Saturday, 7 June 2008

An Awesome Week of Fishing

Before I head home to supper tonight I must catch up on the blog as it has been an awesome week of fishing both on a personal and professional level. It all started on Monday morning when I landed a 9lb Salmon, see here for the story. Next day I was revved up for more, especially after a day in the office. I was due to head up to the Carnarvon water with Neil that evening and felt we had a good chance so I also called up Henry. He has never photographed UK Salmon so it didn't take much to persuade him. The night was quieter than expected based on the water levels and colour but I had a Salmon to my own rod which weighed in at 7lbs, a cock fish that had taken a Kylie Conehead. I hope Donegal start tying this fly again, it is awesome! And if not, I have the pattern and will tie up a load myself as soon as I have created my den in the new unit down the road.

I am really getting into the migratory stuff now and pray that some more rain comes soon. Summer Grilse fishing is outstanding especially on single handed rods such as the Hardy Demon. I used the 10'0" #8 model on Tuesday evening coupled to a Hardy Demon Reel. Both products have provided superb service this season; I highly recommend them. The Salmon was of course carefully released and afterwards Mike Boniface joined me in the Anchor for a pint to celebrate. The week was off to a very good start!

Wednesday commenced with Andrew Bulgin who had joined me for the start of a 3 day course. His casting was looking very fine by lunchtime and we concluded the day with a fine Exe Valley Rainbow. In fact it was all going so well that Neil did not hesitate to take Andrew to Wimbleball Lake, a 385 acre venue high up on Exmoor. In tough conditions he managed to hook 3 fish, losing two but landing one. A brilliant result in such a short space of time. Finally I completed Andrews three days with a session on the River Exe in search of Wild Brown Trout. He dealt with a tough downstream wind and sporadic fly hatches to pick up several fish mainly casting to the edges with small Hi Vis Dry Flies. In high water conditions the Trout can really go on the feed and these Parachute Male Tricos sit perfectly and get taken confidently. Use a tapered leader and don't be afraid to drop down to 2.0lb test.

Andrew headed home and so did I with a huge tray that needed kitting up with our new stock of Donegal Salmon flies. Not cheap but absolutely brilliant. Superb tying on fantastic quality hooks. Salmon fishing costs enough anyway; why scrimp on flies! We will add these to the online store soon. I sat up until gone 11pm doing this (in fact I was quite enjoying it, I love stocking fly boxes!!!) which I shouldn't have done as today we had 8 people in for teaching! Four were with Neil and have just started a two day course while I was looking after Ru (short for Rory!) and his boys. Tom age 17, Sam age 13 and Will age 11. From the off I knew these guys would do well and my late night and 5am rise was soon forgotten, there were casts to be taught and leaders to tie! Ru is a surgeon (so I guess he has steady hands!) while the lads all love the outdoors and sports. Tom showed particular flare and by late morning we had progressed from casting to fishing. First cast Tom was into a fish that he lost!

Within a few casts the same happened and then a shout of "FISH!" echoed around the lake. The youngest, Will, had hooked and was playing his first ever Trout. To see the grin on the guys faces is what I love about my job and I am happy to say that in the end Ru, Sam and finally Tom got their fish. Living in the Quantocks the family are lucky enough to have their own lake which is currently choked by weed. It looks like Dad Ru has now been inspired to clear it out and stock it with Trout!

Don't forget that next Sunday (15th) is fathers day! A Fly Fishing trip to learn or improve with Nick Hart Fly Fishing makes a great gift and is certainly far more fun than socks, after shave or a new drill!

Adding to the fish and fun were some great comments this week. It is so satisfying to hear from our guests and many thanks to Tom Steele in particular. I arrived on Friday morning to find a bottle of wine waiting for me ... and St Emilion too!!!

"Thank you so much for a glorious days fishing, I really appreciate you staying out so late. I haven’t had as much fun on the water for ages and this short line casting has opened my eyes.

Would love to book a repeat session before the end of the season, maybe try to make a weekend of it and get some night fishing in."

Tom Steele - London, 2008

"Thanks very much for a very enjoyable 2 days fishing last weekend. Nick and I enjoyed it ( and your company!) enormously. It’s a bit difficult getting back to the day job today!"

Stuart Jebb - Surrey 2008

I can hardly contain my excitement as a week tomorrow Henry and I head to Montana. But there is a fun few days ahead, especially as one of my very first ever clients, John Peter, will once again be joining us for three days of fishing. John has been threatening to retire for several years and finally it looks as if he has done so! This means he is about to pick up the rods again, so Trout, look out! I will need some early nights this week but with a warm front currently with us the conditions should be good for Sea Trout. Perhaps I will manage a night before we head off as I am yet to land one this year although Nick Mansfield had a lot of fun with them recently during a guided trip, read the report here.

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