Sunday, 11 August 2013

The Purist wears blinkers!

Photo 01 - Bumblebees at the boathouse enjoying the Globe Thistles!
The Purist wears blinkers!

In my early years of fishing I once came across a fellow on the River Gala who was dressed like a nineteenth century gentleman angler with breeches plus fours and very expensive looking split cane rod. Naturally we got to talking about our great sport and he went to great pains to tell me that he was a dry fly purist! At the time I could do nothing but stand in awe of the gent fishing the dry fly irrespective of venue conditions or stock of fish. As time progresses you tend to relive moments of the past and I pondered on my encounter with the fellow.

My first taste of game angling for Brown Trout happened a good number of years ago too many in fact to mention! Yes on the River Gala still a favourite of mine I was introduced to the joy of the dry fly using eager young yellow bellied Brownies who quickly taught me nothing could be taken for granted. Indeed they were always eager to respond to the fly until that is I had caught a few but more if my cast was poor as it often was then only the occasional rise to the fly would be gifted to me. Often however they were but half hearted rises splashing close to the fly which they had already detected as a highly suspicious meal indeed in spite of matching the hatch.

With the impetuosity of youth I quickly moved on to the submerged fly and found that many Trout could also be caught by this method. It was most enjoyable but it always lacked the high encountered fishing the dry fly. It is the moment a Trout rises and sucks in your offering and you instinctively tighten into a deceived adversary, your trick of deception had worked! It is a feeling like no other difficult to describe but its like waking up on Christmas morning as a six year old. It’s a mighty adrenalin rush coupled with deep satisfaction. If you tie your own flys then that lift is even greater.

The art is well told in old Izaaks book The Compleat Angler and by Dame Juliana Berger in a "A Treatyse of Fysshynge Wyth an Angle".in 1425. Dry fly fishing was “invented” well before this with documentary evidence showing the Romans used to fish for Trout with a fly way back in AD200. Patterns of fly in earlier times would probably be described as crude compared to the sweat shop types we buy nowadays and the hooks were made out of bone and were large and clumsy. Nevertheless the anglers caught Trout on these rivers, they were not as hard pressed as they are today, but I bet the capturing anglers went through the same feeling of elation that we do today.

Many say the dry fly is the pinnacle of angling and I believe it so, but that is not to devalue other types of angling for that would be a mistake. Angling is something to everyone whether they fish above or below the surface. There has been in the past a kind of angling snobbery where all methods other than the dry were decried as being fit only for peasants and dissenters. Not so these days, the clued up angler fishes the method which brings results! Look and listen other anglers may be catching, your aim is to be in that group. The intransigent dry fly fisher will suffer many lesser days by not adapting to the venue and conditions. Our committed Trout anglers on the loch are adept in all the major branches of fly angling quite simply because if they were not they would not catch anything!

My view of the gentleman purist has changed quite a lot over the years. We all have our favourite methods of fishing and I am sure deriving much pleasure from them. There is however a time and a place for each method to be employed. Would you fish a dry fly on a crisp March morning just as our season opens? I’ve asked this question of a few people and the answer is a resounding no! Angling is about versatility, having the ken to adapt your methods to whatever will give you the best chance of some sport. Without this versatility many more days will have been spent head scratching looking into a nice clean basket! I absolutely love fishing the dry fly, but I will not use it to the exclusion of everything else! Everyone is free to employ any method they wish but at least give yourself a chance, and adapt to the situation on the day, it may be appealing to be called a purist, but it may be that your blinkers mean you miss out on a lot of action!

Lots of fish being caught!

We are now well into August and already a chill has entered the air early morning autumn approaches and the balmy days previously encountered become a distant memory. The change in season has not affected the feeding patterns of our fish however. Trout are still being caught on a variety of methods with one caught last week at the bottom of St Mary’s weighing one and three quarter pounds. Many smaller fish were also reported.

With Pike the onslaught continues albeit the bigger ladies keeping on the mandatory slimming diet (it won’t last!) post spawning whilst the siblings continue to feast! Yes many Pike between ten and twelve pound have graced angler’s nets with a few smaller ones to boot! Some nice photos coming from our now regular Carlisle visitors and I will post them next week. Perch continue to brighten up the days of fly anglers with a few being reported not to any great size however. The Carlisle lads above hooked into a 3lbs Eel which I am told led them a merry dance as they often do even on heavy Pike tackle (photo coming). This is by far the heaviest Eel caught this season.

Photo 02 - looking to the far side of the Lowes!
Dud link!

Last week’s link to the fly fishing forums drew a blank for a number of readers. Now I am not sure if the posts are only available to logged in members so I have copied and pasted the text which will allow you to see the advice given to the enquiring angler looking for an instructor close to Galashiels.

Does any one know of any casting instructors round the Galashiels area, could do with some polishing up, its been 19 years!

cheers stef


Have a look at the Game Anglers Instructors Association web site and put in where you live and it will tell you who is in your area.

Thanks I have found one around the Kelso area

Sound advice indeed! Click the link and have a look at the site, it gives the stages such as Associate Member,  which signifies an unqualified  angler possibly taking instruction to become qualified at the first level as APGAI. A more valuable qualification AAPGAI which signifies an advanced instructor is by far a better bet. I note that the site mentions the qualification of APGAI as being suitable for fishing guides. This situation of self governance for fishing guides is however a total failure clearly shown by our earlier investigations. Mandatory central regulation must become the norm for these people if we are not to be seen as the joke of the angling world!

Photo 03 - they thought we were born yesterday ,see next week.
The Wider World in my View!

A UKKIP blunder!

I am of course referring to the outrageous comments made by a rather insignificant YKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom! Yes by calling the third world nations Bongo Bongo land he hauls us back to colonial times. The point he was trying to get over however is a very valid one. We at the behest of Lord Snooty give millions in aid to the likes of India and Pakistan to name but a few and yet these countries seem to hame immense wealth when it comes to funding their war efforts!

Yes India and Pakistan are rapidly becoming fully fledged members of the “lets end the world club” choosing not to take care of the many poor and needy of their nations instead investing in nuclear warheads! Clearly this is an incorrect strategy and Mr Bloom was correct in this respect, why would we allow our money to go to these countries where that money may be in part or wholly to increase that nation’s arsenal?

Pakistan stands out like a sore thumb accepting aid from us and at the same time acting as a training ground for those who would attack us! Yet again common sense needs to be urgently deployed, these governments must be urged to create the infrastructure whereby their own people can generate enough food and wealth to take better care of their citizens! This should be a fundamental requirement of any aid given to them! Lord Snooty will maintain the status quo as he tries to use this benevolence to portray what a great country this has become! Pragmatists all over the country are calling for the problems (and they are increasing daily) of this country to be tackled before overseas aid is given. Lord Snooty for once needs to interrupt the process of persistent blundering and for once act with a degree of common sense! Let’s put our own house in order before looking to throw hard earned money overseas!

Rogues gallery of tax evaders!

You of course will have seen this on the national news. Quite why Lord Snooty wanted to highlight this abject failure is beyond me! They savage the border controls allowing ever Tom Dick and Ahmed into the country then to try and remedy their faux pas by issuing a most wanted series of photos in the manner of the FBI and proudly proclaim they have caught 2 out of the twenty or so they have been looking for!

These fools chasing people who are in the bigger picture largely irrelevant when compared to the gargantuan Google and Amazon who cost this country millions if not billions in tax evasion! Yes Lord Snooty and his merry band of clowns and jokers would do well to concentrate on the real criminals and not the small fry! Yet another spectacular example of the image boosting boomerang that comes back to hit them squarely on the forehead! Britain once again shamed by these fools!

Mapping the path of destruction!

Yes Jeremy Hunt the the MP that calls himself the Health Minister predicts that the NHS will be unsustainable in the very near future! At last a Con-Dem minister who speaks the truth! We all know this, Snooty and his pals have had the abolition of the NHS on their list of things to do as soon as they snatched power! There could not be a clearer warning - The NHS is not safe in the hands of these fools!

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