Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox


I first went fishing on my honeymoon in 1971. We were broke after paying for the wedding. I saw a for sale advert in a local paper for some fishing tackle. £5 bought me a sit on tackle box, fixed spool reel, floats, shot, hooks and a solid glass rod. We spent the next two weeks of August on various parts of the royal military canal, Heather sunbathing and me catching the odd gudgeon or two. How this turned into an obsession with fishing is beyond me, but it did. I needed a proper rod and I eventually chose a split cane ‘Avon’ from Walkers of Hythe, I bought the kit version and built my first rod. I still have it somewhere. Of course I could have gone the glass fibre route but there was something about the cane that spoke to me. I guess it was a couple of years before I decided on another rod and this time I did go for glass. I bought a fibre tube blank and built another rod. About the mid seventies I started beach fishing in the winter and bought a beach caster, a totally crap beach caster as it turns out, it made John Darling laugh anyway. I bought Going Bros Couger kit and built another rod. Spring spung, beach fishing was no good, the course fishing close season started and I got the jitters for three months before the season started again. To fill in the close season I decided to give trout fishing a go, just to fill in the gap before I started proper fishing again. Another fibre tube blank and, hey presto, a fly rod. Being intrisically lazy, fly fishing gradually took over, what could be easier? Rod, reel, vest and I was good to go. No humping half a hundredweight of gear along some rutted track to the back of beyond. The fishing magazine of the day was Angling Magazine which catered for course, sea and game angling, edited by Brian Harris. I don’t think there is anything on the market like it these days, they all specialise in just one aspect of fishing, which to my mind is missing a trick. I bought every one and have a full collection and even some of its predecessor Creel Magazine. I mention the magazine for several reasons: I learned how to fish by reading it, some of the biggest names in the business wrote for it and I learned about new tackle and innovations, such as carbon fibre. Carbon was expensive stuff so it was out of my range, all I could do was dream about the prospect of owning a carbon rod. One day, at Bewl, I bumped in to Dave Collyer, who wrote the fly tying column for Angling magizine, we had met before, and had a chat. He told me he wanted to sell one of his carbon rods. Of course I bought it. Then I stopped fishing! Young family, recession, worked abroad for a few years, you know, life stuff. I got back into fishing (or, as it turned out, casting) around 2000 and by then everything was carbon fibre, glass was dead and buried. I got obsessed with distance fly casting and to start with I used the rod I had bought from Dave Collyer. As I progressed I needed better rods, mostly, hugely expensive better rods, carbon rods, fast as you like. Have you heard about that new cannon from Orvis/Sage/ Hardy? Yeah, I got to get one of those. Feck me, this is an expensive hobby! After the casting obsession subsided I went into instructing and needed a different set of rods for that and, finally, we go full circle and I now fish a lot, well, a lot for me anyway, and I need fishing rods. One or two of my instructing rods do the job for me, thank goodness. As I go full circle and get back to where I started (fishing) blow me down, glass is making a comeback. Not that I will be buying a floppy, tip heavy noodle. Are you kidding? Well, thats what I thought, until a couple of weeks ago. I was handed a rod to cast and it was lovely. Hang on, this is a glass rod? Yes, I was assured it was. I cast it again, desperately trying to find something not to like about it, to my consternation, I couldn’t. If all glass rods were like this (unfortunately they are not…yet) I would seriously consider building another rod.


May 11, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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