I'm not sure who invented Christmas, but you would of thought they would of dropped it in during the summer when it's warm and sunny. Looking at the predicted forecast, snow is on the way! That's great for the kids and those who like a white Christmas, but as Ba-humbug it means an interruption to the week and with snow on the way, probably a slow journey up the motorway!
It has been good to spend some time with the Sage TCX, and would like to thank Jim for the new Rio 'wind cutter' line to put through it. Just in the nick of time, the last one was on it's last legs! The next resort would of been to get the glue and sandpaper out and try to give it a quick makeover. But the guides on my rod would of paid the price for that. As beneficial as practicing is, casting, especially grass casting soon burns through your gear. It's easy to tell people to keep lines clean and slick, but we all get lazy from time to time or forget to do it. The next thing you know, it sounds and feels like your are casting piano wire. Apart from the damage it can do, it hampers your casting no end. The same applies when out fishing. Dirt, grime and grit from the bank side and water sticks to the coating of line and will also cause a few problems. As well as limiting the distance due to extra friction, it will also start to sink the line. This can be alright if your want to get the tip down slightly when buzzer or nymph fishing, but when you need it to float it can be a pain. This can be frustrating especially when fishing a dry fly, as it can keep dragging the fly under as it starts to sink. Apart from cleaning the line to remove any dirt off it, one tip is to apply a layer of gink or muslin to the tip of line to aid flotation.
It doesn't take too much to keep a fly line in good order. As well as keeping it performing well, it will save you money in the long run. If you look after a line, you should get a couple of seasons of hard fishing out of it. When using them on grass whilst practasing, they can be shot within a few months. So it can sometimes pay to have a practice line and a fishing line. I often use Rio cleaning pads and 'Agent X' fly dressing for the job. It is surprising the amount of grime that comes off a fly line, and it soon brings your line back to life. Just a drop of warm soapy water, and pull the line through the pads a few times and the line is clean. Then with a squirt of the 'Agent X' onto a clean cloth and a few runs up and down the line and it's back to slick.
It's not a major chore to keep lines clean and running smooth.
Whilst walking back from a casting session yesterday, it was brilliant to see a few Salmon resting in the park pool. They were the first that I have seen here, and speaking to a few of the local anglers, the first in a few years that have come this far up stream. Unfortunately I came across a dead fish, but at least it had done what it had traveled all this way to do.
I'm no Salmon expert, but I think this one may have died from boredom!
Salmon aren't my first choice as a species to catch. But they still pull my string when one latches onto a fly. I was once called a Neanderthal in a fishing mag, because I said I would rather catch a 40lb pike than a 40lb Salmon! I suppose in the wrong hands Salmon fishing can become snobby. Certainly not with the guys who I know and fish with, but there has always been an element of hora Henry about it. Give me a British home grown pike any day. But that's the beauty of fishing, everyone to their own. Saying that, when I meet up with the guys who have come back from Scotland, Russia and Norway, and see some of the fish that they have been bent into, you kind of wish you had caught it!
Remember 'Spot the Ball?'
I'm sorry about the grainy images, but there wasn't much light at the time. But in the photo above there is a decent sized Salmon resting at the edge of the main flow. It took a guides eye to spot it as I walked past. I managed to get a quick pic before I spooked it and it blasted off upstream. On returning to the river the next day, all of the fish had gone. I'm not sure where to, but they weren't in the same pool as the evening before. Even the dead one had gone! The bank sides are very steep at this point and I would of thought a fox would of had trouble getting it out and back up the bank. Maybe an old bear came down from the moors? Or was it the beast of Dartmoor? Worse still, and in fact probable, it will be in someones freezer ready for a Christmas treat! Give me a tin of tuna any day.
I would just like to take this opportunity to wish all of our friends and customers a 'Happy Christmas, and a top New Year'. We will be out fishing leading up to the big day, so just in case I don't get time. 'Have a good un!'