Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The Lost Fly Box

Have you ever lost a fly box? The only time I came close was during a session when I was guiding on the River Bray in North Devon. In fact I lost a bunch of dry flies that spilled out of the box when a freak gust of wind caught hold of the contents, so the box remained safe. However I was gutted and the same feeling came over me (but worse!) for a few hours during my trip to Montana with Henry Gilbey.


I had one of the new Vuefinder boxes by Wychwood which we are about to load to the shop. Now I have used a good few types of box ( including old cigar tins when I was a kid!) and in terms of value for money and practicality the Wychwood box has got to be one of the best on the market. I feel a review coming on soon! Anyway I had one of the boxes sent to me stuffed full of flies including a whole side of dries and another of nymphs. Throughout the week I used a number of the patterns to catch fish like the one seen below and was quite literally in heaven.


That was until one morning I was double checking all my kit ready for our next outing only to find that my main box was nowhere to be seen. I searched everything. The boat, the car, my bag (10 times), drawers, waders ... you name it. Over and over I went through my mind when I last had the box and slowly but surely all sorts of sinister ideas cropped up. I was sure it must have been stolen, even though Henry did make the point that why would this go missing and not his laptop computer, the car parked outside and ipods left on our bed side tables! Fair point.

Needless to say I was like a bear with a sore head, feeling worse than a kid dumped by the first love of their life. I was sure that I had seen the last of my beloved box and all its contents. Even more worrying a couple of days later I would be out guiding my guests back at home, but what with!? I searched everything again and then resigned myself to the fact that I would have to learn to live without them, falling heavily into the car seat as we headed for a new stretch of water. The mountains, sunshine, gorgeous rivers and Trout seemed like distant memories; all I wanted was my box!

Setting up I tried to laugh it off and cheer myself up when Henry said "I have a feeling we will see it". I thought he was just trying to make me feel better but decided that his positive attitude warranted another check of my fishpond tackle bag. I went through all the pockets just as before and nothing. It was then that I noticed the false base to the bag. It is removable and helps to keep the bag rigid; suddenly the light bulb came on. Pulling back the base revealed ... you've guessed it! I was the butt of Henry's jokes for several hours but did I care; not in the slightest. My fly box was back and I felt whole again!

I am out of the office tomorrow to work on corporate days that we have running back to back over the course of the next few days. We organise these events at this beautiful private lake and look forward to seeing the fantastic fish that inhabit the clear waters of this venue. Lunch will be at Woods of course! But before that lets hope Murray gets himself in to the semis of Wimbledon, the match a few nights ago was fantastic. How cool to see a player from the UK attack his game with such aggression and determination, especially having gone 2 sets down when it looked like there was no hope.


Finally we would like to welcome Ben Allen to Hart Flyshop. A young fishing junkie, Ben loves to tackle Carp but is also now a convert to the world of fluff chucking. You may have seen him one of my recent Trout Fisherman features. Ben will be welcoming anglers to the fishery and on hand to help with general running of the shop. Above Ben casts a tidy loop during our visit to the Mole in the summer of 07.

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