Monday, 19 April 2010

Off crutches

My nephew Neil took up fly fishing around eighteen months ago. After only managing two river trips (including one where he caught the biggest Alyn Grayling I have witnessed) he ruptured some knee ligaments whilst martial arting. After a couple of operations and a miserable time on crutches, he was finally fit enough for some bank scrambling and wading on the lower Alyn.
Neil hasn't caught on or fished dry fly on the river before, so today[Sunday] was hopefully the day.
I rigged Neil up with my small brook rod (Tenkara in back pocket for later) and we practiced a few casts upstream on a bare stretch. Once Neil looked confident with his casting again, on went a #16 emerging grannom imitation. There were lots about.

Neil above potentially 'lining' his target. Once he grasped the technique of twisting his wrist, clockwise here, at the point of delivery to eliminate he was naturally in the groove
As we were on a narrow part of the river I began demonstrating how to quickly mend the line to one side when casting upstream so avoinding lining, when first cast a 30cm grayling rose unexpectedly and smashed into the emerger. Neil was amazed and was itching to try.
He took the rod and we made our way upstream. After about ten yards he moved a lovely looking brown, but alas being over anxious, struck too early. Five yards later, and he was in. Well sort of. The first of about a dozen suicidal salmon parr pounced. He fished a few more pools, rightly or wrongly covering some decent Grayling that could be seen. None of them moved upwards and it was becoming apparent that even though Grannom were still hatching, and even one or two Hawthorn's could be seen floating over, there was a distint lack of rises. Other than the persistent salmon parr.
I suggested we may have to change to a nymph setup, so dismantled the 'rod' and presented the fetched the Tenkara from my back pocket. Neil laughed, saying "How small are the rod rings for it to collapse into such a short length?"
"Just watch and learn"
The Tenkara was setup with a duo rig. I still so wanted Neil to get something worthwhile off the top.
The first glide Neil tried with the T and whallop. 30cm of Grayling pounced on the dry. It was quite comical watching Neil handle a fixed 16' cast on 12' of rod. This is another area where the dynamics of the T's action are defined. Holding the rod at full stretch and pointing slightly over the shoulder, a fish quickly surrenders and glides head up to the net.
A couple of casts later and another takes the PTN.

The day ended with eight Grayling mixed amongst the parr. Alas only one Trutta moved and missed. A beautiful day, the first Hawthorns spotted and even a Lamprey.

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