Thursday 22 November 2012


A glance at the weather forecast for this week highlighted Thursday promising a rare break from the rain as a  brisk north/north easterly wind kept the rain over the west side of the country for long enough for the brave to venture out.

Gusts of 50mph did not favour the graceful art of chucking fluff, but undeterred I arrived this morning at my brothers to pick him up with eager expectancy and a positive mental attitude.
The time on the journey there spent growing expectations with excited voices. Creating hope and building dreams akin to childhood journeys on worn out bicycles. A memory from long gone days that paints a smile from so many remembered pictures.

Setting up rods  at the car, I chose a floating weight forward line while my brother opted for an intermediate/ sinking line. We favored the wind on our backs and strode side by side to the waters edge where we would part. Not from sibling rivalry but out of preference. With words blown away before reaching anyway, just being in sight of each other bought companionship without a need for close quarter confinement.

I selected a weighted nymph and gently teased out a cast which lifted in the breeze and seemed to take an eternity in landing on a rippled surface. It wasn't easy to take sight of the tapered leader even with polaroids on and was retrieved before reaching a decent depth despite being in shallow water. My second cast wafted parallel to the margin about three feet out, where a shelf sloped. With slow figure of eight retrieve I teased the nymph back. As it came within eyesight a flash of silver caused me to pause, long enough to curse a missed snatch at the nymph but as more often than not gave chance of second take. This time I lifted in to a small lively rainbow who was hell bent on escape, often making for what was left of some weather beaten and sorry looking rushes. As it skated over the net, I glanced up to see if the splashing had alerted Kevin of my success. I need not have worried, the knowing shake of his head and the more determined effort in his cast proof enough. We exchanged smiles.
 A quick snap and a sort out had me feeding line again and using the wind to my advantage, opting for a similar approach as before. On stripping the last foot of line before the lift a sudden tightening saw me lift into another. A heavier fish this time taking back all of my stripped line and then some, giving me a longer fight.

Its a far more nerving playing a fish on feel alone without assistance of clutches and I think more enjoyable to some extent. Its something that is hard to teach by anything less than trial and error, a feel that is governed and dictated by the quarry. No bullying here, just take line when its given  and hang on!
 The adrenaline rush is second to none.
Two fish in three casts lifted my gaze to my sibling whose mouth silently mouthed a profanity before forming another grin.

I stopped fishing and decided to have a walk,to familiarize myself with the autumnal changes. Took the time to catalogue mental pictures to serve as postcards til I venture out again. Before the rain lashes back my adventures until the frosts come once more.

Friday 9 November 2012


The spoils of a personal war

 Had taken the week off purposefully with the intention of fishing for Grayling down south with a mate and had it cancelled last minute due to the intended stretch of water being flooded.
 My local haunts that I've visited recently all appear either unfishable or do not appeal given the appearance of the water.
 This coupled with being given a month or so by the Doc to recover my health I was scratching around for something to do.
 Not wanting the devil to take advantage of my idle hands I got my fly tying and float making boxes out the shed and dabbled with a few materials , whittling away the hours whilst the rain lashed at the few remaining leaves in the trees and the breeze whisked the windfalls around the garden.

The crux of my problem is mustering enthusiasm of late, a sense of treading water, trying to remain afloat waiting to either drift to calmer water or being yanked under by the unseen and the unexpected.
It seemed befitting then that I would seek solace and therapy from turning my attention to fashioning floats from a few simple and abundant materials from the dark recesses of my shed and the bustling chaos of the garden.
To sit still and recharge my batteries and try to concentrate on something else rather than focusing my attentions on the gloom outside quite literally and mentally, would take a small but purposeful step towards recovery.

Now I don't confess to being particularly talented or patient but this abundance of free time had to be filled and whilst I would have rather been staring at a float on the water, I did at least find that same peace and sedation from fashioning a few myself.
With a few bits of cork and elder pith and some useful tips and ideas from far more experienced and dedicated float makers I dabbled at giving it a go.
I can't say their as perfect as I would have liked but I did find comfort from it and the process of their manufacture therapeutic somewhat. Aesthetically they soothed with their handmade, somewhat rustic appearance. And offered a touch of colour and brightness to the gloom. A sort of personalized panacea if you will.
I will at least be comforted in the knowledge that they are usable and provide inspiration which has alluded me of late. Besides which, they cost  nothing but patience to make and will at least not cause any ill feeling when adorning some far reaching tree or entwined round some lily pad come calmer waters and sunnier climes.

Piscatorial Panacea.