At last year’s event in this location, we had a large number of people for tuition, so ensured this time that we had sufficient instructors. Though this time we had fewer people so those that came were extremely lucky in that they had 1-2-1 focused instruction. Everyone had a fantastic time and it was lovely to see people enhance their casting during the day. My thanks as always go to the instructors who gave up their free time to support our event, Mark Surtees, Mike Heritage, Mark Pywell, Ian Griffin and John Dunmall. Also to Don Stazickerfor not only organising the location and promoting the event, but filming and photographing extensively during the Meeting.
The day before the Meeting, Don also took James and myself fishing on the river Wye and provided a fantastic array of advice, flies and helped me catch a beautiful brown trout and get many more takes that I missed – I think my fishing on the river Dee causes me to hit takes very quickly, so I pretty much consistently pulled the fly away from the Wye trout, that would gently sup the fly down. Clearly I need to relax more and fish a range of rivers. The fly life on the Wye was impressive as was Don’s knowledge on the flora and fauna – I learnt a lot during the day and look forward to practising on the Dee in the future.
When we knew we were going to fish the Derbyshire Wye James had one thing on his mind – catching one of the famous wild rainbow trout. These were first introduced to the river in the late 19th century but have managed to establish a breeding population since. What makes the Wye system the only place to sustain a self-replenishing population of rainbow trout in the UK is somewhat unknown; perhaps there’s something unique about the ecology of the river or perhaps the original escapees had the DNA to cope with whatever the UK weather could chuck at them. Either way James wanted to catch one.
James dropped into the river mid-way through a glide whilst Don and I headed upstream. From James’ account he said he stood and watched for a while to get his eyes accustomed to the clear water – he then spotted a really nice Wye rainbow holding in a deep pocket just 10ft out from where he was stood. He then became transfixed with catching this fish and spent the next hour and a half passing a number of dry flies and nymphs over it. Just a lazy inspection and refusal was all his reward for his efforts. When Don and I came back to find him, James was sat on the bank watching the fish, which was now rising frequently. Don suggested a couple of different dries which were totally ignored. He then suggested a tiny nymph suspended below a small putty indicator. James put this over the fish and it promptly rose and took the bright red orb on the leader! So having put almost every dry fly in his box over the fish, it really wanted an indicator. The fish hadn’t spooked at this point and James proceeded to catch it on the next cast with a dry mayfly (another fly taken from Don’s box as they’re not really required for our local river Dee). So James got his Wye rainbow, eventually, and was happy. He also lost one later on in the day, but in compensation also managed to land a few really nice browns.
Mike and Mark also went fishing on Friday and had a lovely sunny day walking along the river Wye on a beat that you couldn’t wade. They enjoyed the day but found it quite tiring as they couldn’t cool down by wading as normal. We all met up in the evening to compare stories and could barely keep awake to eat and have a few drinks – we all ended up having an early night - we BFCC lot are so wild… not!
The next BFCC activities involve the Game Fair in Ragley in July, then a Meeting in Jersey in September and another in Essex in October. In the meantime, we’ve got a trip casting and fishing in Italy later this month, then the Worlds in August. Also, James and I will hopefully fish the Dee later this week, so I can try some of the techniques I learnt from Don.
Whatever you plan to do this month, enjoy