Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Vairon (Minnow) fishing equipment.

I've been out in the garden with the new rod practicing casting the small weights required for Vairon fishing. Why you may ask?

Well a vital part of fishing the dead minnow, is being able to place the Vairon in exactly the right spot. This may be a whole in the weed just a foot square. Or under a bank side under-water tree root, an ideal spot for big trout!

Mostly this is done with just an under hand flick of the rod tip, sending the 4 gram minnow and rig on it's way. But sometimes an over head or side cast is required.

Fishing with a fixed spool reel is much easier than making a fly rod work, and you don't require as much space to cast, but it still requires skill, if you want accuracy, so hence the practice. I'm casting into a small bucket placed at various distances, and it's coming on. I have seen some real expect (Vairon) casters on my local river, but they are few and far between. The ones that ARE really good, catch a lot of big fish every season.

The pictures with today's blog are of the new rod and reel, some cracking trout lures (including a new Bullhead lure) and the frames needed to hold the Minnow in place.

The ones in the picture with a small disc at the top (Godille) are the most used in this region. And they are the most easy to use, as the disc works the water. But they are fiddly to make up, as you have to thread the line through the Minnow every time you want to bait up.

The other in the picture with the hooks on are called (clou) or nails in English. These are much quicker to attach, but the animation of the bait has to come from the angler. I'm giving both a try this season.
In my next blog, I will explain how I am going to keep the Minnows during the summer months, and how I will keep them fresh on the river bank!?

Friday, 8 January 2010

The Big Freeze.

When I first moved to France some 7 years ago, it was fairly rare to get snow. If we did it was just a flurry, and gone the next day. However this year not only have we had a large amount, but it has settled. So right now we are in the depths of a big freeze, and from the forecasts have more to come.
Clearly fishing is out right now, as it's more important to keep a good supply of wood cut, for my ever hungry wood burner. Most people in rural France use wood as a major fuel source, and it's normally available it a price comparative with oil, or electric. However in my view its far better, as it's green, and very efficient. We use between 6-10 sq-cubic meters each winter, 90% is oak.

I have a good friend who works in the Forestry business. He informs me that even though all this wood is used for heating every year, France is planting more than enough to replace it every year, I feel very good about this!

About this time of year, many of the trout in my local river move upstream to spawn. Some stay in the main river and spawn there, and those seem to be the later spawners. But those that run the mini cascade in the little river might spawn earlier, I just dont know?
What I do know is all this cold weather does more good that harm. It's only with harsh winters like this that many of the bugs unliked by farmers get killed off. But I will be happy when it's all gone, and I can get back to my rivers.