I don’t know if I am alone but for me the passage of another year is marked as much by the passing of the fishing season as by Christmas and New year. I struggle for the next few months the longer nights make the hour commute a real task and I crave the early dawns of summer. I miss fishing the evening rise and watching the morning mist. The gloom seems to descend now and is only briefly lifted by the Christmas celebrations. The dark cloud only starts to clear in February, it always seems that it is the first week in February when the days really start to visibly lengthen and by then the new season can be really anticipated.
The end of the trout season is only softened by the beginning of the grayling fishing. This season I have a new grayling river to explore. I have a winter membership on the Ure in the Dales it is a river with a great history for the lady of the stream, sadly like many northern rivers the ladies seem to be much smaller now than in decades gone by. Not a reflection on general society it would appear. I am hoping that the anticipation and exploration of the new river will ease the winter misery.
Also I intend to go about my winter fly tying in a more organised manner I have even listed the flies and sizes that are need to replenish my boxes. I will try to approach the tying in a organised manner and not spend all winter experimenting and then realise with a month to go that I have tied non of the go to patterns I rely on. I have invested in a new vice a Peak model from the USA so as its American I guess I should say vise. This was a substantial investment for a Yorkshire man with deep pockets and short arms. But it looks like a fine piece of kit that will last as well as the current one that I have had for 20 yrs.
Highlights of the year? It was a very good year generally for upwinged flies with some amazing hatches. With a mayfly hatch as good as any I have seen and the best for at least ten years. It was a very long dry summer that really suited some of the rivers I fish., Lowlights well the dry summer decimated some of the other streams I fish. So I guess it just gos to show you cant have it all ways….