Thursday, 6 September 2012
The Good, the Bad and the Angry
How much gear and expense do you need to be successful at fishing? The truth is most of us own too much. Not only that, too much of it gets dragged along with us on the bank. Away trips can be a particular headache. Take too much and you carry it all or leave it there to nick in your car; take too little and you're bound to have that "why didn't I bring a...." moment. I always aim to be slightly ruthless with myself on this front, which is why for most of this week's trip to the Dorset Stour I carried just a fly rod and a few essentials. Just as well flies don't weigh much. I find Clouser style pike flies especially useful for river fishing, which have the sink rate to explore deeper swims. The morning felt cool, but quickly became pretty baking hot. Not very surprisingly I got most hits early and late, with cool, well oxygenated spots like the edges of pools the best. As well as a nice bonus perch around the pound mark I managed a few pike, the best of them this lean low double, which took a black fly just as I'd started to flag in the heat. Next day, I had a cast with intrepid river angler Nathan Edgell. When it comes to travelling light, his approach is refreshingly simple. Just one rod, one bag, but lots of ground covered. It didn't take long for a fish to launch itself at his spoon. Angry? It was livid!: There's possibly only one thing better than exploring a lovely stretch of river, and that's spending it in the company of someone who knows all the juicy spots, the wildlife and the character of the place. Lot's of fun, if a bit bloody hot to be in waders. There'll be more on the way with Nathan involved, including an appearance as our first speaker of the year for the Devon PAC (Oct 30th, 7:30pm Mill on Exe- bung it in the diary!). Otherwise I've seen some of the best and worst that fishing has to offer. The bad revolves around the continued presence of illegal fishing- and a crazy little twist last time out. I had found two Eastern Europeans (I know, it sounds predictable already), with dead fish in a shoddy keepnet on the Grand Western Canal. When I challenged them and picked up the phone, they promptly scarpered, leaving all their gear! Credit also to Ian Nadin, who was there in three minutes flat to give them a further scare and get their car reg as they left at speed. The big plus point is that these idiots now have nothing to sit on, let alone fish with. My garage isn't the tidiest at the best of times, but now has a whole heap of dodgy extra gear- crude isn't the word! On a much lighter note however, I also took some family friends fishing for the first time. It's always great to see youngsters catch their first fish- and Laurie and Bryony Pym had a netful of crucians, roach and tench out at Little Yeo Fishery. What was really nice was to see not just how much fun they found it, but how quickly they got stuck into the basics, from hooking the bait to handling fish with wet hands.