After a shade over 3 years in the fishing wilderness (and I don't mean the upper reaches of the Tees) I've finally managed to get myself into gear and back on the river again.
Work, family and a host of other less important stuff seemed to get in the way. What started off as not heading out for a week or two turned into months then years.
But enough of all that, I'm sure you're dying to ask what's changed since I last had anything to do with fishing - and even if you weren't going to ask, I'm going to tell you anyway.
Out with the Derwent, in with the Weir
The river I'm fishing has changed. I've gone from the Derwent to the upper reaches of the Weir. It's wider and has things called 'Sea Trout' and the odd 'Salmon' in it, along with a decent head of Brown Trout.
I'm still using my #3 9' Streamflex - that'll be ok for my new quarry won't it? I've a feeling I'll know the answer almost immediately after connecting with a half decent Sea Trout (which I haven't done yet). I may use my #6 Hardy Demon before I can invest in something in-between those two.
Talking of rods, they appear to have changed too. After being informed by the rod manufacturers 3 years ago I had to buy their latest rods, as they were super duper, best things ever - practically guaranteed to catch etc etc they appear to have made even better ones. How much you can improve a fishing rod - or put another way how bad was the rod they sold me 4 years ago if these new ones are so amazing? I'm sure my skills have a long way to go before I come close to pushing my Streamflex to it's limits. I'm really not sure what the new Streamflex will do better.
I've noticed Tenkara seems to not be a 'thing' anymore - has it been relegated to a fad, or is it only used by the more radical, crazy and out there fly fishers? 3 years ago it seemed like the future, everyone writing/youtubing/flogging Tenkara sets, not so much now.
Blind as a bat
Another thing that's changed is my eyesight. I remember being a spotty 14 year old kid laughing at my dad, glasses perched on the end of his nose, squinting, tongue out, valiantly but fruitlessly trying to thread 3lb Drennan Double Strength through a size 14 hook eye. I'd snatch line and fly out of his hands and thread one through the other behind my head, Jimi Hendrix style (that's not entirely true, but it was effortless all the same).
Now it's me that's struggling. I convince myself it's varnish in the eye of the hook, after giving it a good broggle with the pointy thing on the end of my snippers I try again, and again, and again. Finally threading it only to move onto the next challenge; tying the bloody knot.
15 minutes after I decided to change my fly, I'm back fishing again. I can see I will be persevering with whatever fly I have on the end of my line a lot longer than I used to!
I've bought the 20/20 Magnetic Tippet Threader to try. A full write up (in 18pt text for all you fellow blind as a bat anglers) to follow.
New partner in crime
I've a new companion at the fly bench, and a constant source of material for black tails and dubbing! Please meet Hardy...
Named after, well I'm sure you can guess. He arrived just over two years ago and has been pretty much stuck to my side ever since. He loves coming fishing but spends most of his time in sploshing about water (and in the way). For now he's a fly tying companion allowed down to the river only when we're not fishing - and confined to the lead if anyone else is fishing!
As you can see from the photo's above, I'm also frantically trying to replenish my fly boxes back to a decent level. Highly buoyant drys and heavy nymphs are the order of the day. The stretch of the Weir I'm fishing has some excellent looking (but somewhat neglected) pocket water to explore. Here's one of tonights nymphs
Whilst this post doesn't quite make up for 3 years of radio silence, I think it'll do for now. It's good to be back writing on the blog, and even better to be wetting a line again.