Bit of a strange one with which to start a blog. And no it is not about bloody golf! The more I think about the following the more irritated I am. I am extremely fortunate in the range of fishing that I have access to and it just so happens that at the moment I am focussed on what is a public stretch of water.
It is a classic mixed fishery in its lower reaches and gradually becomes more streamy (and trouty) as you wonder upstream. I good use of half a day would be to start in the lower reaches and work your way up through the extent of fishing available, expecting to catch chub and dace with the promise of trout later in the day as you fish through the top half. The coarse boys are, on the whole, great and are usually more than happy to stop and chat. It is interesting how fascinated they are with all things fly. I work around them, they work around me.
Many of the fly anglers must be of Sicilian extraction. They have got the whole Omerta thing down pat – they are really not interested in divulging any information. Oh well, each to their own. But there is a certain proper way of doing things. This is a true (minor) chalkstream and if you want to catch then you really have to work upstream.
So a couple of weeks ago I drop by the river with the intention of starting at the mid point and then fishing through to the top. Just upstream of the mid point were a couple of guys, fly rods in hand. Bit of a bugger really as it would not have been cricket for me to drop in ahead of them and do my own thing.
Stop for a chat.
Matey who wanted to (sort of) chat had all the gear, but clearly some idea. He confirmed that they would fish up to the top. OK guys, I’ll drop in a couple of hundred yards behind you and slowly fish up.
Fishing was slow. Not surprising really, but hey these are the breaks on public access water. But there is the one run, near the top, if I timed it right it should have settled. In position, the gloaming was drawing in. Nothing moving. Time for a smoke and a little observation, this could be good. What is that noise?
The stupid bastards had only fished through to the top of the beat. Then turned around and walked back downstream – in the river! The noise was the two of them coming round the corner 50 yards upstream. Well that’s the rest of the fishing screwed.
They got out of the river and walked past me on the convenient path that runs alongside the water. I have rarely seen eye contact avoided so studiously!