Thanks to Wayne Thomas who pointed out that I incorrectly billed the Hart Flyshop open day as 2nd March, of course our open day is on Sat 2nd May 2009 .... we look forward to seeing you there!
On Thursday and Friday I began winding up into the season, in fact just glancing over my diary I can see that silly season is here! But what a great way to get going. Day 1 was spent with Jon Hettle on Clatworthy where a slow start eventually gave way to a hectic spell and several well conditioned Rainbows. Successful tactic was to fish a Scientific Angler Kelly Green Intermediate and a long fluorocarbon leader. Despite feeding on Buzzers none of the fish went for our imitation, opting instead for a Mini Huey with gold body fished on the point. Fish seem to be holed up in very tight bunches, our success came at the North end.
After supper at Woods in Dulverton (which never fails to impress), Jon and I headed home for some rest and then met up early the next morning for the journey up the M5 to Chew Valley. What a venue this is, the moment I arrive in the car park my adrenalin goes into overdrive ..... and I was guiding! However guiding Jon when boat fishing is always extra special for me as I get to fish with him .... another reason for my state of excitement. I am the first to try and calm guests down when fishing, slow their reaction to situations etc., in the hope that they make the perfect cast. If only I had heeded my own advice then I may not have hurriedly ended the life of my beloved Hardy Demon 10'0" # 7 rod in the tail gate of my truck! Fortunately I had another equally favoured rod as a back up, the Greys G Tec equivalent and so pride just about intact we headed to the boat.
Upon arrival at the jetty I was in complete astonishment at the amount of fly. Buzzers were everywhere including up my nose and in my eyes. Checking above the tree tops the tell tail signs of a massive hatch were only too evident as what appeared to be smoke hovered above. In fact the mass was thousand upon thousand of flies. Although slightly chilly in a lifting fog the fish were right up in the layers and Jon was soon into them using Iain Barr Diawl Bachs (particularly the holo red version) on a floating line. Top areas were North shore, the picnic area, in behind Denny island and Moreton. The fishing was awesome but I have a new toy and it is not fishing tackle. Purchased on the recommendation of my good mate Mike Boniface I was trying out my new digital camera, a Pentax Optio W60. Now I know nothing about cameras really but what I like about this product is that it can be used underwater, for both photography and video. I have had no real time to play with it properly, but did dunk it under for a quick test during the Chew visit as Jon brought a fish to the net. For such a low priced bit of kit I am dead chuffed with the results, all be it I am no BBC cameraman! As soon as I have time to practice I have a whole host of ideas about how this could help me and therefore my guests understand more about what goes on below the waters surface. If you just have to have one then I can highly recommend the company I purchased it from Clifton Cameras
Jon sadly had to depart by 4pm, but I just could not resist the temptation of a boat for the evening on Chew. Returning to the mouth of Heron bay and then zeroing in on a pod of rising fish off Moreton point I was like a kid in a sweet shop. Fish after fish fell to the buzzers until eventually I decided to go for a totally top water approach and switch to Hoppers, taking several fish in quick succession off the surface. Truly stunning fishing that Chew has become rightly famous for and while shaking to sort leaders, degrease them, fluff up flies and make casts to moving fish I realised that more than ever I have the fishing bug ... bad! The sunset was the icing on the cake, an evening I will remember for a long time.
Loads more news for the blog soon but if you are thinking about bagging a heavyweight Exe Valley maybe your venue, here is Mike Hole from Bampton with a stunning 8lb 5oz specimen taken on Saturday. And check out Henry Gilbeys blog for a truly magnificent Pike taken by lure fishing guru Danny Parkins.