Tracy&James | Thursday, 30 May 2019
Tracy and I recently had a really good evening’s fishing on the Dee. We’d actually passed by the river the previous day on the way to our home in North Wales. I think we’re like most fly fishers in that we find it almost impossible to pass a river without stopping to peer over the bridges or talk a walk along the banks, and being as we weren’t in a rush to get back we did both. Although the river was very low, a result of a very dry May, the warm weather had encouraged a prolific hatch of olives which the fish seemed to be responding to. Unfortunately we didn’t have our fishing gear with us so all we could do was to make mental notes regarding where the fish were rising with a view to coming back armed the next day. [I’m actually considering getting an outfit that will permanently live in the car – I’m sure on days when we’re just ‘travelling’ it will come in very handy].
The next day we decided to fish the river from the afternoon through until it was dark. Unfortunately overnight the temperature had dropped and a stiff wind had picked up – perfect distance casting weather, but not the best for fishing a dry on a #3 outfit. In fact the wind was so bad that we abandoned our first choice beat, a renowned dry fly stretch, before we even wetted a line. Instead we chose a more meandering area with tree-lined glides that largely provided enough shelter to take the wave off the surface. Given the weather it perhaps wasn’t surprising that the rise wasn’t quite as active as the previous day, however it was sufficient for us both to set up with a single dry fly. We kept on the move, covering fish as we came across them and ended up having a great evening catching beautiful wild browns with the odd decent sized grayling chucked into the mix.
I’ve also started a bit of light casting practice having had a lay-off due to injury. I had just started trying to change my style before I had to stop, so I’ve tried to pick-up from there. With such a major re-modelling going on I’m going to have to accept that, in the short term (hopefully), my distances are going to suffer. In fact, in our last couple of practice sessions Tracy has resoundingly beaten me with the #5. I’ve mentioned previously that I practice quite a lot with different length shooting heads, and I’m currently using one which is equivalent to an 80ft carry. I’m finding this pretty easy with my new stroke, so things aren’t perhaps as bad as they could be.
That said, I doubt that I’ll be competitive for the next BFCC meeting which is this Sunday in Kent (how’s that for getting my excuses in early!). This is set to be a great competition with some fantastic casters intending to cast, so if you can make it to the area then please come along – details are on the BFCC Facebook page and the website.