Photograph by Steve Barnett

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Order out of Chaos?

Not for the first time your faithful blogger finds himself completely unready for the upcoming new season.  Fly boxes are in a state of chaotic paucity.  A rod, broken last August, has not yet been sent for repair.  The faithful over-trousers are on their last legs (forgive the pun).  The 47 year old fishing bag has developed holes through which items fall silently into the long grass...

There is less than a week to go before the trout season begins in these parts.  What is to be done that can ensure all is ready enough for the great day?
A few flies are needed, that’s for sure.  What is the absolute minimum of selection that needs to be in the box?  Back to basics, matching the hatch at this time of year is predictable and simple.  Flies that put in their appearances now, include: The Large Dark Olive; the Blue Winged Olive; the Reed Smuts; and Midges.  Good patterns to mimic the first two types of flies will be the Grey Duster, Double Badger and Kite’s Imperial.  The task is to ensure that the right sizes are available.  The Large Dark Olive is well matched to a normal size 12 or 14, the Blue Winged Olive to a 14 or 16.  The little flies like Midges and Reed Smuts are well represented by Sturdy’s Fancy and by the Aphid (dressed with grey or black bodies instead of the summertime’s more usual green).  If the weather is particularly inclement then the Iron Blue Dun can be expected to put in an appearance.  Fortunately, discipline dictates that there are always a few suitable fakes in the box.  Not having a suitable fake when the fish are locked onto these little flies with their customary alacrity spells doom and despair for the angler's spirits.  So there is always a stash of these important fakes in one of more of the boxes.

Tying a minimum of five in each pattern and size, one for the tippet, one for the fish (anyone can make a mistake), one for the trees (more mistakes), one for the box and one for the angler who comes by and says “My Word!  You are doing well!  What fly are you using?” simple arithmetic dictates that forty flies need to be tied over the next few evenings.  That will sort out the early season deficiencies in the fly box.  There will need to be work at the vice for later in the season!

The trousers will need to be mended, (your blogger can do that).  Then they will need to be washed and treated with Nikwax.  This task can be delegated to someone who understands how the washing machine works...

The broken rod, a priceless Mosquito, originally built by Colin Young of Redditch for Partridge of the same place,  cannot be repaired in time for the season start.  It will have to join the queue at Fine CaneRods for Gary Marshall to work his magic on.  This could take as much as a year, he is in great demand and rightfully so.  Opening day will see me use a different rod that will certainly still be fashioned in exquisite built cane and will still be a delight to wield. 

In a fit of prescience your correspondent bought a replacement bag from eBay some time ago.  It is the same as the original, but the strap is a few inches shorter so it feels strange at the moment.  The feeling will go once the new position on the hip has been gotten used to.

Everything else, like tippet material, floatant and so on can be bought at this late juncture from my local tackle shop.

Peter, the proprietor of the Bakewell Fly Fishing Shop, takes a well earned break amongst his own brand of "Ordered Chaos"

Order out of chaos WILL ensue.  Opening Day will be wonderful.  It is ordained thus!




Regular Rod

Friday, 20 March 2015


You'll have to click and look hard at this one.  Can you spot it in the sky?  It was amazing to feel how cold it got and to hear the birds starting the dawn chorus all over again!  At 09:30 today the river looked even more mysterious than usual...
Click for a closer look
11 more days to go.  Henry and his pal will be very glad when All Fools' Day is upon us once more!

Regular Rod