Opening Day 2017

4/4/2017 | Comments: 0 | Categories:

Opening day is a special day for most fishermen. On the Isle of Man it's the 1st of April for the rivers. I'd been eagerly awaiting this one as I'd spent most of the winter fishing regular western style, with a reel, for grayling in the UK. Getting back to the simple life of Tenkara, fixed line, single fly, small pockets and wild brownies. How could it be better? The sun was shining and I opened the season fishing in a t-shirt. That's how much better. Last year I was almost drowned by the rain and washed off the river by the rising water.

Silverburn River Weir

The Silverburn River is a beautiful river stuffed with wild brown trout up to 10 inches. It can be a tricky place but once you crack the code for the day the fish will come one after the other. Today the water was slightly coloured after several days of heavy rain. The rain stopped only the previous day at lunchtime. That's how quickly Manx rivers can return to a fishable form.

Last year I reported that the Silverburn fished really well with dry fly. The fish ignored any pattern below the surface. I started out on nymphs but once I reached one of my favourite spots and nothing was happening I switched to the dry.

Productive Pool on the Silverburn River for Tenkara Dry Fly

It's a pool that doesn't look like much but it's deep and protected from the path by thick bank side foliage. Fish can hide under the bank or feed in a long seam that runs in from the top of the pool. A few casts with nymphs, nothing. On with the dry and...

First trout of 2017

... an instant response from the trout in the pool. My first of 2017. Every other cast something had a go at the dry fly. Could it be that the heavy rain had cleaned out the gravel and the flow in food had stopped while the river settled? Perhaps looking to the surface for wind blown delicacies was the default for Silverburn trout.

Small trout

They were not all large fish but what pretty fish they are. The little chap above was eager to take the fly. Diving in before one of it's larger friends got it first. The largest for the day was at the 10 inch mark. Plenty were in the 8 or 9 inch bracket.

Undercut bank

Everywhere you'd expect a fish, like in this deep hole where it undercuts the bank, yielded the goods. Drifting a dry over the short section above brought a fish up and subsequently to hand. The Silverburn has many interesting little pockets and pools.

Silverburn River

This truly is superb water for fishing Tenkara. A longer rod, like the ESO Tenkara Strooan, was perfect for range and the ability to collapse it shorter made it ideal for getting into the tighter spots like the one you can see on the bend above where the vegetation is high on both sides.

Tenkara Stroon

This has become my favourite rod because of it's versatility. Tungsten nymphs or dry fly, it takes it perfectly in it's stride to deliver the fly to the pocket. The true stars will always be the fish. They do seem to have overwintered well in the Silverburn. They are not too skinny and have plenty of life when you hook them.

I ended the day with 20 fish to hand and numerous takes that didn't result in a hook up. Exciting and interesting fishing. So many rivers to fish on the Isle of Man. So many fish to be caught. Tomorrow is another fishing day and I'm going to be out on the water enjoying the natural surroundings.


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