May 24, 2015
After ruminating if it was wise for me to head out for a few hours fishing today, the aches and pains are definitely erring on the latter side more than the former, I decided to give it a go and I am glad I did. Nothing takes your mind off how everything’s hurting like focussing on something else, especially fishing.
After negotiating the forest track gate, kindly blocked by some numbskull with a blue Ford Focus, who parked too close for the gate to swing by of its own accord, I arrived to see the dam wall was lined with four anglers and a fifth further along the south end. Hmm, I wonder if it might have been stocked recently? There was a very gentle westerly breeze initially and the air was full of Hawthorne Flies and sedges.
There were also loads of fish rising. One of the group of four old blokes fishing from the dam, said one of their number had had one fish, and as I tackled up, one let out a cry that he had been broken off “for the second time and lost his three fly cast again”.
I had already decided a single fly cast with a tapered leader to help with turnover into the wind and headed up the North Bank. It had been pretty calm as I tackled up and I had put a wee black Shipmans Buzzer for openers, on but by the time I was ready to cast a fly, the wind had got up a bit. My first cast was fairly close in along some fringing weeds near the boat moorings. The problem with a Shipmans is it is so small and low riding that its hard to see in all but the flattest of calms. And the takes can be subtle too. And so it was to be, that first cast landed I don’t really know where, and as a result there was a momentary hesitation as a fish literally took it first cast- and I missed!
Promising though it was I was finding it near impossible to get a handle on where it was fishing, in the wave, so I decided to swap over to a black Midas dry, a bit of a bigger fly but visible in the conditions. I had only fished with this a matter of minutes and knew there was a fish cruising the margins, when I got my first take. A cracking pound and a half silvery Brown Trout. Probably a fresh stockie from the Ae fishery as they almost look like Sea Trout. I would love to say I quickly unhooked it and returned it, but I had major issues unhooking the fish. It wasn’t the hook stuck in the fish so much as the hook had went through the scissors and somehow the crushed barb had got ensnared in the landing net, trapping the poor fish. I eventually managed to cut the fouling strands of net with my line nippers and the hook came out the fish no bother. I took longer than normal to support the fish until it was ready to swim off, which it did. No photo I am afraid as my battery run out on my phone while I was wrestling with the fish in the net!
After this it was a bit of a frustrating afternoon though the sport was great. I hooked and lost a second fish on the north end- probably lifted a fraction too soon , though it was at pretty long range and then after a move first to the south end of the dam wall, then later to the south bank I either missed, or had refusals to my fly about another 12 times. Seriously I lost count. I had a bit of Deja Vu from a session I had here last year when I rose 12 fish and failed to hook a single one!
I was also broken off on a fish very close in to the dam wall. I lifted but never felt the take at all, but the fly and half my tippet was gone when I recovered the line. I say I was broken off, but suspect maybe a wind knot had crept into my line, though I had checked it all a mere two casts previous. On the south bank the fish were so close in I was literally rolling the fly out maybe two rod lengths with the line lying over the grass, and you could see the fish come by for a look Sometimes they turned away from beneath, occasionally they looked like they would take, there was a splash but no fish on the end.
Great fun though and nice for once to be out and not cold.