Monday 25 April 2022

First on a Dry...


I am not sure why the above annual headline is so important to me but I guess its pretty simple really ,  I have always been and always will be a fan of dry fly fishing .  not for any snobbish reasons but simply there is something fascinating to see that moment of the take.  It is that wonderfully visual moment when your deception has been successful. As a small boy before I tasted fly fishing for trout it was always the float that was my chosen method.  On rivers trotting a float effectively is a true art when done properly,  like fly fishing it is also obviously a very visual form of fishing and one also that teaches you an understanding of watercraft and reading currents and understanding the importance of drag . There are so many similarities with fly fishing. Looking back It is 50 years since I took up my first fly rod I am afraid that since then the coarse fishing has gradually slipped away and is now simply a whim or a walk down memory lane as my recent trip with my late fathers gear in the recent blog post.

So there we are,  my first brown trout on a dry of the season on a day when there was low cold water very little fly life and a nasty cold wind. Truth is I was convinced I would not do any good on the waters surface, but I think the river just took pity on me and provided me with one small but beautifully marked rising fish that took my seals fur bodied F Fly and allowed me a moment to admire its perfection.  On the day I also managed to catch two larger but stocked fish , well they weren`t getting a photo, This river produces the most beautifully marked brown trout . The one on the front banner of the blog was from this very section of river,  that is not the largest Brown Trout I have ever caught but every time I look at the picture I recall how perfect that particular fish was .  So far this season has been very strange, the second day of the season was as warm as a summers day and when I visited the river I was greeted by many rising fish ,  trouble is they were all out of season grayling ,  since then I have caught many grayling and few trout, so it was great today to catch no grayling and just brown trout...

The signs of Spring are now well established this tiny island hosted a swan every year when I last fished this section of the river which is actually around ten years ago .  I was amused to thumb back through the catch return back and see my reports still there from all that time ago.  As I stood to take the photo below I recall that many years ago I was sat there having a doze and break and became aware of an agitated buzzing ,  my hearing is pretty poor and it took a while to register that I was sat on the hole to a very large wasps nest . I moved carefully and slowly and managed to avoid stings .  Moving slowly was something I learned as a coarse angler when digging out nests for wasp grubs . I also remember how effective dry cleaning fluid aerosols were as a first line of defence. 

The river is looking pristine at the moment although the signs from the feeder streams are showing low flows already. Without some serious rain in the next few months it will be a very low river indeed by mid summer.

The smell of wild Garlic was pretty overpowering as I walked through it making my way upstream.  It is one of those evocative things that gives a strong sense of time and place ,  it also makes a damn fine soup with a suitable chicken stock. 

long time readers of the blog will recognise this view ,  it hasn`t changed it is still a beautiful river.

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...