Wednesday 27 October 2021

River fly fishing .... So whats that all about?

 I was chatting to someone a few weeks ago we got on to the eternal so what do you do with your spare time .  My answer was "do you mean the time that is spare between working and fly fishing" ?.  or the time apart from work?.  That stopped him for a moment and then I got the " No Seriously" and the questioning look. My response was look I have given you my response which do you mean?.  The blank expression turned into a frown .  

Look I said this is how it is for me. I have always fished , my earliest memory is of seeing my Dad bringing home a fish or two before I was old enough to go. I think the first time I went I would be 8 or 9 ,  My first fish was a perch caught at the local lake with my Dad.  In the years that followed it was one the one thing that kept me sane during a difficult childhood when sent away from home at 11 to a challenging boarding school , escaping to a local river and the lake in the grounds gave me some sort of continuity and safe haven, moving to another Boarding school at 13 gave me the opportunity to fly fish which stuck with me all my life .  Some of my most precious memories are of days fishing with my late father and Grandfather ,  Hopefully there will be memories of fishing with my Son and Daughter as well.  

It has been and still is a life long obsession ,  true I have been a bit of a specimen hunter for Barbel and Carp and various other species and done a bit of sea fishing along the way. I think partly due to the difficulty and cost of getting into decent fly fishing clubs going back 20 or 30 years  . But these days my priorities have changed, a few posts ago I talked about how fishing is for me a holistic thing.  I suppose everyone treads a different path and I have friends who love spin fishing , friends who love still water fishing and some who seem to get more pleasure out of fly tying than actually fishing ,  it is a sport/ pastime / Way of life which allows such divergences ,   For me I love the purity and  peace of a wild river ,  My two favourite rivers are both that and are un stocked . These days I resent the presence of stocked fish and delight in catching and of course returning wild fish. Also it has to be said that this time of year has its own special beauty from the changing colours to the vivid sunrises .  here is one from just the other day across the North Sea near to home ,

For me a good day doesn`t require the capture of loads of fish. This weekend the trip was cut a little short as the rain that started lifting the river meant a lot of leaves drifting down and the rain from above just took the edge of the day but the  pleasure from the 3 hours or so on the river came from unlocking a little more of the code, in detail it was realising that the way I had been approaching one section of stream wasnt perhaps the most productive . Also that the fish hotspot wasnt  actually where I had convinced myself that it was.  Now given another day and different water levels it will be a different puzzle.  but the pleasure was in the small victory and new knowledge stored away.  I think that`s partly the key of why I love fishing rivers so much . 

 It is the ever changing challenge that works for me. I love the challenge of fishing somewhere new. trying a new technique but even more I love fishing on a favourite stream , learning its secrets and gradually unlocking the code.  But with the ever certain knowledge that come the winter floods so much of what you learn is wiped away like a teacher wiping the blackboard clean in preparation for the next years tests.  

Constable Wallop Brook

 I picked this rod up at the Grayling Society Auction at the last Symposium. What a cracking little rod !!! . I am getting increasingly fond...