Wednesday 29 December 2021

Ring a ring of Omicron and a Happy new year ,,,,,

I titled my Christmas post like that because I cant help thinking about that old rhyme a ring a ring of roses ,  which is linked to the great plague and the black death , now that sounded like a proper plague and  I think one of the problems of this Covid virus is that for so many in society they have had no contact with it and have not felt the effects so for them its basically a pandemic in name only.  last Friday I went to a shop at lunchtime forgot my mask and was scowled at and ticked of by the owner and the one other customer who were both some distance away .  Yet a few hours later a small group of us went to the local restaurant and the place was buzzing people of all ages no masks and no requirements to wear one.  I guess it is those inconsistencies that make things difficult for folks. It has certainly been a long hard year and it has been hard to find positives out of the situation. 

Anyway back to the blog I havn`t fished for some time probably a month due to the constant rain and high water levels. But a couple of  Sundays ago I was ahead on domestic duties and my Son was not working so we escaped to the river. The river was slightly up but clear the fish were hard to find for both of us,  it was a pretty dour day. Drizzle  quite a thick mist . Cold no sign of any activity in the river all in all pretty bleak. We got there an hour two later than I would have liked, we fished for a couple of hours with little reward.  In the last pool I showed Ollie some short line nymphing and with 7ft rods it is very close quarters stuff on a small river. We ended with a fish each which is very lean pickings on this stream but it seemed suitable reward.   It has been a long year but for me been made bearable by freedom to escape to one of the rivers I am privileged to fish on , and having family around me.  More so now that my oldest and non fishing son works for me .  So I certainly see a lot of them all ,  I just need to get my Daughter out with me a bit more often.  

Anyway Hope you had a Good Christmas and you have a happy healthy and prosperous new year ,  I will leave with a couple of this years mayfly highlights as I am about to tie up a few to make me think of warmer weather ,

Monday 6 December 2021

Grayling, Meditation and The Old Fellas hat

An interesting effect that Covid has had is that fishing has been mentioned on the news and social media a great deal, with  fly fishing in particular being hailed  for its therapeutic qualities . It perhaps feels strange to some  that such an abstract obsession can have such a positive effect on your psyche, for me it just reinforces what I have always known that it is the closest thing to meditation I have ever indulged in .  My wife also acknowledges the benefit always referring to it as my Prozac.  The effects are very real and the club I help to run has seen a big increase in membership enquiries ,  the waiting list is longer now than I ever remember clearly people are looking for something different . 

  Anyway as i have mentioned on the blog before the blame for the obsession sits firmly on the shoulders of my dear departed Dad . It was seeing him bring a fish home that triggered the obsession and then it fell to him to take me out fishing, not nearly often enough for me as a youngster but I guess like all Dads he had other things to worry about. Indeed I owe my very existence to my Fathers love of fishing . He was fishing around the local lake as a young man and met my mum when she was introduced to him, she was the sister in law of a another fishing friend. My mum even used to fish with him when they were courting.  I have a few photos of them from their early days ,  rivers and countryside feature in many .  

However apart from the love of fishing and the memories What he did leave me was his love of a certain fish and now probably my favourite too. he was a Coarse angler and loved the Roach but the Grayling  Ah the grayling that was his favourite river fish and these days it is mine  ,  I remember fishing the Yorkshire  Derwent with him about half a century ago and he caught one that at the time seemed huge and was probably around the magical 2lb mark I really don`t recall him ever being so excited at the capture of anything else. 

Apart from his rod and reel There was just one other thing passed to me and it came in the box of possessions from his room at the care home and that was his favourite flat cap.  I must admit that the box remained  un touched in my office for a year or more. There is something very sad  about the clothes and most personal possessions from a passed loved one.  But when i eventually felt like sorting the box out I spied the hat and I thought the best thing I could do with it was to take it with me fishing especially for the old fellas favourite fish.  So the hat now lives in my tackle bag I am sure Dad would approve.

So last week I was out on the river fly fishing for Grayling ,  The day was cold , a little breezy but the grayling eventually came out to play for an hour or so. My dads hat was doffed to the best fish of the day pictured above ,  I am sure he would have appreciated the gesture.  I think it brought me luck. It will definitely be on my head again when I pursue the lady of the stream.

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...