Father and son enjoy a day’s fly-fishing

Bob Smith's angling column (www.bobsmithflyfishing.co.uk)
Bob Smith's angling column (www.bobsmithflyfishing.co.uk)

Christmas has come and gone for 2014. Can I just thank everyone for their kind words and cards, they were all greatly appreciated.

A coaching session with James went ahead on the 23rd. James had never fly-fished before and was visiting family for Christmas. He lives at Weybridge and is 10.

We began with a weighted white buzzer to get the casting going. James listened well and soon got a shortish cast going out nice and straight.

James got a good pull and played his first trout reasonably well considering it was the first trout he had caught. James tired the trout and I netted it for him. To say he was delighted was an understatement!

Soon after, Dad hooked into a bigger trout and played it for several minutes and managed to get the fish to the surface. Unfortunately, the trout made one last surge and the hook became detatched.

Anyway, both anglers returned to the lodge and James weighed his fish which was 1.88lbs. The size did not matter, he had a trout to take home and Dad was delighted that his son had been successful.

I have only fished once myself over the festive period, but what a day. On arrival at Chatton fishery on Boxing Day, there were about a dozen cars in the car park and anglers were fishing. I thought the lakes would have been frozen with the heavy frost.

The three arms of Chatton lake had a covering of ice, but all the main basin of the lake was open water with a small ripple. Dunnydeer and Ross Lake were completely ice-free apart from a few inches in the northern margin of Dunnydeer.

I fished a weighed buzzer at Dunnydeer to begin with, but after 15 minutes nothing.

Nobody else had a trout from the lake so I walked over to Ross Lake to try my luck there.

To my surprise, there was the odd fish rising, so I changed the fly to an unweighted Diawl Bach with a copper wire rib.

Third cast my line went tight and I landed a fully-finned two-and-a-half-pound Rainbow. The fly came out in the net, so I turned the net over and the trout quickly disappeared back into the deeper water.

I moved further along the bank and changed the fly to a pheasant tail. In the next hour-and-a-half, I had three more pulls; two did not stick and the third trout came detatched after only five or so seconds.

By this time, more cars and anglers had arrived and there must have been more than two dozen rods fishing the three lakes. One guy had four fish off Ross lake, using a yellow nomad.

Lunchtime saw the barbecue underway and what a choice. Huge pieces of tender steak, thick beef burgers, sausages, Christmas cake and mince pies in abundance. Everybody was eating away and the non-drivers were washing everything down with sloe gin or a beer.

I left after lunch so I don’t know the final tally of trout on the day, but I am sure that all the anglers who braved the frosty conditions had a really excellent day with the fishing or the generous hospitality.

A Happy New Year to one and all. I do hope 2015 brings everyone everything you wish for as well as health, wealth and happiness.