Trout season 2015 is about a month old, and of course we all took our rods and reels for a walk along many river banks.
Because a lot of you guys out there still have to wait for your opening, or at least for better weather to catch more than just a cold, we decided to share our first impressions with you.
And yes, to make it even more painfull, we decided to ad some pictures aswell.
From the second the sun rose from the hills surrounding the river, Romain was –as every year- the first to go down to bank of his homewater, known to hold a stock of very, very large brown trout.
Rom is an expert in fishing streamers for big trout, and decided to take his 16 year old nephew Pablo –an absolute fly rookie- under his wings. After showing the importance of sneaking towards the water, Pablo witnessed his older nephew catching a superb wild brown on his first cast.
Shaking hands, shiny eyes, Pablo never saw a trout this big being caught in a river, so even before Romain released his first fish of the season, Pablo was already casting to level him.
The stretch Romain fished also has grayling on it, meaning wading is forbidden before june to protect the graylings offspring, and making it more difficult for beginning fishermen like Pablo.
But even though Pablo spent a lot of time recovering flies from trees, around mid day he suddenly shouted like a madman. A small trout of 23cm took his streamer, his first fish on a fly ever.
At that point Rom decided to explain him how to fish with nymphs, the possible positions of trout, how to get the nymphs deep… and bang! A big trout takes the nymph as if it was the resolution of some magic trick.
When the fight is nearly done, and the big fish is brought to the surface, young Pablo shouts a cry of joy. A moment that Rom for sure felt 16 himself again… A beauty of 64cm is landed and released.
Meanwhile Mathias and Jeremy had their opening on a small stream they’ve been fishing since their childhood, back in the Gaume area. Cristal clear water where you can easily spot feeding trout at the end of every vein.
No big mama’s, but nevertheless nice brown trout up to 40cm that like to be seduced by sightfishing with nymphs.
And good news from our two main contributors: both Mathias as Jeremy caught some grayling. Where as there used to be very few of them, the lady of the stream seems to benefit from the improving water quality and gesture to become more and more present.
Mind you, fellow rodtrippers, we don’t take pictures of our caught grayling. We love em, but since their season only starts in june, all of us do whatever is possible to leave them alone in their spawning period. If caught accidentally, they all go back to the river asap.
Please, no pictures, unhook them in the water, and don’t fish that same pool again, cause grayling always come in groups. There’s plenty of more time to catch them and take their pictures later this season.
Apart from fishing, for Math and Jeremy the opening is above all a day to meet friends along the riverbank, enjoy a drink and have a little barbecue together.
Fish are most active during the warmest period of the day, meaning… relax. Take it easy. And enjoy just being there.
Another member who is known to be fond of this rather Bourgondic approach of flyfishing is Stéphane. Stéphane had his opening only the next day at the Amblève river, world famous after our video from last season.
Though this second day of the season had a really cold start with temperatures only just above freezing point, Stéphane and his friends caught nice browns, a lot of them bigger than 40cm.
It was a rainy day that didn’t get much warmer, so Stéphane mainly used streamers, nymphs and wet flies to catch those browns. No surface activity, but fish did seem to be active.
And of course, the biggest ones were always the ones that got away, the ones we all talk about in our fishing stories, the ones that for sure make Stéphane return to the Ambleve.
And I, I didn’t catch anything. I do have a baby boy who caught a flue the day before the opening, so I spent the entire opening weekend comforting him in my arms, dreaming of our future rodtrips together, and cursing on that bloody toddler of my sister in law that had to put her snotty fat fingers in his mouth.
Only seven days later, my fishing buddy Pieter and I finally got to meet up with Math and Jeremy to kick of our season at the Lomme river.
A river I adore for being so diverse, and a river I love because it probably holds the biggest stock of grayling in Belgium. Which we don’t fish. Yet. It was a dry, cloudy day, temperature was ok, the river itself had a perfect level and we all caught fish. Jeremy even managed to land a 3kg barbel that took a small nymph. But wherever we fished, we bumped into large schools of grayling.
In the afternoon we swapped nature for an urban stretch of this river. The sun was out, and not much later our blue dun friends showed up. We spotted hoovering trout at the end of the pools and targetted them with nymphs at sight.
Not much later the first fish started rising, time for me to tie up a Polish Quill – CDC blue dun on a hook 16. Trout was definitely in for this kind of snack. But every cast that was just too short to drift on the edges of the pockets, were gracefully taken by our dear friends grayling.
Further up stream Mathias and Jeremy caught a pack of small, wild trout on nymphs and wets, hiding between the big rocks on the bottom of a fast flowing stretch. But even there, grayling was trying to say hi to us this early in the season.
A promessing start, and it definitely gives hope for a fantastic grayling season on this river. Soon. Very soon, my friends. We ended our day like we began it, and interrupted it many times: standing still, listening to the river, thinking about fishing, our friends, and the almost melancholic drive home.
So as the season now really kicked in, the days get longer as do our rodtrips, sit down once every while. And when you do, observing the water, waiting for a rise, think back to that very first fish you caught on a fly. Cause we all remember our first trout and we all know the feeling running through our entire body when we did, and the size, it just doesn’t matter.
So at the opening day of the season, at the exact moment young Pablo passed his streamer through a beautifull pool, and that one trout decided to strike his streamer, we all know Pablo was close to being the happiest person on the planet.
Sadly enough Rom wasn’t there on time to take a picture, Pablo already released it to make sure it wouldn’t suffer. We’re sure he’s gonna become a great angler…