The lows and lows of fly fishing

It’s been a few weeks since my last blog update but in that time I’ve been busy fishing. So why no updates you ask? Well because there was nothing to report, i.e. there were no fish on the end of my line. We go through bad patches I suppose, the times where the weather, the water, your skill, and the fish fail to align properly so that the sum of parts equals zero. Well that’s been the story of me for the last few trips out.

It all started when I arrived at the still water and noticed that there was a corporate event at the water. As I was registering with the water’s Bailiff he told me about the ‘do’ they were holding. “Have a go on the far pool lad we’ve put a few more in there this week for these guys to have a go at, fish there and you’ll be right”. Right then that sounds like a plan here we go!

Blanked. I did hook into one but in my excitement I held on too tight early on and he broke off. Ah well never mind, everyone blanks some days.

A week later I was party of a group of six work colleges that had arranged to fish the massive Blithfield Reservoir. This was going to be my first time fishing from a boat and the size of water at 754 acres certainly made me feel inadequate. We arrived in glorious sunshine with a forecast for rain and we braced ourselves against the high winds that were blowing. Our party leader Ken, who is a regular fisher at the venue settled our nerves by saying “well lads we couldn’t have picked a worse day for it, this wind is gonna kill it for us”. Ahh how right he was.

Out on the water the waves were much bigger than the looked from the shore. Honestly it was like doing a north sea cross in a dingy. The wind and bright sunshine of course had the effect of pushing the fish down deep so we were all fishing on intermediates and sinking lines with lures. I really don’t like using lures but on this day I followed the group advice and attached a large chicken to my leader. I had a few pulls and a couple of scraps but they broke off. Ah well never mind everyone has blanks some days, sometimes two in a row.

A trip back to my favourite still water was planned, the day off work was booked, the kids were at school, and the wife was at work. When I arrived at the venue the weather was good and water looked good, plus there were trout leaping from the water. “Today I’m gonna clean up” I thought to myself. I started on a dry olive and cast close to a margin where I could see some rises but I had no takes so I moved out to cast to water further out. A passing angler asked if I’d had anything yet, “not yet” I said “but there’s plenty of action happening, we’ll do well today”. That statement turned out to be the kiss of death. You guessed it, hooked in and lost early on. Ah well never mind everyone has blanks some days … but hang on, three in a row? Something isn’t right here.

I sat down at home and went through each of the days and analysed what I was using and how I was using it. Then after doing some online research on to reasons common mistakes playing fish when fly fishing I zeroed in on what I concluded was my primary error. Fighting too hard after the initial strike. I’m not sure why it had happened but I realised I was trying to get the line back onto the reel early on in the first few seconds of the fight. This in turn meant that I was holding the fish under too much tension so as the trout was shaking its head from side to side the tension in the line was pulling the hook free. “Right, let it run” I reminded myself, I used to do that, why did I stop? Who knows? But anyway I’ll see how I get on next time.

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