Saturday, 16 February 2008

Another Day in Paradise

Stepping out onto the lake today was Paul Humphreys who enjoyed an early morning blast down the M5 from Birmingham in readiness for a One Day Course at Exe Valley Fishery. This great little lake has seen many of my guests set out on the road to fly fishing nirvana. In fact it is a great source of encouragement for them to step out on a public fishery in the company of an instructor and find that in fact they do not need to attain an incredibly high standard to hold their own. Imagine learning on a private lake and then having to take yourself out on a public fishery for the first time; what a daunting prospect!

Anyway Paul certainly got down to business very quickly and after a run through the gear was soon roll casting. Next came some pick up and lay downs before attempting to false cast and shoot line. By lunchtime he was flying, so we headed back up to the ranch for lunch to talk flies and leaders. I noticed Paul looking around the shop and just knew that he was hooked; this is what fly fishing does to us!

Warmed through we headed back out into the cold and recapped the casting; Paul by now was itching to get fishing. 14ft of fluorocarbon later and a #12 McKay was heading off over the water. I discussed retrieves with Paul as we settled into a relaxing session, enjoying the clear blue skies but both quietly hoping that any moment the line would wrench tight. “Would you have had one by now”, Paul enquired. “Not necessarily I replied, just keep fishing hard and see what happens”

When the line snapped tight Paul could not believe it, his finger clamped the line and with an annoyed cartwheel his first 2lb Trout had parted company, snapping the leader like cotton. No matter, a lesson learned and a new leader in place we got back to fishing. This is never a time to think “if only”, but instead just keep fishing and believing.

Another take came but Paul did not connect. Two casts later his prayers were answered and a lovely conditioned 1 ½ lb Trout capped the end of a very enjoyable day spent in the glorious Exmoor countryside. By now Paul really did have the bug and only a short while ago he left for home in possession of his first fly fishing kit. Another great day on the lake and I look forward to more tomorrow!

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