There are certain dates that anglers never forget and wait for impatiently: the first day of the fishing season! This year I had decided to start my trout season fishing exclusively with soft lures and given the conditions, it was a wise move. The levels were high and the water gin clear, what's more, Spring seemed to early thanks to the incredibly mild temperatures we had had for the last few months. The underwater vegetation was quite developed for this time of year and it promised a good quantity of invertebrates that would surely be on the trout's menu.
So I started my season with the new Ghost Brown GUNKI NAIAD, animated with little hops on the bottom or just by letting it go with the flow, this little nymph that caught my first trout for 2017.
The GUNKI NAIAD nymph style lure.
Well, it's no good having a box full of lures if you don't use them! I swapped the NAIAD for the WHIZ in the Grémille colour that I would alternate with the KIDDY also in Grémille. I had countless bites, but way and behold, I couldn't hook a single trout! I changed rods, tried using braid, used thinner fluorocarbon, reduced the weight on the jig head, changed the place of the hook...to no avail. I just had to admit that my two trump lures were not on the fish's menu that day! Time to downsize and rig the TIPSY-S, of course, in the Grémille colour. It may be a bit larger than the other two lures, its 1.2cm shorter and some days that can make a real difference. Fish cast, bite and first fish! Luck? A bit, but not just, a dozen others followed, not big ones, but in perfect shape and fought like crazy.
Small but powerful, these trout fell for the GUNKI TIPSY-S.
After the small trout extravaganza it was time to change leave the stream that have given me my first trout of the season to see if I could find one or two bigger ones. I exchanged my EAUX VIVES INSTINCT 180 UL rod for another more powerful one from the same series, the 190 ML. I kept the same reel, the new awesome GUNKI THG FV 1500, a little gem of smoothness and precision. Time to change lure too, it was now time to give the 6cm Brown Shiner PEPS a try. The volume of the this lure makes it essential to use the right rigging. I like to use a G'SLIDE jig head where I have cut the hook off just before the gape, then with superglue I make sure that the lure cannot be pulled off. I then tie a loop of braid onto a treble hook, loop that I thread through the lure and fit around the eye of the jig head.
GUNKI PEPS rigged on a modified G'SLIDE jig head.
Depending on the ratio of bites / hook-ups, you'll have to move the hook until you find the ideal position. What's great with this lure is that, despite its flexibility, it continues to swim even against the flow. As it is originally designed to be fished really slowly, it's also awesome fished down the flow. Even rigged on a 1.5g jig head, the PEPS can easily be fished up or downstream. And it was just as I was fishing down a nice fast flowing shallow spot that a beautiful fish of over 30cm smashed into my lure. It may seem small, but where I fish, for the last thirty odd years, not a single trout has been introduced to these waters and due to the low pH, the fish grow really slowly. So in this river as soon as it's over 30cm, it's a nice trout. Then again, small or big, they are always beautiful!
A beautiful trout that couldn't resist the GUNKI PEPS.
I hope the start to your season will be as fun as mine and my this year be full of fish. If you have any question, contact us via the official Facebook page: www.facebook.com
Yannick Line, Fishing Guide in Brittany, France.