Saturday, 19 July 2008

Natural Anglers

Over the last few days I have run several one day courses with varied people including a 17 year old student, a Canadian with his own software company and today a financial advisor from Bristol. It is one of the many great perks of my job; I get to meet a lot of people from all walks of life. What has been really interesting, in fact amazing, is that although all of these guys are very different they have in fact been gifted when it comes to casting. I have taught many people to fly fish over the years and the majority pick it up pretty quickly but it is rare to see so many people in the space of a few days who just click straight away.



Josh Chick began his first session with Neil and then I took over on day 2. By the afternoon he was easily good enough to tackle the River Exe, even in high water and went on to land half a dozen Wild Browns in double quick time plus he easily lost as many and missed several more. The key to his success was multiple accurate casts and dedicated concentration. The successful fly was a Klinkhammer (of course!) fished on a delicate leader.

Today I have been looking after Martin East, a lifelong angler who has enjoyed many coarse and sea fishing sessions but had never attempted casting a fly. Situated not far from the well known Bristol waters; Barrow Tanks, Chew and Blagdon lake he felt it was time to investigate them. Some friends purchased him a gift voucher for a one day course and I am pleased to say that we had a ball. Within an hour Martins casting was looking good, within 2 he was chucking such a nice line that we added a fly. The Exe Valley fish could not resist an Iain Barr Harry Potter dry, so much so that by lunchtime we had banked 3 good sized Trout and missed a few too.

We covered leaders and flies but there was still some time to enjoy so I suggested that although it was a big step that we tried a session at Wimbleball Lake. It is rare to head to this 385 acre venue in the company of a first time, first day fly fisher but we had nothing to lose and everything to gain! Permit sorted I was a little concerned that there were several Nil returns in the hut but not surprised based on the changeable wind and weather.



Our first point of call was Ruggs Bay, just off the point near the bench. This is a hot spot and I was amazed to find it available, in fact the lake was very quiet today. Is this the weather, fuel prices or the credit crunch ... or all 3 combined?

Martin set to work casting with a 10'0" #7 Hardy Demon, the same rod I used to bank this Salmon not so long ago. At first he found the strong wind tough to cope with but after half an hour was into the groove. Our leader was simple; 14', tapered out of Rio Fluorocarbon and including one dropper. I tied a Glo Head Diawl Bach to the top dropper and a Crispy Diawl Bach to the point. Martin was fishing across the wind and retrieving with a steady figure 8 when suddenly the line snapped tight and he was hard into his first ever reservoir Trout which we managed to net after a tense battle. The fly, the Crispy Diawl Bach, fell out in the mesh just as we landed it! After a photograph Martin fished hard for a brace but was very happy to end with one, especially as the fishing is so tough. It is all credit to Martin that he progressed so much through the day that he was even able to attempt this large venue in far from easy conditions.

We have had a run of youngsters fishing recently which is great to see and I am out with 2 more tomorrow. Then its time to get ready for the CLA Gamefair which will involve playing with this (see below) ... all will be revealed but you will have to come and visit next weekend! I will add the timetable for my demos with Henry Gilbey soon.

video

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