Things to do

Things to do

Tracy&James | Thursday, 5 January 2017

Happy New Year from Tracy and myself. I hope everyone has recovered from the celebrations and are looking forward to lots of fishing in 2017.

I’ve got a number of things to do in the early part of this year, some of them prompted by our fishing trips to the river Dee over Christmas. We had one really good day chasing grayling and two not so good days, this was despite the river looking pretty much perfect on all three days. Perhaps the temperature had an effect; our best day was a mild 10°C however for the last day, where we both blanked, the thermometer had dipped suddenly to a chilly -4°C. I know grayling are sensitive to changes in water levels and temperatures, and I also know that other people struggled at around the same time, and not just on the beat we were fishing.

As far as things to do goes, I’ve decided that I need more grayling flies [although I do wonder whether this is a typical fly-fishers reaction to a bad day!].  I’ve stocked up on tungsten beads and small jig-hooks and I’ve been viewing some excellent patterns posted on social media to inspire me.  Normally I would have trouble tying on anything smaller than a size 14 however Tracy bought me a pair of reading glasses from Poundland for Christmas, so I have no excuses now.

I also need to look in to getting inflatable life vests.  I’ve previously mentioned that it’s a case of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ one of us goes in the river.  We had two minor incidents over the holiday; the first was when Tracy slipped as she made her way down an underwater gravel slope.  This resulted in a minor dunking and a wet and cold end to the day (we subsequently decided to pack a full change of clothing in the car – having to sit for an hour’s drive in wet pants is best avoided).  The second incident was perhaps more worrying, I decided to cross the river at a riffle but misjudged the depth and soon found myself with water up around my armpits.  At this point I involuntarily started moving downstream and it was just pure luck that my feet found some shallower river bed and I managed to recover my poise.  

I’ve also got some fly-tying to do for our next saltwater trip.  We’ve been unusually efficient at getting our arrangement made for this year in that we’ve got our flights and accommodation booked already.  This task was made easier by our decision to return to Long Island, Bahamas, where we visited last spring.  We had a great trip there but on our return Tracy and I agreed that we’d only scratched the surface of the fishing and needed to give it another go.  We’ll be hitting the ground running this time – we’re also going for just over a month so will have plenty of time to discover areas that we didn’t get to fish last time.  I seem to be short on white and chartreuse Clousers, my go to ‘if in doubt’ fly, so these will be first on my tying list.  This certainly isn’t my first choice of bonefish fly however for pretty much everything else…

Finally I need to re-model my haul ready for this year’s casting comps.  I’ve been struggling with a left shoulder injury (I suspect some form of tendonitis) for some time now which isn’t helped by my competition casting haul being too shoulder orientated.  I know what I need to do from pantomiming my technique, however undoing that muscle memory is going to take some time.   

All the best, James.


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