Cracking the Code
Monday, 14 August 2017
Before I talk about this let me tell you about one of the difficulties of being the constant traveller... immigration! The US is a nightmare - don't even get me started! NZ was pretty good - there, with a British Passport you get to stay 12 out of every 18 months, which I did for 18 years! Australia was just plain weird - I now need a working visa just to go fly fishing. Malaysia is, or was, and still is petty good, in that I can stay for 90 days and then by leaving the country for what was a few days but is now a week, return for another 90 days pretty much ad finitum. This worked just fine because I live less than 1hr drive to Thailand and so would regularly drive up, hang around, spend some money, eat some good food and return for another three months of fly fishing. But without letting me know, Thailand has changed their policy towards foreigners who are not Malaysian, and as of this year only allow me to drive in twice per year - no limits to flying however.
On Saturday I attempted car trip number three for the year and got turned back... hmmm, this was on the final day of my Malaysian VISA. But I can get an extension and so drive to Kulim in Malaysia for a 30 day extension - I fly to China in three weeks - but they don't recognise the Jersey passport as being British and think it might be British Virgin Islands and can only offer me 14 days with a flight out in that time! Oh no! How the hell do I explain the Jersey situation to a Malay? Even I don't understand it! So now on my second day over 90 days I am in Kuala Lumper trying to extend here! If this doesn't work then I'm on an evening flight somewhere - anywhere - for a week. Possibly Thailand or Singapore... stay tuned!
And now onto "Cracking the Code"...
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
The loop Paul has produced for the photo (captured from a video?) on one of the banners for this site is, to me, the epitome of a sexy loop: arrow straight where it should be, with a narrow point, that intriguing bow shape, and minimal slack or waves in the rod leg. I think it represents the state of the art for a cast of a standard fly line as far as I understand it today. And, just to rub it in, he produced that on a back cast!
Every once in a while I’m tempted to hand someone my video camera and ask them to record my casting, just to see if I can come close to that level of casting perfection. Yeah, but then reality sets in and I realize I really do not want to know the humbling truth. I know better. I have helped a few folks to improve their casting, and I have witnessed many struggle to incorporate some change in their stroke, even after they seem to understand what tweak is necessary. Even though they understand what they have to do differently, and they are trying to make that change, they simply cannot, at first, get their body to move that way, even though they are seriously trying. In those situations, showing them a video of themselves casting is both very educational and obviously confounding. They simply cannot believe what they see. What they are doing compared to what they think they are doing are two different things. I am quite sure I suffer from the same, what… delusion?
Lots of fishing - Asp - Carp and Mushrooms
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
A fantastic week it was. I couldn't have fished more since I almost didn't do anything else but looking for mushrooms when changing the fishing spot. Yet the truly big asp is still to come but we caught several proper ones last week while searching the large river Elbe by boat.
Thursday, 17 August 2017
We’ve just organised our next DIY fly fishing holiday in the Bahamas – 6 weeks this time – in Spring 2018. So that gives us plenty of time to tie all the various flies we will need, or rather James, as I review all the current boxes to determine which flies we are low on and leave the tying to him. However this time I may have a go myself, just so I can say that I’ve caught a bone on a fly I’ve tied. So that will only be 199 more for James to tie ;-)
As we will have a few target species – bonefish, shark, barracuda, jacks, snappers, garfish, ladyfish, grunts, possibly permit and tarpon – there’s quite a selection of flies to tie. Plus we need a range with weed-guards and some without, some weighted and some not. The thing about the Bahamas is that there is such a variety of places to fish: for skinny water with mostly sandy bottoms we would use non-weighted non-weed-guarded flies; for deeper water – weighted flies; and for rocky bottoms – weed-guarded flies. Though it can be difficult tying weed-guards as there is a delicate balance between improving the anti-fouling ability and affecting the hook-hold.
Friday, 18 August 2017
2017. August. Late summer. Finally a good day after all the rain and cold … it felt like the first day of proper trout fishing. I was lucky that Per Skåle of Skålestrømmen invited me to stay a few days at his hut. The good man even managed to order proper weather …
I fished every day til about 1am. When it got dark the action really started.
The fish gather in the faster water running off the upper lake. A good spot for bigger fish is right at the edge. It´s tricky fishing a s there are long casts with small flies required. The various currents don´t make it much easier. Plus one looks right into the low sun. Anyway - I´m just building up to the finale - I managed to invite too good fish to dinner.
One very nice trout which took a Griffiths Gnat with vengeance, and a super beautiful arctic char. I have not caught many char and this one is by far the most beautiful. The colours of these fish make my heart stop and beat faster and harder at the same time. The night before I had hooked on, but made the mistake of putting to much pressure on him. Not this time though.
Foam and socks
Saturday, 12 August 2017
As you can see in the picture, live from my little tent camp (in the rain), I've been fishing foam beetles for sea trout. That's a great way to catch river sea trout, and really effective sometimes (although I didn't have any luck yesterday). Fished upstream and actively a foam beetle can illicit exciting strikes from sea trout. But that's really for another FP, because it's the fly hanging on the lid of the box I want to write about.
Thoughts Regarding Callibaetis Nymphs
Sunday, 13 August 2017
Callibaetis and damselflies have been dominating the trout’s menu on my local stillwaters recently, so of course they are also the insects that my mind has been feasting on. In particular, the morning Callibaetis emergences have provided my friends and me with some really fun fishing opportunities. The great thing about being into a great hatch over the span of a couple of weeks is that you really get to dial things in and experiment with what works and what doesn’t work as well. So with that in mind, here are a few thoughts that I’ve been having as it refers to the nymphal stage of Callibaetis in particular.