Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Salmon From The Don At Manar Today

I had a good day on the River Don at the Manar Fishings with my friend Charlie Robertson yesterday. The water levels were at a good height for the beat and were steady at 11" on the gauge. The water was carrying a peaty colour and the river temperature had dropped away nicely due to the rain and recent spate.

My successful set up for the day was my trusty 13ft Hardy Uniqua and a Rio AFS floating shooting head with a 6ft 2.6ips tip attached. My fly of choice to begin with was a 3/4" silver Ally Shrimp tied on a copper tube and for the slower pools I changed to a Cascade Franc N Snaelda.

As Charlie and I were the only rods fishing we had the pick of the beat so we decided to have a run through the Sheep pool before heading down river to fish the Upper Wood and Lower Wood Pools. Neither of us had any joy in either of these pools so we carried on down river to fish the Chapel Pool.

Charlie kindly allowed me to have first run through the Chapel and about half way down I had a thumping take. I lifted into a very lively fish which nailed my 3/4" Ally Shrimp and took off down river like a steam train. It almost had me into the backing when it decided to about turn and head up river. I managed to keep up with the fish as it swam up to just about opposite me. As it did this it began to thrash about on the surface before deciding it wanted to run again. It made a short, but ferocious burst down stream before turning around and heading upstream again. I stupidly said to Charlie that this fish must be well hooked because it was pulling so hard but seconds after I said it, the fish was off! Throwing the hook as it splashed about on the surface. It was a nice clean fish around 12lbs so I was a wee bit peeved, especially after getting it back under control after several long runs and jumps. However, that's fishing and Charlie urged me to carry on down the pool. I changed my fly over to a heavier Cascade Franc N Snaelda and I also changed from a double to a treble hook. I began working the fly through the pool and 10 minutes or so after losing the first fish my line was tearing off the reel once again! Again, it was a very lively fish which thrashed about the surface but he tired after a few minutes and I was able to draw him in to Charlie's waiting net. A very welocme coloured fish around the 7lb mark. Another run through the pool proved fruitless so we headed off for lunch.

After lunch we decided to give the top pools of the beat a go. We headed to the Horseshoe Haugh and then fished on through the House Pool and the Long Pool  taking in the Corner Pool and the neck of the Sheep pool again. Apart from a pull in the Long Pool neither of us hooked anything so we has a quick cup of tea in the hut and made our way down to the Lower Wood. Charlie changed over to one of his Sunrays and began to strip it through the pool. Not long after starting he moved a clean grilse at the tail of the pool but it didn't connect. That was to be the last action of the day and we headed of back to the hut for a well earned beer.

Here are a few pictures from yesterday.

The fishing hut area at Manar. Probably the best kept beat on the whole of the River Don.
Sheep Pool. The first pool of the day and a good holding pool.
Upper Wood Pool. A pool that has been good to me and probably my favourite on the beat..
Lower Wood Pool. Charlie moved a clean grilse at the tail using a Sunray Shadow.
Chapel Pool. Always holds fish and produces fish from the first day of the season to the last.
I landed this 7lb cock fish shortly after losing a cracking fresh fish around 12lb. Cascade Franc N Snaelda did the trick.
Horseshoe Haugh. Can be a good pool for picking up running fish. I landed a lovely Springer from this pool last May.
Looking upstream to the House Pool.
Long Pool. I had an offer in here on my 3rd cast but it didn't stick unfortunately.


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