Monday, 7 February 2011

Bentley Brook

I have been asked to post this again. Sorry if you have read it before!

I joined LADFFA last year. The Best club in England! They said. Isaac Walton himself fished the streams.

The Forums said, ‘Try Bentley brook on the estate’.

I decided to try out Bentilee brook.

Now look, without getting angry, I know where ‘Bentilee brook’ is! I was brought up on the said council estate and it is about time LADFFA sorted its maps out. They even spelled it wrong.

I programmed my very good value RAC Sat Nav from Halfords and guess what? It wanted to send me all the way to Ashbourne! The RAC are going to get a curt letter off me too!

Any how. I only went to Bentilee brook (on the ‘Estate’) the once and was shocked to see how small it was! Mind you it is a casters dream. I managed to reach the far bank on more than one occasion, I can tell you!

I did, however, feel a little intimidated by the amount of dubious comings and goings from residents of the nearby houses. Trust me to pick a day when the local teenage girls were out in force on a fancy pushchair walk. A bit of a nuisance but it is nice to see them baby minding for their parents; who says family values are a thing of the past? Having said that, it was no worse than Dovedale.

Having waded up through the culvert to the drain area; I was in my element, I have to say it is easy wading, avoiding the attentions of the local dogs (take a wading stick and some meat), I only managed one small stickleback and that was foul hooked; (for the technical I was fishing the ‘quadro’. I hit the stickleback with my point fly; a home tied striped nymph (‘size 2 Waddington with half gold tungsten bead, medium olive dubbing, badger hackle and a grey minkie tail). I also had three droppers. Illegal I know, but I did manage to swop the whole rig for a very strange hand rolled cigarette and rabbit pelt from a young guy who was admiring the alloys on my car.

I asked his name: ‘Shy Ted’ was his reply and he was well shy, trying to hide his face in on of those hooded things you can get from any fly fishing shop these days. A great leveller, fishing, I thought. He must have been some expert on the brook though, judging by the amount of caked up fish slime down his top and his piercing ruby red eyes, which I imagine was the result of concentrating on his flies drifting between discarded cider bottles. (We really do need a work party there soon).

He did give me a piece of advice. “We use Jeyes Fluid. That get’s ‘em all on the Dove!” I have heard of the “Yanks” spraying their flies with WD40 but I shall certainly give the old Jeyes a try on my next outing.

It is no wonder people on the forums say Bentilee Brook is difficult!

My lasting memory is quite positive, however. The sight of the huge water voles scuttling around my feet was a delight. What large tails they have.

Imagine my surprise when I met the same guy at Dovedale selling dust caps just a week later. I bought some spares and after the some pressure, I lent him my new hand made 7” #3 rod for him to try. He has promised to give me a review. He also showed me his box of ‘live red flies’ how I would love to be able to tie those!

Luckily for me when I arrived back at the car park I noticed that my dust caps must have rattled loose over the cattle grids so managed to replace them. I owe him one! Would have cost me a fortune at a dealership.

It is a shame that those poor young kids at Dovedale have to live in caves and things and have to wander up and down a path all day with not even a shirt to their name. They should take a leaf out of that ‘Shy Ted’s’ book and get a house on The Bentilee Estate; they even give you money to live there if you haven't got a job. I presume that is where all the LADFFA subscriptions go!

I am eagerly awaiting the review of the rod he borrowed.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

1953 Invoice

I found this in an old book given to me by a dear friend at Xmas. She bought it in a second hand shop. The book is a fascinating read: Fly-Tying: Principles & Practise by Major Sir Gerald Burrard, Bt., D.S.O., (Retired)
The guy who owned the book ordered the following.
Mail order was so different.
I note the Polar Bear and Condor quills.
What would he have tied from this lot?
Can someone help with the address as although the handwriting is beautiful, I can't make it out.?

"I think they can see your gut, Sir!"