Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The evening Rise after the style of the Compleat Angler

After work yesterday I went to a lovely small section of the river Rye , A beautiful river made special for me by the wildlife, the fish and the sense of peace and tranquility.  After an hour or so fishing I was surprised to become aware of a couple of hikers on the bank behind me.  This is an accurate account of the following encounter with the couple of walkers related in an older style.....Why dont people use maps?



Mr and Mrs Perambulator: Sir , Pray tell me does this public footpath extend to Helmsley ( name changed but a place I was unfamiliar with )

Piscator : Good evening Sir, Forsooth I am afraid that you are mislead that footpath is not for public use. You will find the path extends only another half mile. There it stops.

Mrs Perambulator : Sir you are mistaken I know there is a public footpath beside this river and this is clearly a footpath. 

Piscator : Madam in that you are correct, however the path on which you stand is mown by the riverkeeper for the anglers convenience. The public path is on the other bank.

Mrs Perambulator: Sir no you are mistaken we will take your leave and continue.

20 minutes pass , A couple of Grayling are added to the tally….

Mr and Mrs Perambulator: ( now travelling back along the bank from wence they came)

Mrs Perambulator ( Stony face stares at Piscator)

Piscator ( smiles sweetly ) Touches the rim of his hat..

Mr Perambulator: Sir it seems you were correct about this path. It stops some distance hence.

Piscator ( trying to fish) Sir verily it does I did disclose that information to you.

Mr Perambulator: (After a pause ) :So can you tell me where we are

Piscator ( trying to fish) Sir you are currently walking east along the bank of the river Rye

Mr Perambulator: (After a pause ) Sir we are trying to reach Helmsley , Tell me how did you reach the river?

Piscator  ( trying to fish) I travelled here in my horseless carriage

Mr Perambulator; We saw such a device stationary at the old bridge but from wence did you come

Piscator ( trying to fish and losing patience) I journeyed from ancient York

Mr Perambulator: ( now sounding desperate ) But along which route and road ? I fear Sir that you are being less than helpful

Piscator ; ( having been distracted and just missed a rise now irritated) I journeyed along the route I always use, the roads are small and unmarked, merely farm roads the final track to the bridge is a private road across an estate . I always venture along it with windows shut as savage dogs roam freely and the gamekeeper has an itchy trigger finger. I suggest Sir that you venture back along the road you journeyed from. Or cross the bridge to the path on the far bank.

At this point there was added a sound to the babbling of the stream it could have been the harsh screech of a tawny owl from along the bank , but I fear it was the demanding calls of Mrs Perambulator.

Mr Perambulator ( after longer pause and through clenched teeth ) Sir you are most unhelpful we are visitors to these parts and we find your manner wanting.

Piscator ; Sir I have helped to the best of my knowledge of these parts , Such knowledge you chose to not partake of.

Mr Perambulator : Your knowledge is sadly lacking: We will be forced to take the track along which your horseless carriage journeyed:

Piscator : Sir as for Knowledge I at least know where I am and how to travel to and from this point. I also know that the evening rise is waiting , I bid you safe journey. But would suggest that you let Mrs Perambulator lead the way along yonder track. I was not jesting about the dogs.

There followed a longish silence I was dearly tempted to turn and look upon the countenance of Mr perambulator but feared my own countenance could be less than beneficial.  This silence was followed by the sound of fading footfall .

The evening was otherwise very beneficial to my health ,  Although still very high the river was splendid and  I managed to fool half a dozen fish..  I do hope that they got home safely....

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Back in the river at last ...

Today was the first time for three weeks I have been able to go fishing.  Rain, high rivers and a foot that has been somewhat burnt..have kept me away from the rivers for what seems an eternity . Today was a day to get stood in a river and wave a stick.  A day to relish being out and enjoy some strangely seasonal sunshine. Although it was pretty breezy it hasnt rained for at least a couple of days.  But to be honest just been able to get some boots on again and chase some rising fish was all the medicine I needed. Jewels like the fish below cure damn near anything.


The Dove has been a saviour for me this season recovering quickly after rain and fishing well every time I visit it a truly  lovely river,  today there was very little hatching but the breeze and surrounding fields inspired me to start with a daddy long legs pattern , it was an inspired choice and successful from the start.  This little run yielded up two fish.


The fish are not large this is fishing in lilliput land,  A 12" Trout is a good one and the grayling are perhaps a little larger.  The fish are all wild and dont give themselves up .  They will take freely but do not tolerate heavy footfalls or a splashy cast.



After years of flirting with the short at 7ft and even ultra short 6ft and even a 5ft , I have decided that 7ft 6" is the shortest rod I ever need to employ,  It is for me the perfect combination of being short enough to get under just about anything whilst being just long enough to be able to combat drag and have some use in holding line of the water.  Its been a long haul getting there and many rods have come and gone but I think I am happy now.  

The Grayling were up for playing today I think they are truly the most beautiful of fish they were certainly in the mood for feeding they to had a taste for the daddies,  I ended the day with six of these all perfect .
 The day has been a real pleasure, no big fish no great challenges probably 20 fish some small and some really small but all welcome.  Furthermore I felt I earned every one and paid them due respect by returning them safely.




Monday, 16 July 2012

Full circle well nearly full circle.














I have been laid up for the last couple of weeks following an accident in the kitchen I am now nursing a badly burnt foot. The rivers will have to wait a little while for me. This has meant I have been pretty much confined to the house. So inspiration for the blog has been somewhat lacking. Work has still been there for me to do during the day thanks to the modern wonders on the interweb. But on an evening I have been taking the opportunity to tidy up my gear and tie a few flies. Raking through the rods I never use and opening boxes of rusty flies from years ago it made me think.













The River Rye... Soon


Its strange how things often go full circle, all sorts of things and its the same with fishing, When I started fly fishing in the early 70s rods had just taken the leap from split cane to fibreglass a material with a moderate price and a slow action that opened up fly fishing to many. I know I couldnt afford a decent cane rod back then but the ABU glass rod got me on the river and fishing, since I have watched as rods moved through the various stages of carbon and boron and now sintrix and the like. Although the perpetual appeal that cane has for some has endured. Things have not ceased to change and not always for the best, Personally I like the slower end of carbon rods I have tried faster stuff but its not for me, I always hankered after a loomis streamdance , I admit the name and the hype had me, when I got one the reality of the rod was a anti climax it was to fast for me I think it wanted to be shooting line whilst I was still composing the back cast. It has now moved on to someone able to keep up with it. I do hope I have now negotiated the minefield of tackle temptation and the rods I have now for me are perfect but I suspect at some point temptation will overcome me.









River Rye waiting


Last year I had a Bruce and Walker 9ft Riverfly rebuilt , it had a brand new handle and reel fitting as I wore the old handle out, I bought the rod new about 20 years ago its a 9ft for a 3 to 6 line rating, and yes that is what it says on the blank. Its definitely a nice slow all through action but will put a long line out, I have used a 3, 4 and 5 rating on it and it handles them all pretty well and is just about perfect for a 4 or 5wt. Anyway last year I was using it for a bit of spider fishing on the Ure when another much younger angler approached me and asked me about the rod ( which looked brand new) I invited him to have a cast with it, he loved it and started to tell me all about how rods like the vision cult had been such a huge development in river rods he wanted to know how much it cost and what model it was as he wasnt familiar with B&W stuff. I informed him that the rod was probably only a few years younger than him. To say he was surprised was an understatement. He also admitted that he was influenced by the apparent newness. But really did like the action. Then this year I met up with someone fishing who was using a new Glass rod , I had a little try of it but must admit whilst it reminded me of the ABU farflyte from years ago it didnt inspire me to rush out and buy one.


So conclusions well i reckon in terms of rod development I reckon It was right for me about 10 or 12 years ago at that time rods and my casting were just about in sync, I have several from that era and they are my favourites. Now I think manufacturers having pursued rods for stillwaters and casting distance and then have made some genuine fishing rods are once again hoping that anglers will all rush out and buy the latest slow action retro tool , Well what they didnt reckon on was that this tight fisted Yorkshireman was happy to wait for the circle to turn...