Thursday, 31 March 2011

New Season Checklist for the Angler With OCD

Well....the first day of the season is upon us. Tomorrow, the wonderful Derbyshire Wye opens for trout fishing. Some of England's finest and most enthusiastic anglers will descend upon it's banks clutching fly boxes full of dry flys, eager to land a specimen fish or two.

During the season, the angler with OCD quickly establishes a routine. Each pocket in his waistcoat holds exactly the same item of kit as it did on the previous outing, each fly in it's correct slot on the appropriate row within the fly box, colour coordinated of course. If you're anything like me, arriving at the river bank and opening ones fly box to find colours mixed up, flys the wrong way round, and heaven forbid, nymphs among the dries, is a sure sign of a frustrating day of tangles, swearing, high blood pressure and of course, no fish. Worst still is when the eager angler arrives at the bank to discover he's forgotten a vital piece of angling equipment, such as his reel, or even his rod, days like these are best forgotten and never again talked about...

And so I've been inspired by one of the Wye's most famous anglers, Richard W, who has devised a checklist to help the angler avoid unnecessary forgetfulness. It's perfect. Follow Richard's checklist and you cannot go wrong....unless you have OCD like me and you'll be rearranging yourself for a fortnight before you even wet a line. So I've devised my own list, that's more realistic to my angling day, and is inspired by some of the other 'anglers' about know who you are.

Please feel free to leave a comment to add to the list and as with Richard's list you will not require some of the items on some of the waters you fish so simply miss them off for that day, for instance, on the first day I intend to fish the Wye I'm missing out the item 'rod' cos I'm going to catch f*ck all....

I've tried to keep my list chronological and it begins before I leave the house. Can I just add a disclaimer in here, any rude or obscene suggestions have been donated by Glen Pointon.

  • Paracetamol
  • 2 Pints of milk
  • Toilet Paper (pref Izal)
  • Pie
  • Benson and Hedges
  • Wading boots
  • Thing for scraping dog muck off wading boots
  • Waders
  • Rod
  • Checklist?
  • Money to replace flies lost in trees (£85 per day)
  • Stella
  • Dry fly box
  • Wet fly box (NOT WHEN FISHING THE WYE!!!)
  • Pie
  • Liverpool accent phrase book in case of meeting Glen Pointon on the bank
  • 50 spare flies in case of meeting Glen Pointon on the bank
  • Spare underpants? (GP was adamant about this one)
  • Mucilin
  • Gink
  • Vaseline (GP)
  • KY(GP??)
  • Large unhooking mat (for JT)
  • Intermediate unhooking mat (for GP)
  • Small unhooking mat (for me)
  • Pie
  • Reel
  • Line
  • Tippet 
  • Blood pressure pills
  • Fly fishing by JR Hartley
  • Razzle (GP)
  • Weed (GP)
  • Little black book
  • Valium (for GP)
  • Poo bags (for GP) 
  • 36 more cans of Stella (for JT) 
  • lie detector (essential for the bragging/exaggerating angler)
  • Weigh net (for GP!!!)

Angling and Dramming Related.....

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A Challenging Start on the Dove

Well it seems like I've neglected the blog a little so time to put fingers on keys and try to find something interesting to say about the fishing at the start of the 2011 trout season. Help.

Over the last few days, I've found myself scrambling for excuses as to why my fishing trips have been so unsuccessful in terms of how many fish caught...."Worst time of year for fishing" I've said to at least a couple of folk. The grayling, who up until so recently, were happy to take any wee nymph that trickled downstream towards them are now very out of season, and spawning and the trout, even though we are nearly two weeks in to the season a few and far between.

Best to treat the start of the season as an excuse to be out and about in the countryside, that way lack of fish can't spoil your outing.

Conditions on the Dove have been testing. The river is lower than I've ever seen it and running gin clear. Like most anglers, I've spent the whole time since Christmas, counting down the days until the start of the trout season, imagining how I'd be catching a dozen or so eager wee broonies on the dry fly every time a stepped foot near to running water....I imagined the sun beating down and the warm evenings and how wrong I was...all this built up anticipation makes the start of season experience of this novice river angler all the more challenging.......It may be time to regroup, retreat, and head off for a little stocked stillwater fishing at Westlow Mere.

Don't get me wrong, I've had some enjoyable outings with Pointon and Wesser, and spent a delightful afternoon strolling up as far as Ilam Rock with John Tyzack, the pair of us determined only to fish if we saw a rise and consequently the inevitable lack of rises gave us the chance to have a good blether and to put the world to rights. And it's given me a chance to get to know the new stretch of the river that I can now fish thanks to my invite on to the LTDFFA syndicate, and I'm sure that all the standing and river watching that I've done may help me later on in the season when the rises will be so plentiful that I won't have time to stop....I hope!

This morning a met up with Wesser at the Hotel and after coffee and bacon butties it was on to the LTDFFA lower beat to see if we could coax a troot or two. We had a little rain last night and I was desperately hoping that this may have lifted the river levels a fraction and added a tinge of colour that the Dove desperately needs to encourage a little fishy activity.

Once again, we found that the river was incredibly low and we could tempt nothing to our nymphs. I tried the duo method and casting to a spot that I know holds a good brownie, I managed to tempt a rise from a decent sized fish to my black klinkhammer but I didn't connect and we moved further upstream, encouraged but becoming more and more irritated by the freezing rain that was now directly in our faces....I tied on the trusty LTD sedge and managed to persuade another splashy rise but again could not started to look like it definitely wasn't going to happen.

On the way back downstream, Wesser had another chuck at the first fish that I had missed to the klink and once again, the big brownie came to the fly, this time an LTD sedge, but again, instead of taking the fly, it kind of battered it and then was gone as quick as it had arrived and disappeared into the watery nothingness....

Ah well, the Wye opens on Friday and I can't wait, but I must admit that more than anything, I'm looking forward to fishing running water that is a little closer to home, just as long as the sun is on my back, and the birds are singing, I'll be happy with any we troot that takes a fancy to my dry. You can keep spring if it's going to be like this.....bring on summer.

Friday, 11 March 2011

New LTD Hoodie...

New hoodie design to celebrate The Living The Dream Fly Fishing Association....