Saturday, 7 August 2010

Wolfscote dale and root canal

Bone had switched his day off so Friday it was. We decided to return to Wolfscote dale as this was our first ever river venue and the day I decided we were wasting our time until I sought advice.

I have had a bit of experience since then. Fishing days with John Tyzack, Glen Pointon, Mick Martin, John Colemans, Dave Wood and a couple of chats with Richard Ward have all helped me understand how to catch fish.

I have to say I was not at all looking forward to the day ahead. Yesterday I had root canal treatment without anaesthetic as the dentist said the tooth was dead. Luckily she was right but I have never experienced 15minutes of hard core drilling without hitting the ceiling.

Today I was in agony. If I had known the pain to come I think I would have gone for the extraction option.

I was feeling miserable, it was raining, I was dreading the bill for repairs to my son’s car (in the garage for 3 weeks) and can honestly say if Bone had called it off I would have been most grateful!

Anyway, bang on 9 I could here the sweet roar of Bone’s none turbo escort van complete with 1 air bag but plenty of discarded fag packets to cushion a blow coming down my street. No diesel in Bone’s so we went in mine.

We popped into the newsagents to pick up Bone’s trout magazine.

I glanced at a page full of crazy flies and told Bone what I thought of them.

Bone sensed my mood wasn’t too good and we drove towards Hartington in a strange silence.

We tackled up in the drizzle without the usual buzz even though we new we’d have the whole stretch to ourselves due to the weather. We hung our fobs in the checking station and had a look at the previous anglers’ returns. Ones and twos but reports of a 1 1/4lb grayling a few days ago.

Bone selected a pool and missed a couple of takes almost immediately.

I began to cast half heartedly towards a likely look in spot and I perked up as my new rod and reel felt really good. I have already blogged the Flextec and even I can feel the quality.

I soon missed a rise, lost one and decided to wander down to the lower limit. A gale was blowing up the gorge which further irritated my tooth. I had a chat with a professional photographer on a landscape shoot who turned out to be a keen fly fisher himself. I was just hoping he wasn’t watching me but as I walked upstream, having a cast here and there, checking for folk on my back cast he was always in view complete with tripod, camera pointing in my direction!
I spotted the first natural rise I had seen all morning. Looking at the aspect of various trees and plants I decided I could just about manage the cast. I was pleased with my false casting and judging the range and distance let it go. A gust of wind caught it and my fly landed about 10 foot behind where I had seen the rise. Splash! A daft trout took me sedge. So I hadn’t blanked after all.

A lovely little browny complete with LTD

I wandered up to Bone who had also nabbed one. We sat watching a few rises on a pool and I managed a small grayling. Watched Bone miss a couple too.

Interestingly, I had three takes to a foam beetle which I failed to hook. I figured the wind would have blown all sorts into the river and in the absence of a hatch I thought it worth a go.

Although I didn’t catch many, I now think a lot more about my fishing and how to approach different pools. I would say the conditions were very difficult today. A low and clear river, no real insect life, few rises and a blustery upstream wind to contend with made the fishing a challenge and without my new found confidence I know I would have had a blank.

We decided to call it a day and called in the Manifold Inn for a pint of excellent Titanic bitter.

My tooth felt much better.

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