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Tuesday: Harps
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Ronan's report

Sunday November 6th 2011

I liked Lars' FP yesterday, and its end-of-season feel. I like reading about fly tying too, especially as the days shorten and the reality of a few months without trout bites.

Sure I'll be out now and again standing in a chilly river wondering where all the grayling have gone, and why everyone else but me is catching three pounders. But for me, the actual fishing loses a little intensity over the winter and I start to think more about casting practise and fly tying.

This winter I may also, very possibly, be thinking about horse-hair fly lines.

In the spring I was fortunate to see a presentation on the history of fly-fishing and, amazingly the presenter had taken it upon himself to make a tapered horse-hair line together with (I hope he'll forgive me for saying it), a rather rustic three-piece rod made out of ash.

It was really hard to concentrate on the presentation once this outfit came into view, I just wanted to cast it.

And cast it I did.

It was brilliant! I couldn't believe how easy it was to get nice loops. The poor guy had a real job getting the rod back out of my hands.

Ever since that day, I've had this thought at the back of my mind, like a tiny spider tickling the base of my skull: I really should make my own outfit.

I know lots of people with horses, so I should be able to get hold of the material for the line. All I need is to get hold of some ash and/or hazel, or willow, and I'll have a rod too. I can see it now: Early season on the Tweed. Fish rising. The horse-hair line silently looping the fly towards the trout...

If you need me, I'll be the one plaiting hair and whittling.


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