Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The Wye and Wherefore

The end of the season is getting closer. The nights are drawing in very quickly and this angler is trying to cram in as many quality fishing sessions as he can.....gathering fishy memories to last over the long winter period until the inevitable excitement of the brand new season.

Last week, I visited a big angling centre to stock up on consumables with two trips in mind, one to the Hebridean Isle of Islay (watch this space), and the other to the River Wye at Rowsley.

I selected a few flies, terrestrials and muddlers to take with me to Scotland, and various types of sedges and olives to take to the Wye and I handed them over to the man behind the counter. "Bloody hell youth, at using em fer grindbait er wot?" he enquired implying I may have picked up a dozen or two too many...

I believe there are some every day items that one cannot own enough of, such as bread, screwdrivers, oatcakes, bottles of whisky, candles...and flies appears as one of the top entries....being short of the right fly for a particular set of conditions is enough to give your confidence a good kicking and can ruin a fishing outing.

And so, on Sunday 30th August, Glen, Brian and I met up chez Woody, and we three Stoke lads made our way over the hills to Rowsley and checked in at the Peacock Hotel. Here we met Dave (The Squire), who had also booked on the river, and given that it was his first time, was visibly excited and anxious to get out on the river as soon as possible, so declined breakfast and made his way up to the fisherman's car park. We ordered some posh breakfast butties and relaxed in the lounge, chatting about the day ahead, sipping our coffees and thanking the dozens of waiters who delivered our refreshments. Anyone would think that we were the type who got out of the bath to have a wee.

Refreshed, we drove up to the fisherman's car park and had a dabble on the nearest section. It was hard going, but Dave managed a wee Grayling. We met up with Jan, one of the river keepers and he promptly taught Glen to cast. We spent two hours there and then decided to slowly make our way towards Bakewell, we didn't want to over do it because we knew that we had a long day ahead of us.

As we got closer to Bakewell, we started to take more fish as the day got warmer and the rises increased. Glen landed a cracking Grayling that gave him a good fight.

We walked through the middle of Bakewell in our gear where we were asked the inevitable questions..."Are you going fishing mate", and "What are you fishing for", the latter usually attracting a response like "Sea Bass" from Mr Pointon. Our destination was upstream of Scott's Garden, I was keen to walk upstream a little I hadn't fished it much before. I took a couple of wild Rainbows in the pool below the weir, they gave me a right run around.
Dave fished upstream of us, and although he was taking more fish than any of us, didn't like the proximity to the town and the number of tourists that were around, so he packed up and made his way back towards the fisherman's car park.

This was the first time I'd met Brian. We had chatted on the forum before and he had said that he was going to tie me a few flies...I was amazed that morning when he handed me a fly box full of dozens of sedges and blue winged olives, there must have been 50 or 60 or so. I couldn't thank him enough..top man. Brian caught a couple of nice Brownies in Scott's Garden and was clearly enjoying his time on the Wye. Glen and I are hoping he will join as on the Dove at Dovedale and Milldale next year.

Since breakfast, I'd noticed that Glen was a little distant, he was quieter than usual, he was even swearing less, and it was clear that he was preoccupied with something. On a couple of occasions I caught him staring at the river, like a poet searching for inspiration, and every so often, he'd take a long, thoughtful, drag on his fag, take his daft hat off and scratch his head. He was of course planning for later in the day, planning how to hook one of his clunkers up there in the town stretch. 

So, the town stretch it was then for the last couple of hours. We looked over the footbridge, and spotted a massive shoal of hundreds of fish, some of them huge and most over 4lbs. It had been more than an hour since these monsters had been fed any chips, doughnuts are icecream cones, and were now that hungry that they were rising to naturals. We took it in turn to cast at them, all armed to the teeth with LTD sedges.

Glen was the first to hook, and then Brian, each landing lovely 5lb Rainbows. It was my turn to cast. Glen and Brian looked over the bridge and tried to guide my casting into the fish. It was a long cast for me and I tried a bit of double hauling which gave me enough power to drop a sedge into the fish. 

Glen's face went all serious, and he started to chant "Ey up, Ey up, Ey up", at increasing volume and became quite animated as, a large fish, steadily approached and eventually swallowed my sedge! I missed him. Meanwhile, when he had stopped jumping up and down like a mad man, and once the colour had returned to his face,  his fag hanging on his bottom lip, Glen shouted "Woody...I conner believe you've missed that youth, it wer abite fortayn pind!" Gutted.

As the light faded, we fished our way towards the cricket club, and the rises came on. Just at last light, and with a dozen or so people willing me on, I hooked a nice Rainbow and landed it safely, my biggest wild Rainbow Trout to date at somewhere between 2 and 3lb. What a great time of the day to catch a stonking wild fish, just before heading home.

We finished off with the usual Kelly kettle and a natter about the fishing, all agreeing that we'd had a great day's sport and a good laugh as usual.

The Wye is a fantastic place to fish, it tests your skills too as it is upstream dry fly only and no wading...it's addictive because it is such a challenge, it gets under your skin...Glen is well and truly under it's spell.


1 comment: