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I've been introducing a neighbour of mine to the finer aspects of coarse fishing the local rivers.
We were on an estate water that is preserved game fishing. During the closed seasons they let the coarse fishing to a local club - I'm a member.
Yesterday was a bit dour and bar a few tiddlers nothing was happening but I noticed he was into a decent fish and carried on for a while. Next time I looked up he was into another decent fish...
So I went to investigate. As you'll have guessed it was the same fish that was giving him some considerable trouble. "I've got a salmon," he said.
He hadn't. It was an eight and a half pound cock brownie taken on roach tackle. It had a fair old kype on it and impressive teeth but it was generally in good condition and firmly muscled. This is the biggest genuinely wild river brownie I've seen on the bank yet he was disappointed not to have a salmon.
Although the actual beat we fished is nominally salmon water the estate-wide trout fishing rules say upstream dry & surface nymph only once the season starts. I doubt that fish will be in the same spot come the summer nor will it be a candidate for a #16 dun. I've never been tempted to pay their prices for game fishing. Mind you, if they'd allow sculpin patterns at minnow spawning time I might be tempted but minnow spawning coincides with mayfly and they get even more precious then. I doubt that fish would bother much with mayfly either.
But there are still some impressive fish to be caught.
Unless stated otherwise: Everything in this site refers to fishing in the British Isles and similar northern European waters.