiding. This came on the back of the best September and October I have seen… “swings and round abouts”.
Nice to have those 30 years of experience at times like this but even that could not save me from getting ‘skunked’ a couple of times this summer, first time in over 6 seasons, “back to zero goes the skunk meter”. Being the optimistic type – all fisherman need to be – next season will be eagerly anticipated.
We did however have some very sweet moments over the last month and caught some very good fish, luck didn’t have too much to do with this either, rather a good dollop of skill, plenty of patience by the anglers and my “bloody minded stubbornness” sure helped!
2017 the summer that never was.
Just to prove my timing was right the day before I finished guiding with Kay we heard the first stag roar for the season, a tad early but a welcome distraction from stalking trout. Once that first roar is heard I find it very difficult to stay focused on the water as my eyes and ears are drifting up the hill sides watching and listening.
The new hunting lease is producing some awesome rewards with many more to come. I have taken a fine fallow and stag respectively.
There are a handful of exceptional Fallow bucks around now, for sure this will change as the hunting pressure increases but it’s exciting to know what is out there. The fallow taken earlier this week would have close to 250 inches of antler and by all accounts there are 2 others that are similar and a dozen or more around the 230 mark, the weather that was a pain for fishing has benefited the animals.
There seems to be plenty of good stags showing up where the clear majority are around the 340-inch mark, but there is one that could push 500 and maybe 4-6 that will top 400 inches. It is going to be fun seeing which Hunter gets what and when. One thing is for sure there are way more animals than hunters so success will be measured accordingly. This will not matter if you are here in March or June, there will be quality animals about.
For those of you considering 2018 now is a good time to put some serious thinking into exactly when in 2018 to be here.
Every season has the same limitations for us, only a limited number of animals to hunt over a limited period of 16-18 weeks, those of you that can commit early will in most cases get the dates that work best for you. There is always another “next” year and with a 10-year lease on our new property (9 next season) we will be able to offer you opportunities moving forward.
Roll on the Stag Rut, followed soon after by the Fallow Rut, then Chamois (May) and Bull Tahr (June). No wonder autumn is my favourite time of the year, pity winter has to follow it.