Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Alarmingly as the years pass by annual milestones seem to come ever closer together. As February draws to a close it marks for me the passage of the dark nights of winter into the light days of spring . The first week in February has always seemed to me the week that the lengthening days really become noticeable , the grayling are now spawning in my local stream The snowdrops are blossoming in the hedge bottoms and under the midday sun the water starts to look alive again.
Although the season is still in the future March then becomes a time of frantic fly tying , checking lines and counting days . Each new dawn increasing the anticipation of opening day . " Opening Day" that first day of the season. An annual test of reality over anticipation. The anticipation is of a warm spring day with a smattering of large dark olives taking to the wing around lunchtime with an accompanying chorus of rising fish. The reality is that the day will probably be cold, windy with that miserable driving fine rain that soaks you through. Not a single fly will take to the air , but I will fish the dry fly in hope and then spiders in anticipation of a moving fish before opening my account on opening day becomes urgent enough for me to cook the books by using a nymph. Although I no longer resist fishing the nymph, in fact I have embraced the art over the last couple of seasons . I still cling to a romantic notion that a wild brownie on opening day on a dry fly is the perfect start to a season.
This year the lethargy that has been on me since christmas has meant that my fly tying has been non existent . There are many jobs that need to be done. There are a few new patterns that need to be added to my fly tying. Lessons learnt and favours given by fellow anglers need to be added to my fly box. There too there is change my fly box of years ago had a multitude of flies mostly 14s and 16s . Now I find I have very few patterns but in sizes from 16 to 22 . God bless Dave Southall for introducing me to his minimalistic micro midge a tiny fly thats long name is at odds with its astonishing ease of tying and a fly that caught me many fish last season. It is one fly that will be an ever present in my fly box . It will take its place among the old faithfull patterns I fish with the confidence derived from seasons long past.