Tuesday, 5 August 2014
Fiddling about with casts...
Fine, no problem then?
Err... Not quite!
Earlier in the day your faithful blogger was witness to a couple of anglers in the recreation ground trying a couple of new rods from the Orvis shop. One thing stood out. Neither angler turned his head to watch what the line was doing on the back cast. Now that's alright on a casting platform or wading in a big river, but how very much easier it would be to get the timing right and to avoid catching up on the bankside herbage if they would get into the habit of watching the fly line on the back cast as well as on the forward cast, turning the head to make sure of seeing everything that is going on and everything that is likely to get in the way.
Last night the river was very kind to your faithful blogger. This season the river is lower than usual and some places where the flow was just right in previous years for the fish to line up for the evening return of the Sherry Spinners might now hold few if any fish. Now you and I know full well that the fish cannot just vanish. They live here so they must be somewhere. The trick is to go right back to basics and start afresh. No matter how well a water is known to the angler there is often something new to learn about it...
So it proved to be at a favourite spot a little further down river.
Sitting cross legged on a dry silt bed and watching a pool that has often been covered in the oval rises that indicate trout eating spent spinners, it became clear that, although there were a few fish around and one or two were prepared to take the fly in error, things were different from previous years. Much has changed anyway as the additional large woody debris in the river has altered a number of pools, so it was with an open mind that the decision was made to leave this "favourite spot" and wander off, searching for "new" places where those Wye wild rainbow and wild brown trout had toddled off to.
You will recall that in a previous blogpost we had a similar situation. In that instance, as well as extending the leader to make it fail to turn over, we cast well up current with a little extra power on the forward cast, so that the failed turnover of the leader let the fly fall down in the slack water opposite and drifted without drag for several seconds until the line and leader in the fast current came down and overtook the slower drifting fly.
Here we need something different. The trees on the bank dictate that we cannot go downstream to cast up in a similar way to the previous example. We are bang opposite our quarry so need another way to get some loose leader in a pile over on the other side of this fast current. The answer is to cast with slightly higher than usual line speed and to abruptly stop the line in mid-air so the over-long cast is bounced back and the fly, tippet and leader land in a pile in that slower current. The fly then drifts for just enough time to convince the trout that the fly (Poly Prop Sherry "PPS") is a real Sherry Spinner and the mistake we need is made!
It wasn't easy. Several flies were lost in the vegetation. Nevertheless, it was viable and a place where I have never caught a fish before turned out to be, potentially, a new "favourite spot".
The nights are closing in fast now so make the most of these sultry evenings. The season has only sixty three days left!