WINTER FISH TRAPS – I weaved two fish traps at the shelter out of Ivy and Clematis. I try to make fish traps a couple of times a year in the warm and cold months as it presents different challenges. Winter fish traps are always more difficult to make than summer as materials become a lot more brittle and can behave differently. The freezing cold weather obviously adds to the challenge.
CLEMATIS TRAP – I weaved the trap with 7 struts/spokes and made it a bit larger than I normally would as I previously made a smaller Ivy trap with small to medium fish in mind. So I decided to make the Clematis trap larger for this video and with the positive mind set of hopefully catching large fish.
INNER BASKET/FUNNEL – I weaved a inner basket to create the funnel and sharpened the 7 struts/spokes to help prevent the fish from finding the way out. I would have normally made the funnel a bit longer but due to the approaching storm i wanted to speed things up so i kept it a bit shorter.
ROCK WEIGHT – Clematis is very buoyant so i lashed a rock to the bottom of the trap to keep it held down and steady in the river.
PINE CONE BAIT HOLDER – Pine cones make great natural bait holders as you can push the bait in between the cone teeth and tie it to the inside of your trap. The teeth will hold your bait in place as well as releasing smell. These fish traps work without using any bait but i wanted to show this example on a small scale and have used worms for this. You can use a large pine cone and fill it with bait (insects, fish guts ect) or actually rub the pine cone itself into a dead animal carcass or whatever you can find to help increase your chances of catching.
TUCKING THE STRUTS/SPOKES BACK INTO THE WEAVE – I like to tuck the 7 struts back into the weave to add strength to the trap and to stop the Clematis sliding up and over the struts, which can happen if you just cut them straight off. I fully appreciate that the craftsmanship takes a hit when doing the tuck backs as cutting them off is a neater finish but with a larger Clematis trap i prefer to have strength and longevity which is most important.
IVY TRAP – I weaved a small Ivy trap, again with 7 struts/spokes. Ivy is very difficult to weave with, especially in winter. It’s far less pliable than Clematis and a lot more brittle but if you take a bit more care with your craft and you are a little less forceful it can be used to make a decent trap.
INNER FUNNEL/IVY RINGS – Instead of weaving an inner basket to create the funnel, i decided to create a funnel by inserting Ivy rings. This is the quick funnel method and it does the same job. I cant say which is better because they both work but i do prefer and feel better about the trap when I’ve weaved an inner funnel.
No rock weight was used for the Ivy trap as it was being wedged under a fallen tree. A pine cone was added with worms and the tuck backs were cut off because Ivy is far to brittle to even attempt this.
PUTTING THE TRAPS IN THE RIVER –
Clematis Trap – I put the Clematis trap close to the river bank by the mouth of a large eddy/swirl. This is somewhere I’ve had a lot of luck in the past. The water levels were the lowest I’ve ever see them in winter and to put the trap close to the bank in my normal spot meant a little bit of the trap was out of the water. I did catch a lot of debris from the river banks because of this but i was happy to see a nice size trout in there to.
Ivy Trap – The Ivy trap was wedge under a fallen tree in a little eddy just off the main river, again this is somewhere I’ve had a bit of luck and its great to be able to use the fallen tree there. I couldn’t hear anything in the trap when i pulled it out so it was a pleasant surprise to see a small trout in the bottom.
This wasn’t all straight forward as i didn’t catch any fish on the first day so i repositioned the traps bringing them both closer to the banks. Overall i am happy with the traps and how things turned out, especially with the freezing weather. Due to the approaching storm and trying to get it complete as soon as possible, this ended up being the fastest trap I’ve ever made, completing it in about 6 hours or so. I can tell you that my hands were numb with a slight shake by the end of it but its always good fun and great learning.
Fire 1 – Fatwood and Feathergrass
Fire 2 – Birch Bark
Chaga Mushroom and Pine Needle Tea.
Start Music – Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea – Singing Indri
End Music – BrunuhVille – The Wolf and the Moon (Celtic Version)
I hope you enjoy my second video,
Thanks for Watching.