Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

A Day To Remember

I was beginning to think my luck was running out. No-one in the car park. I had better grab my gear and get walking. Long trudge, don’t recognise any of this, backtrack, walk over the bridge to another area. Hmm, vaguely familiar, ten minutes later I spot the cormorant colony but there is a huge lake between me and it. Bugger. Turn around and walk back to the right path. Finally I spot the familiar face of Gary Inwards and sigh with relief. Waltamstow reservoirs is a big area with lots of waters. I have been there before but am usually chatting away and not taking much notice of where I am going, hence getting a bit lost.

Gary is Chairman on the Walthamstow fly-fisher club and had invited me and Andy Hathaway to take a group of beginners for the day. I wandered up to the hut we use as headquarters for the day to meet Andy, who I had never met before. It turns out Andy was an old hand at this stuff and I was quite happy to take the advice he was offering as we set the rods up and waited for the group to arrive. When they did it was a quick chat, hand out rods to those who didn’t have any, tie on some leaders and tags, split them into two groups and off we go. I did a demonstrate and explain, got them facing in the right direction and off we went. Two hours later there were some reasonable loops and tired arms so we took a break and some of them went off to the hut where Gary had them tying their first flies. They must have been naturals because between five or six of them they tied enough buzzers for the afternoons fishing in about half an hour! Ok, tie on some leaders, show them how to tie on a fly, space them out along the dam wall. Damn me if someone wasn’t into a fish within minutes, then someone else, and so it went on all afternoon. The fish were cruising along the dam at 25′ or 30′ out. Two or three were not catching but we had been joined by a couple of club members who helped out with the fishing and they would hook a fish and hand the rod over for them to play in, and boy, these fish didn’t want to come in, there were some mighty tussles and great excitement. When one of the girls took a rod from the guy looking after her, I grabbed her own rod for her. Of course I had to have a cast and just as she netted the fish she was playing a fish grabbed the fly I was fishing on her rod so I just handed her the rod back to play it in. It turned out to be a fin perfect overwintered rainbow of over three pounds!

Andy and I then concentrated on another girl who, we thought, was the only one who hadn’t caught but after ten minutes she said her husband also hadn’t caught so I went off to help him. I said I wanted to check his set up and took the rod and a fish hit the moment I started to strip line in so I just handed him the rod back. They must have thought Andy and I were a couple of magicians because we hooked up nearly every time we had a rod in our hands. My own magic moment came when a spot opened up on the dam as people were off admiring their fish and having their photos taken so I picked up my seven weight and just blasted a cast as far as I could, a couple of minutes later a missile launched into the air well over 100′ out and I was into another overwintered fish.

The day really couldn’t have gone any better, there were a lot of happy newbie fly fishers ,an amazed club chairman and two satisfied casting instructors.


April 15, 2012 - Posted by | fly casting, Fly Fishing, Fly tying, Flycasting instruction, Mike Heritage, Uncategorized


  1. wow, catching at 100’… someone must have been impressed.
    I would have. ^_^

    Comment by g0ne fishin9 | April 15, 2012 | Reply

  2. Very cool Mike. Getting everyone into fish, and then nabbing a fish from the far horizon. Superb.

    Comment by Will | April 15, 2012 | Reply

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