The Goby Desert

The Goby Desert

Tracy&James | Thursday, 4 October 2018

Well it’s me again, so I did indeed cast a seasons best T120 at last weekend’s BFCC meeting in Jersey. The weather assisted a lot mind you, there was a helpful tail wind, and I probably should have cast further in hindsight. Unfortunately the join I’d made in the line did not survive the meeting and the T120 event had to be suspended with one or two casters still to go – I’m going to have to make sure we have a back-up line for future competitions. I’m slightly surprised how easily the join I made failed; I stripped both sections of the line to the core, tied these together and coated the knot with a flexible adhesive. Then I whipped over the tag ends and the knot with gel-spun tying thread and followed that with another coating of flexible adhesive. This arrangement failed completely though when the fly caught the rod on a back-cast – why the nail knot holding the leader on didn’t just slip off is a bit of a mystery – I’d of thought that would be the weak point, but obviously not.

The casting competition was a relaxed affair compared to the World Championships that a few of us had recently competed in, so relaxed in fact that we didn’t manage to finish it, missing the accuracy event, despite there not being that many competitors.   Being chilled is very important for good distance casting and both Tracy and myself were pretty pleased with our respective results.  I was particularly happy that Tracy stuck the #5 weight over 120 feet for the first time at a BFCC event, I’ve seen her do this many, many times in practice so it’s great that it’s now in the official BFCC record books.  She also nailed a great cast in the #7 weight event and I only managed to beat her by a couple of feet.

I should also mention that all the time the casting competition was going on, Mark Surtees was providing tuition having flown in for the day.  From the comments received this was very much appreciated by all.  Many thanks from us too, Mark.

The fishing in Jersey was pretty intense.  We arrived on Friday before lunch, having got up at 5am to catch the ferry, grabbed a bite to eat, dumped our stuff at the hotel and were out looking for bass by early afternoon with Bob.  We weren’t successful with the bass but members of the party caught baby pollack, wrasse and a goby – I blanked however.  I always think that catching anything whilst fly fishing in the sea around the British Isles is a big win, so overall it has to go down as a good day.  (I took my customary dunking and ended up stripped to my pants being driven back to the hotel by Tracy.)

The Sunday after the competition consisted of 3 fishing trips with 3 different guides.  We kicked off by meeting Marcus at 6am for some surf fishing, starting in darkness and fishing whilst the sun came up.  Although there was little wind there was still a reasonable sized swell that was breaking.  Tracy decided to tough things out with fly gear whilst I was called to the dark side with a lure casting rod (perhaps because I’d been the only one to blank on the Friday).  I managed a small bass and a garfish and lost a bigger bass of maybe a couple of pounds, Tracy blanked.  We returned to the hotel, grabbed some breakfast and a bit of a nap before heading out again.  This time we met Ross for an afternoon’s fly fishing on the south-east of the island.  Unfortunately this trip proved to be fishless but it was a beautiful location and great company.  In the evening I then met up with Kevin for some more lure fishing – the wind having risen to the point where fly casting would have been a real chore, coming straight into our faces on the chosen mark.  We fished a rising tide into the dark – something I wouldn’t recommend on Jersey unless you’re with someone who really knows what they’re doing due to the rate at which the 10 metre plus tides race in.  Unfortunately, this again proved to be unfruitful but I did see a fish swirl right in front of me.

We’d both like to extend our thanks to everyone that came to the meeting, including Dominic who boated in from Guernsey, and to those who gave their time to take us fishing.We also had great company from John and Heather Dunmallwho supported us to run the Meeting (we would love Heather to take over the catering at all our events).  We all had a fantastic time and look forward to returning in the future. 

Have a great weekend, James

Fishing gar
Fishing group Tracy
Fishing Marcus
James flag
Tracy n James St Aubin
watching tuition