It’s been an interesting month with a few fish gracing my nets and I finally got the 2023 fishing lessons dates sorted.
The month started with a very humbling gift. A friend passed away early this year. We were neighbours and we only ever fished together once but would chat regularly in the front garden about all things fishy. Phil was a fly angler mostly and whilst I love trying, it’s really not my forte. As I discovered, Phil’s family didn’t really like eating trout and after a catch of three huge double figure fish in one session, he seemed to peak and he spent more time playing golf.
After Phil’s funeral his wife visited to share the news that Phil had left his tackle to me. I’ve never been left anything before and it is a very humbling feeling. There is some really beautiful tackle and I’ll be honest I struggled to know if I should use it, or simply look after it. After some thought I decided Phil probably would have told me, don’t be so bloody daft, use the things! So I did. For the first time in years I took myself to Innis Trout Fishery and what was a beautifully calm afternoon. My casting is not pretty so calm conditions are a must! I very carefully put together the rods and reels, one with a floating line, the other a sinking. I wondered off in search of any fish moving, ideally very close to the bank and away from and trees that would be ready to grab my flies!
I soon found a fish rising so guessed at a dry fly and began casting. I have terrible habits and it’s so true, no rod or reel will ever correct poor technique. The rods were a joy to use but I felt silly using them. Imposture syndrome as they call it! Eventually I settled down and relaxed my casting and the fly started to land where I wanted it and with a nice delicate fall. Soon enough a small rainbow rose to the fly and the hook struck firm. Catching any fish on the fly is great fun. This small fish was no match for the gear but it brought a huge smile to my face. I followed this fish up with a second at dusk which completed my two fish limit (even the two fish ticket felt ambitious).
It really a lovely afternoon. Thank you Phil. I hope the trout are big and the greens are good.
That calm afternoon is the only calm weather I’ve fished in this year. Never before have I fished under my umbrella so much, it’s been so wet! There have been good days but certainly not whilst I’ve been fishing. As the daylight hours lengthened my attentions, as they do at this time of year, turned to carp. I’ve been given permission to fish a rather lovely little lake where the stock is a bit unknown. There’s certainly no monsters in there but it’s a pretty spot. The trouble it faces, like so many other lakes is predation. The otters are here. Truth be told, they could have eaten everything and I’m completely wasting my time. I’ve caught one, a really beautiful fish but it has already had a lucky escape, half it’s tail has been cut off by an otter. Where ever I’ve fished waters that are suffering predation from either cormorants or otters (this place both!) the fish are hard to catch. The sit deep in the shaggy areas and don’t behave normally. By that I mean, a fishery without predators will see the fish following weather of food sources around the lake. A fishery with predators will see the fish go wherever they can to be safe. This means they’ll often turn up where you least expect them to.
I’ll give it a go by how long these lovely old fish last, they might have already gone.
2023 Season Fishing Lesson Dates
With the weather hopefully now offering more comfortable conditions (fingers firmly crossed!) I’ve listed the dates for The School of Fish lessons this year. It’s really exciting to get the enthusiastic enquires and see the sessions filling up so quickly. There are two sessions in April so next month should have lots of “first fish” pictures and smiling faces. Maybe I’ll catch one too!
If you’d like to join me for a lesson this year, have a look at this season’s fishing lesson dates here.