Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

It Ain’t ‘Arf Hot

I think i am suffering from a casting form of Bob Geldorfs compassion fatigue. Enough is enough, I am either ready or not. It’s also difficult to keep up the enthusiasm on your own.

I gave a lesson to a father and son a couple of weeks ago and we made a date to take them on their first trout fishing day and yesterday was the day. I don’t know if you are ‘enjoying’ April where you are but we have had over a week of very unseasonal weather. The temperature has been in the 20’s for over a week and it had been getting hotter, the last three days have been 25c, clear blue sky and hardly a breath of wind. All very nice after the winter we had but not exactly ideal conditions to go after your first trout, especially on a gin clear still water. Never the less very good conditions for your first cast on water. Fred was on his own because mum had taken the kids off to London and luckily he fully understood the conditions were not going to make catching a fish very easy. We set up his tackle, chose a fly pretty much from random and he made his first cast and I am pleased to say he cast a very nice line so I could relax and just try to put him onto a fish. It didn’t happen. We could see them cruising around but they didn’t seem to be feeding. There was no sign of a hatch so we stuck to PTN’s and GRHE’s, with the odd damsel pulled through. Apart from the odd half-hearted follow we didn’t get much of a reaction. I put my rod up with the intension of finding out how deep the fish were and what they were taking and didn’t fare any better than Fred. There is an island in the middle of the lake that has some trees and as the sun went round one end was starting to shade the water. I figured that a dry cast into the shade might get a reaction. And it did, second cast and up comes a nice fish which shot off into open water. Unfortunately it dived into a clump of  blanket weed and just when I should have been giving line I trod on it instead and the tippet broke. Stowting is a lovely little water but blanket weed in warm weather is always a problem there. I have actually watched the bloody stuff grow and hang in long filaments to the extent that it’s impossible to fish without the fly becoming covered in the stuff. Time for a coffee and a Mars bar. After the break I tried a heavy buzzer and missed a couple of takes and got smashed again. Another buzzer, another smash. I was getting a bit annoyed. I very rarely get broken by a fish and couldn’t work out what was going on. I was using 5lb tippets and there was no way I should have been getting broken. Then I realised I was using a six weight and I normally use a five, and a softish five at that, when I fish here. The six is the one I am going to use on my test, it was the first rod I grabbed as I left the house. I tried again and got a take on the drop. I was very careful with the fish and landed it and then I landed a second one. I had sussed out what the fish wanted and went to find Fred. Fred was hungry and wanted to pack up but I persuaded him to give it another ten minutes. I cast out my fly, let it sink, treek tweek, bang, into a fish. I take Freds rod and give him mine ‘there you go, land that’. Five minutes later he did and I netted a fin perfect brown of about 4lb, the biggest I have ever hooked!! I don’t even have a photograph because I was keen to release it as quickly as possible. We did have the pleasure of watching it swim away though.

I once heard a similar story. Brian Harris was keen to get a friend of his, Digger Derrington, to try trout fishing and took him to Darwell. Digger couldn’t get a touch so when Brian hooked one he gave the rod to him and Digger eventually landed a 6lb rainbow, which was a huge fish in those days. Digger gave the rod back to Brian and packed up, he never fly fished again. He said it was too easy.


April 24, 2011 - Posted by | fly casting, Fly Fishing, Fly tying, Flycasting instruction, Mike Heritage

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