Thoughts for the new season

Tonight is (hopefully) the eve of my 2013 fishing season – if the weather behaves itself tomorrow, then I’ll be heading off to the river for the first time in many months.

As I’ve spent the last few weeks busily fly tying, reel oiling, cleaning lines, removing 4 month old tangerines from my fishing vest (surprisingly decent looking, considering) and ensuring everything is in order for the start of the season, I’ve got very little left to do.

So with my new season looming, and nothing left to get ready before heading to the river, I’ve been thinking back to the past season and what improvements and changes I can make for this.

As is the vogue on the internet, I’ve made a list! It’s a short list but will hopefully bring improvements to my effectiveness and enjoyment on the river. Three of the items are pretty closely linked, the forth is somewhat forced due to a loss to the club.

Buy a longer rod

For the last two seasons, and since I’ve been a member of the Derwent Angling Association, I’ve fished with a 6”6’ #3 Greys Streamflex (the original model). It’s a great rod, and for fishing at the top of the Derwent (The Sneep) it’s perfect. However, I really need to get something a little longer – not for the need to cast further, the streamflex can cast as far as I need it to. The need for an extra couple of feet of rod is purely for presentation – holding the line over the flow, especially for wet fly/nymph fishing. And that leads me to the next item on the list

Persevere with the weighted flies

I dabbled (literally!) with weighted flies last season, even taking my seasons largest fish on one, but never really spent ‘quality’ time with them. always throwing one on as a last resort, usually after my confidence and enthusiasm had long since floated off down stream. This year I’m going to give them a damn good go. I’ve tied up a whole range of nymphs, some bead headed, some lead underbody and some a combination of the two. I intend to really give them a good try and build my skills up along with my confidence in this type of fly.

Fish faster water

And if I’m going to fish weighted flies, what better place to do it than in the faster water? This is where I would really benefit from the longer rod, so as I said before these three really do go together well. During the last few days I’ve been reading a collection of excellent blog posts from Stuart Minnikin, a fly fishing guide working in and around the Yorkshire Dales. The theme of the half dozen or so posts was mistakes Stuart has seen whilst he’s out on the river. One that really struck home to me (though they all did to one degree or another) was about fishing fast water. I’ve always gravitated to the tails or heads of pools missing out the rough stuff in between. I remember seeing Ian Colborne (DAA’s membership secretary) last season pulling fish out of water I’d have strolled pasted without giving a second thought – fast, crashing about and foaming, no fish is going out be in that lot, right? wrong.

Fish new water

The last one was going to be on the list anyway, but after finding out the club has lost the rights to one of my favourite stretches, my hand is forced that bit more.

News came through last week that the rights to the County Durham side of the river from the corner of the field below the new road bridge at Ebchester to the corner of what was the old village football field is no longer available for us to fish. This stretch has always been a favourite of mine not only for the excellent fishing, but because I could be on the river within 30 minutes of leaving work on a summers evening. There is good news though – the club have secured rights to more fishing up form Lintzford. So this could well be the new water I will be exploring.

Have you made a list of things to try or things to change this season, please comment if you have, or if you’ve anything to say about the list above.

Tight lines!

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