Tuesday 21 November 2017

Another season gone

"Hello my friend I cant resist having a word with you seeing what book your reading" Were the words I heard delivered with a rich welsh accent. I have just returned from a holiday on the canary islands , it was a real "the wife and I quality time and no fishing planned or expected type of trip" . It was a very nice sunny and relaxing ten days .  I took just one hardback book .  Sea Trout fishing by Harris and Morgan .  Together with my kindle loaded with a few general novels and a few Roderick Haig Brown titles .  Anyway I was laid by the pool with the sea trout book and heard the above words.  "Im sorry but I saw what you were reading and couldnt resist a chat".  Smashing Welsh guy who fishes the welsh rivers for Sewin as they call them.  Sat and chatted for an hour or more talking about how the rivers and our catches fared and about our shared worries regarding pollution and declining insect populations, during the holiday we then exchanged pleasantries whenever we bumped into each other. Afterwards it occurred to me how much of a common bond this fly fishing is,  Would a golf book or a football book have stimulated such a meeting ,  somehow I doubt it. Yet the old expression "a brother of the angle" really does seem to have some real meaning.

Cant believe another season has rushed by, there has been as usual a lot of small streams and some bigger streams to.  The Yorkshire Derwent has fished beautifully and has produced some stunning small brownies that on 6ft 3wts are great fun.  Its small stream with a little S ..

The trout above was living under  in the deep water under the big oak in the following,  must say if I was a trout I cant think of a better place to live .  I can confirm he was returned safely..

Anyway so back to the present. Here we are my fly fishing season number 47  finished,  these days I regularly meet fellow fly anglers out on the banks and discover that so many that are about my age or a little older often retired and newly taking up the gentle art.  Virtually all are envious when I say that I started fly fishing all them years ago. its hard to believe that I have fly fished for nearly 50 years .  I can still remember those first attempts and realising that what seemed so simple in the stick man illustration in the book was actually a bit more difficult.  Apart from the local undertaker who at some point later took pity on my feeble attempts and gave me lots of help my one source of knowledge was "Trout and how to catch them "  which the local library had , well it had it occasionally when i didnt have it,  a smashing little book and still a good read for newcomers.  I sought out a copy a few years ago,  reading it is a trip down memory lane.

The year started well in fulfilling my long held desire for a stalked bonefish on a single handed fly rod and on a self tied fly. It was a great memorable day, I had caught loads a few days before on a boat but it wasn’t wading and wasn’t stalking , certainly it didnt make the same impression on me. That and using a self tied fly.

Since then I have joined a migratory fish river association and started the year with a few nice sea trout and even netted a lovely 14lb salmon for my fishing companion ,  sadly on that day I was the bridesmaid and not the bride but was glad to be able to net the fish successfully, I hate netting fish for people especially someone’s first salmon in a inadequate net.  I know that should the worst have happened he would have been gracious about the loss but the shame oh the shame.

The first of my sea trout came on a spinner , yes yes I know you will say this traditional English fly angler chucking metal about .  Well guilty as charged the high water conditions meant it was a mepps that was first to give me success.  However as the season continued my taste for spinning diminished and for fishing the fly increased.  Not saying I wont used the spinner , I certainly will but will pursue any opportunity to use the fly rod even if I fear it reduces my chance of  fish.

An imitative fly ....

So this closed season will be tying up a range of absolutely deadly sea trout and salmon flies .  Well it will be my perception of what a deadly fly is and I must confess as the seasons pass and I gain more experience i realise is that I only ever seem to gain more awareness of all the stuff I don`t know.  Particularly with regard to fly patterns .  Sure there is the imitative theory  that says your fly should offer a perfect lifelike imitation of the insects on the water, but what I cant fathom is why should that fly which has just caught you have a dozen fish with the last one taking the fly with even more enthusiasm than the first do so for a fly that by then looks like a hook with snot stuck to it and some fluff out of your pocket squashed into it.  Beats the hell out of me .  I suppose thats one of the main attractions of it.  That glorious sense of the unknown

So for next season there will be no new clubs but there is a half formed idea of a trip or two with friends .  I am sure a new rod or reel will arrive soon.  Christmas would not be Christmas without some new fishing kit or a book or two.  As for the next few weeks up till the end of December It will be about an odd Grayling trip and starting to plan for the festivities and getting my fly tying done and boxes put together for next year .  Really could do with a new fly tying vice , not saying I really need one but really feel like I want one. Mind you I didnt  need the last two rods I bought or the last three reels but well you know how it is.

Finally dear reader I swear that if this is my last post of the year then next year I will do better...

Why Bamboo? because its its a joy, thats why! and they are effective....

 After pretty much a lifetime of fishing and being a fly fisherman for 54 years now I have learned a bit about fly fishing ,  mainly I have ...