Due to the lack of any obvious rise we both decided to fish weighted nymphs on long leaders. Despite it being quite warm in sheltered areas, there was a strong, cold downstream wind blowing all day. We’d of loved to have this wind the following day for the casting competition but unfortunately the forecast was for it to subside during the night. We both set up with homemade indicators that are made from the running line of an old MED #5. I take a few inches of line and thread it inside a clear braid, I then form loops at each end of the braid which I pull tight around a couple of tippet rings. To finish I colour a few bands of black permanent marker at regular intervals and then simply tie the leader (20ft or more) to one ring and the tippet, around 8ft depending on the flow, to the other. This indicator doesn’t actually float, it has to be held suspended at the water’s surface with a long rod (we typically use 10ft #3s).
Whatever you think of the long-leader nymphing method of flopping them upstream and guiding them down, there’s no doubting it’s an incredibly efficient and sensitive technique. Despite the size of the fish we were catching the indications were clear. I wonder how many of these takes we’d of been completely unaware of if we were fishing short leader tactics? Incidentally we spoke to a number of anglers who had fished the river on the same day, and their reports were almost identical to ours i.e. they caught small fish. Not sure why this would be, but hopefully next time we’ll connect with something bigger.
The casting competition the next day was hot, both in terms of the weather and some of the distances cast. The upcoming world championships to be held in Cumbria is definitely having a positive effect on the BFCC competitions with a number of new faces coming along to have a cast. The standard is also pretty high, it seems it’s no longer enough to cast 40 yards with a #5 and expect to win (the full results are on the website and the FB page if you want to see them). I was pleased to see Tracy cast a full line over 40 yards again, I know how much work she’s put in and it seems it’s paying off in her results. It was also great to catch up with team Jersey (minus the captain), they seemed to really enjoy the day and suggested we join them in Jersey for a comp and a spot of fishing later in the year.