Well readers I guess being locked down or whatever it is you are calling it is making the hunt for something to read more intense than usual so i hope you enjoy , or if you have never fished in your life and you may found your way onto this fishing blog after seeing the picture below why not have a read.
So who would have thought it eh... Everyone confined to our rooms. Its a bit like detention used to be at boarding school. Not that I ever had detention of course but my friends did tell me that the most frustrating part was the hearing other people outside enjoying themselves when you were doing your time. I guess its the same now . I must confess I have been caned a good few times although sadly not by anyone remotely resembling the lady below.
A few days ago my wife and I were taking a walk along the promenade , yes we do live close enough to the sea to be able to walk along there without being Out of Bounds , to use another school analogy. Watching a group of surfers ignore the rules made my own obedience to the rules a little harder to bear. But I guess most people are trying their best.
As for the lock down I have tried to be sensible over the fishing related activities I have tried to do. Fly tying : I can honestly say my fly boxes have never been so well organised and well stocked . I have even had a crack at a few salmon flies . The internet is a wonderful thing bringing fly tying tutorials into your house , take a bow Mr Davie Mcphail your artistry and gentle narrative is a inspiration to fat fingered muppets like me. Also credit to that excellent blog "Just one Week" one that I have followed for years but only recently taken the time to read much of the content. It was also my intention to review my blog and update its format but that task has bitten the dust. I confess I have bought one new rod. After producing an excel based Gap analysis of my fishing gear during a period of even more intense boredom, I spotted an opportunity to do some shopping so another rod from those lovely guys at Vision was added to the armoury , oh yes and a Danielson reel. But that is a story for later.
I have over the last few weeks been reviewing tidying and checking on the various rod staches hidden around the house. What has become painfully apparent to me is that despite having a few dozen rods . The reality is that for 95% of my fishing I use just half a dozen different ones . That is despite fishing in a wide selection of rivers from the tiniest becks to big strong Yorkshire Dales rivers. These six are not all recent purchases some I have had for many years , they are a result of a careful and expensive process of buying and then discarding duds and great rods that just didnt suit. So here they are to use another school time analogy my six of the best I recommend all of them they all suit me perfectly in their own way .
So and in no real particular order as they are all perfect in their own way but I think I will start with the rod I have had the longest.
Sage SP 9ft 6 inch 7 wt . Not sure how long I have had this , I bought it used twenty or so years ago. It seemed expensive at the time but such a delight to use , for me the finest rod for sea trout that god , well in this case Sage has ever created , it is not a fast casting rod but when you have a feisty sea trout on the end of your line and you are fishing a tight pool. No 7wt rod I have ever had performs better , it casts delightfully and can bully when required. Perfect in every way.
Chas Burns built the Rye , This is a Harrison blank built by Chas, a fine rod builder and a very nice guy. It is a 2 pce 8ft 4 wt . It is an "old School" action , When I say that I mean it is a fine fishing rod , Working well at short or long range , It has that indefineable quality that makes it just right , His rods are rated very highly by those lucky folks that possess them, they are of real quality. This one is a Gem.
R L Winston B2T 8ft 3wt . Now I see all the hype over the B2T 8ft6" 4wt "staff of Moses" and also the 8ft 4wt B2T , but in my opinion this is the real jewel in the lineup. Just to confirm I have owned the 8ft and 8ft 6" 4 wts had them for quite a while, They were both moved on . In favour of the Chas Burns above , The 8ft 3wt however is simply silky smooth perfection . On small streams for casting dries , this rod will place them on a silver sixpence as softly as a angels kiss . It is that good I think I will have it put in my coffin with me .
Hardy Featherweight 7ft 3 wt . Generally not a great Fan of hardy rods , bought a few and got rid of them to. But this one they got just right , In the hand this is one of the lightest rods I have and on small streams where things are tight it is a lovely rod . Complete with all the little touches that I confess Hardy do very well. The little cork stoppers for the Ferrule and even a bag to keep the rod tube in.
Vision Cult . Vision are relative newcomers to me but I now have a few of their rods and their Cult range has a lot of fans , 9ft 3 wt is an unusual length and weight but is one that suits so well on many local streams , This is a quite a soft rod but when I fish it I wonder why I would want anything different , Superb for Winter Grayling .
Newest of my Favourites is an Orvis Superfine Carbon 8ft 2 wt , Fishing 2 wts is something I am doing more and more . When the summer Droughts are there and the fish are spooky and picky this little 2 wt will deliver a midge pattern superbly , It also constantly suprises me just how well it casts . I am quite a fan of Orvis stuff owning several rods and many reels . I cant help but feel that much of there stuff is every but as good as the Sages , Scotts and Winstons of this world but the label is not quite glitzy enough for many .
If I do the six next year it may change a little , Last year I bought a 10ft 2wt from Tom Bell at Sunray .I have not yet fished it enough for it to make it into my top six list . But Cant remember the last time a new rod surprised me quite as much . Anyway I am hoping that I manage to stay out of trouble during the enforced lockdown and I hope you all do to.