As some of you may recall my priorities have somewhat changed this year due to becoming a father. Since the end of April I have not wet a line or even tied a fly although I can’t blame it all on parental responsibility as I have managed to squeeze in a bit of trail running as prep for the Montane Lakeland 50 which I took part in at the end of July.
Anyway, yesterday afternoon, post Grand Prix, post fistful of completed chores I realised I had a bit of a window. Weather not bad, river levels look reasonable, permission obtained from my partner – yeah, this is actually happening, I’m off down the river for a couple of hours. I had little optimism of catching owt but it just felt like the right thing to do before I ended up unable to remember which end of my rod to hold.
At the river I examined my setup from last time I was using this reel – it was a French Nymphing leader, a technique I’m still getting to grips with to be honest. Bollocks to it, off comes the ginormous leader and on goes a pre-tied 9ft Leeda cast with dropper, I’m going in old skool downstream wet instead. I tie on a very small bead head nymph on point and a Bob’s olive on the dropper. I worked my way down keeping a fairly short line and trying to keep as much fly line off the water as possible so as to not end up doing the classic ‘down and across’ with a swinging line under tension. I started catching lots of juvenile grayling which were a very encouraging sign but not exactly what I’d come for. It was only when I reached the end of the run where the water slowed down a bit that I got a good solid take and enjoyed a spirited fight from a nice grayling of about a pound or so.
After a quick break I waded upstream to have a crack at a different run which looked a lot more interesting with loads of little variations in flow, creases, riffles etc.
Here I caught a diminutive brownie and a few more tiny Grayling, at which point I decided to quit whilst I was still ahead and get my self home to help out. There will of course come a time when I bring my son fishing with me at which point I intend to follow the Chuck Yeager (first pilot to officially break the sound barrier) technique which I recall reading about when I was in my teens which is to tie your child firmly to a tree whilst fishing to ensure no accidents happen.