Sunday 4 June 2017

Times a passing....

Not sure how I feel about this year Its brought a rather significant milestone. I suppose the truth is no birthday is any more signiificant than any other and for me having a birthday mid April only meant hey chaps the Trout season is on us again... But none the less the birthdays that come around every ten years seem to have a little more significance and always seem to sting a bit more, I remember I was a bit miffed when I turned 30 .  But this latest one is double that and I really dont like how fast time seems to be passing .  The one positive that comes out of it , well apart from the one that is "Ive made it this far" is its an excuse to treat yourself .  My treat was two weeks of Cuban sunshine .

Truth is that i have always viewed with some envy videos or films of people tropical flats fishing and I bet I am not alone as a fly fisher who has wondered about that ghost of the flats the bonefish.

To me the idea of wading and casting to a cruising bonefish with a well presented fly was a very attractive idea. Boats and me dont really get on but wading well thats a different proposition.

Anyway a decision was made about a year in advance checks revealed that my birthdate was actually a pretty good time to be visiting cuba .  Information on line isnt that detailed but its there for you if you hunt for it .   Initial contact with guides was made and a two week all inclusive hotel package was booked .
 All I needed then was the gear, now I dont know about you guys but researching for and buying gear for a new fly fishing interest is a fascinating pastime.  Online purchases started to mount up .  Reels by the likes of Tibor and Abel were bought of ebay preloved is the word I prefer. 
Quality reels are something I will buy used .  Carbon rods can have hidden chips and damage that can be catastrophic so new rods were purchased.  An interesting year and a not unsubstantial investment was made .   Also i set myself the challenge of tying the flies I would fish with .  After considerable research and help from a online aqaintence I spent an inordinate amount of money in order to fill one average size box .  

Eventually the date for departure came around everything was packed into one half of the newly purchased fishing expedition case .  Clothes and normal holiday stuff in the other half .  Its a nine hour flight to cuba long enough to get to know a few other angling passengers .  Long enough to listen to hero tales  of 70ft casts in 30 mph winds and try to decide who's much is bravado and who much the truth. 
Anyway eventually we arrived and spent a couple of days acclimatising .  The wind was a pain gusting to 28 knots red flags on the beach .  My allocated guides face was a picture .  Your first time ?  You never fished in salt before ? You a trout fisher ?  Delicately holding an imaginary rod between thumb and fore finger making little swishing noises as he mimed a perfect 10oclock two o clock cast...I guess he had enough first time greenhorns and apparantly the bad weather had meant catches had been bad for a few days.  So some reticence was expected .  On the day first trip on a flats boat wind was gusting and sight fishing was a non starter .  But thanks to a good guide and despite my casting I finished the day with 10.  I was pleased and the guide was smiling. The next trip the wind had died down and I was to wade with a guide.  The day was enthralling, the fishing was hard .  Bonefish are spooky, fast and damn addictive . I loved it and next year i will be back.  A final note when I Departed Cuba 28degrees.. landed UK 1 degree above freezing back in time for spring fishing....

Since getting back gone are the 8 and 9 weights and back to the three and four weights .  Wading was once again with the added protection of socks trousers and waders.

The local trout are still damm pretty and the countryside still looks good and as I write up this blog in June I have spent the day exploring a new river for me.  Later in the summer when the rains come Im hoping for Sea trout and Salmon from it. 

Must confess that the quietness on the blog was due to my general malais . But after a day on the river today I realised that actually I am still one of the luckiest blokes I know and I need to stop been a misery .  Then to top it of I saw a few mayflies today how can you be miserable when the mayflies are start to hatch. 

Reasons to be cheerful part 3

One of my favourite Artists from the 70s was Ian Drury and the blockheads .And after a long driving session a few days ago when I explored m...