Wednesday 13 December 2023

A Christmas Reflection on rivers and Bamboo and Silk...


Firstly I wish any body who is still reading Blogs a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year . An especially hearty wish for those of you are return visitors to my blog. Its been a strange year and it is ending as a pretty soggy one.  My winter grayling fishing has been buggered in fine style by the never ending rain.  One trip with a guest a few weeks ago during a break in the rain found a river that was less than welcoming to the guest whom I had hoped would have a good day.  There have been no trips since and my fishing fix has been ltd to fly tying and tackle tinkering whilst trying hard not to buy anything I don`t need.  Which to be fair is almost anything although a recent online offer on Hardy Perfect reels caused me to stumble.  

Whilst looking at the state of the rivers I can only hope that the huge volumes of water can remove some of the accumulated leaves and silt from the local rivers which in places have been very extensive after a few years of low flow but also hope that the same huge flows do not do to much damage to the local watercourses from fallen trees and the like.  It will be interesting to visit my local rivers in the spring and see what changes have been caused , Indeed  one of the fascinations of my local streams is just how much the nature of them changes year by year ,  Fish holding features change every year but winter floods can really alter things substantially. On my streams A new wedged tree stump of washed out depression can be a big attraction in the small world of streams 

I have had a number of   conversations this year with longer term fishing friends who have spoke with some puzzlement with my increasing fascination of using cane / bamboo rods ,  One guy who is a fine angler a club secretary and a part time river keepers words were , "why go backwards when companies and technology  has developed tackle that does the job more effectively" ?.   I guess on the face of it it is a fair enough challenge .  But I did note that his statement made no mention of enjoyment, satisfaction or indeed anything on an emotional level , it was purely a statement made about efficiency and almost mechanical advantage.  

I suppose my answer is and I guess it is all down to personal preference but I would say this...The guy who first coined the phrase " You throw a line with a Carbon rod but you cast a line with a bamboo rod. Understood what its about I also find that the cane rods are more accurate too so it isn’t just about emotional stuff although there is a certain effortless beauty in how a bamboo rod casts a line . Also there is nothing at all to match the feeling of playing a good fish on a bamboo rod . You can feel every twist and turn especially when using a silk line.

Modern silk lines are extremely efficient and relatively easy to maintain and are not much more expensive than a premium plastic line but last way longer. But putting the nuts and bolts of tackle aside the plain truth is I have reached that time in my fishing lifetime when what matters is the quality of the experience and not the theoretical technical efficiency of the gear I am using .  feeling a silk line load a cane rod and then watching it elegantly unroll across the stream and then being able to easily mend the line and perhaps pick it off the surface with a deft roll ,  seeing the fish rise and then after the take feel every twist and turn through the none stretch silk and the sinewy bamboo .  that feel is very different to plastic and Carbon  and yes I have tried the Sage SLTs , the Sage LL and the Winston B2T staff of Moses and most of the rest.  Nothing feels quite like cane,  As for the photos well they are all of my local streams where I will be returning next summer .  

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...