Tuesday, 6 March 2012

My history of fly fishing

In 2009 I was lucky enough to visit New Zealand for the first time, and decided to buy a second hand Cortland Silverstream #6 fly rod and reel combo (after a friend showed me a fly fishing magazine, instantly loved it) for the amazingly cheap price of 70 NZD (£36). Unfortunately I had no money for a guide so resorted to teaching myself, with the results being I saw one brown trout in about 4-5 day trips....
On my return to the UK I was determined to be more successful. I googled fly fishing in the area of Somerset where I then lived, and the results gave me Chew and Blagdon lakes, which are pretty famous I had heard.
Despite my unbelievable lack of knowledge of insects, fly patterns, casting and trout, I decided to get to Chew for the opening day. I set up on the bank nearest the tackle shop, and with the wind blasting in my face I began to cast about 5-10ft into the lake. A pleasant gentleman next to me informed me that he had been in the same spot on the opening day the previous year, and was also a complete beginner, and had some success with short casts. I had no such luck...I have no idea what fly pattern I was using then, probably an orange buzzer, but it made no odds. After getting wind blasted for 4 hours I decided to try my luck elsewhere, and joined around 10 blokes fishing in a secluded area of the lake. I tried to catch a glimpse of what everyone was using, but they were far too busy landing decent rainbows for me to sneak a peek, so I just tied on something else orange and completely wrong for the situation. I don't need to mention that I blanked that day, but it did not dissuade me one bit.
The rest of the year followed a similar pattern, and the lack of money to hire a guide didn't help. So it turned out to be a season long blank, which surprising didn't put me off.
I moved to Leeds in January 2011 and again googled fly fishing, Yorkshire. I had no idea about the rich fly fishing heritage in this area of the world, but due to a new job I now had the funds to hire a guide for the day. So in early April I embarked, unbelievably excited, out towards the dales to meet Steve Rhodes of Go Fly Fishing UK. I learnt more about fly fishing in that day than I ever thought possible, which improved my knowledge no end, but also highlighted the vast wealth of information available. Unfortunately I again blanked that day, but encouraging words from Steve were great. I finally landed a wild brown trout about 1 month later on an expedition to Bolton Abbey, and since then I have been border line obsessed. The rest of the season proved more fruitful, landing a few more wild brown trouts, and joining a decent club for a decent price.
Anyways, that brings us to date and I hope (in a round about sort of way) explains why I have started this blog. With another guided day booked with Steve this year, bring on the 30th of March.

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