Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Saying NO to the close season

In a way I guess having a close season is cool. As a kid I spent many winters evenings tying up flies and reading books, preparing myself for endless adventures on the river bank. Those memories are great but I also remember the "close season blues". These were dark days when 15th March seemed a lifetime away. All I could think about was another plump Brown Trout, nothing else mattered. In fact I reckon I was far more excited about the open day (even if it was bitterly cold and wet) than I was about Christmas. Today things are different.


We had our now annual close season bash yesterday to mark the official end of Trout fishing for another year and got very wet in the process but while I enjoyed every minute of the day I must admit that my mind had started to think about all the winter opportunities such as Pike on fly or even searching for a big Bass with a plugging rod. Plus of course there are trips such as Los Roques in Venezuela to look forward to. In fact I reckon my close season is about as busy as my open season these days!

So although I maybe resting the 8'0" #4 stream rod for a while the 9' 0" #10 will be soon take to the open seas, a canal or a lake. There are Grayling too on a chalk stream or even here on the Exe where stocks seem to be at a record high. This season has seen specimens to nearly 3lbs captured and during the winter bugs and a long rod will produce some excellent sport. Then of course we are able to head to Scotland in mere hours these days in search of Salmon. There is actually so much fishing ... where do we start?

For me it will be at the keyboard as I have a few features for Trout Fisherman to catch up on and I also need some time at the tying bench. There will be much to be done in readiness for 2009 too but I intend to fish as much as possible. Life's too short for a close season!



The sun has been shining on Exe Valley and some decent specimens have continued to be captured. However the autumnal orb has little power in it and during the last week of the season I guided regularly on the river but never witnessed anything like a decent hatch. But bugs caught fish and big dries scored too. I am still kicking myself for not picking up the camera when I looked after regular guest Jon Hettle. We headed out to the Lyn last Friday and although we had to work for the fish, the scene before us more than made up for it. This place has to be one of the prettiest places on earth and I feel privileged to guide there. Perhaps my lens does not show it off in all its glory anyway so check Henry Gilbeys website here to see some stunning images of this very special place and his blog to see some truly amazing African fishing.


Its not all just dreams for the moment because I am very pleased to learn of the Salmon season extension on the Exe and the Torridge systems. This scheme allows us to continue fishing on a special licence on a strict catch and release basis for the next 14 days! Enjoy the close season? Yeah right!

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