Friday 19 August 2022

An old itch is bothering me,

 I was recently out in the car between home and York .  I drove over a bridge over the river Derwent at a place where I fished probably 35 years ago . As I wasn`t in a rush I decided to stop and take a look at the place I caught my first Yorkshire Barbel.  It was a memorable and strange day that has stuck in my mind for several reasons firstly for the fact I remember well that I had set out to catch some decent chub , So the capture of a first Barbel was a surprise , a modest fish by current standards but at just shy of 5lb a good first fish , sadly in those days a camera did not always go with me fishing so all that is left is a memory of watching my little samson scale not quite hit 5lb  , What was also a surprise was hearing a voice behind me as I lifted the landing net under the fish and turning round to see Michael Clegg of Cleggs people stood on the bank behind me now those young readers will not know him but he was an interesting character a professional museum curator and naturalist  who had a TV show travelling around interviewing and meeting people.  There he was,  large bearded and imposing smiling and offering congratulations.  He sadly confirmed that they had missed the fish capture being filmed but nonetheless he stopped for ten minutes he was interested in the fish as it was the first he had seen in the Derwent and he stayed for a chat until his camera man told him it was time to go .  Was a shame that I didn`t make it on to the TV , my Dad was a great fan of his show he would have been capped ( Old Yorkshire Expression ) to see Son on the TV ,  Sadly not to be .  

This is Clegg, older readers may well recall him for the Yorkshire TV series 

Anyway enough rambling the point is that standing there on the bank a few weeks ago has irritated that old itch to do a bit more coarse fishing , To that end I have opened communications with the club that now runs the stretch of river and am hoping that membership may be a possibility as early as next year .  I even spent an hour in the garage finding where my coarse fishing stuff is stored , It is probably about 20 years since I have done any serious coarse fishing ,  apart from occasional Grayling trips in Winter the rods are still there MK4 Avons , Float rods all sorts Reels too Mitchells , Shimano all carefully put away certainly the lines will need replacing . Luckily the bag with keep and landing nets has been hung up high above mouse range.  Even the bait droppers and float tubes were still good to go.  The seat box was given away years ago ,  Anyway these days I think my rear end and back need something a bit more comfortable .  As I unboxed and reviewed everything on the patio in the sunshine my Wife happened past ,  She just looked at the mountain of stuff , looked at me , shook her head and went back inside after so long married she knows the signs...

The Fly fishing will always be my first love but well I keep getting that itch so watch out on the blog next year for a bit of Coarse fishing ,,,,,,

Thursday 4 August 2022

Fascination of Vintage gear and a little fishing report...

 I am a member of a couple of online forums and have been for very many years and it has be apparent that there is a growing interest in the use of Bamboo rods  and silk lines .  But also an increasing interest in the use of vintage gear ,  The bamboo rods that I own are primarily recent builds but I also own an old Fosters and a South bend 290 with two tips from Thomas Turners , it was built around 1950 So actually older than me .  Lovely rod and it is still as straight as a die and casts beautifully. Also I acquired it recently for a little over £200 so great value ( Cane shouldn`t cost the earth )   it is also actually a pretty useful rod, one river I fish is very open and plastic 3 and 4 wt lines get blown about something wicked , that rod is designed for a 5 /6 wt,  I use a silk DT5.5 on it . It has a similar line diameter to a 4 wt and deals with the wind with much less effort.  So when its blowing that is what I pick up.  As the rod is a 7ft 6 inch its at home on most of my local streams .  Even though its a 5/6 even modest fish still put a nice bend in it.  

I came across an interesting article about this very subject today here is a link to it, It was one of those reads where I found myself nodding and smiling agreement to myself , I just thought I would pass it along. Also there are cane bargains to be had I noticed a unused and mint MR Zhu 7ft 4 wt with two tips went for £120 on ebay the other day , They are a very fishable rod and a great way to experience that first cane buzz.

This year I have come across a number of guys fishing cane / bamboo and also a few last year but I am struggling to recall any similar experiences over the previous 10 years. A good friend has a couple of "modern " bamboo rods and I recently came across a guy fishing A fosters cane rod that belonged to his Grandfather,  I don`t foresee that cane will overtake carbon ,  but there is for sure a growing minority of anglers that are tiring perhaps looking for something different out of the game, 

 I am not saying that I only fish bamboo now , my last trip was on a very low Yorkshire stream where I explored the upper and more overgrown stretches and for that day my weapon of choice was an Orvis Superfine touch 6ft 2 wt, which to those who are not acquainted with them is delightful full flex range of rods that are probably among the sweetest that Orvis produced , sadly  long since discontinued.

The run below was interesting , a difficult back cast and I was sinking into the mud at a fair rate as I cast and landed this fish first cast, my cast was a good one ( amazing for me ) I landed the fly about 4 inches from the far bank where the tiny patch of grass is next to the briars.  I didn`t see a rise but there had to be a fish there its just a perfect lie. the fish came up and nailed it instantly happy days as it was the best fish of a tough day which had the little two weight well hooped over.  

Reasons to be cheerful part 3

One of my favourite Artists from the 70s was Ian Drury and the blockheads .And after a long driving session a few days ago when I explored m...