Winter Dries

Winter Dries

Tracy&James | Thursday, 22 November 2018

The weather was kind to us for our trip to North Wales last weekend and we got a day’s fishing on the river Dee. Given it is mid-November and pretty cold, we still managed to find some rising grayling and Tracy winkled a few out on a size 16 Klinkhammer. I persevered on nymphs, although I must say my confidence in what I was doing was waning, especially as on our last visit I didn’t catch on this method, ending up copying Tracy’s dry fly set-up in order to catch some fish. This time, however, I did manage to eventually catch some grayling before I got the urge to swap methods.

The weekend after next sees the river Dee hosting a major fly fishing competition, the Hanak Grayling Festival.  This brings anglers from across Europe to compete, as well as the local experts.  I’ve decided to go along and spectate – I’m pretty sure I’m going to learn a lot from seeing how these anglers approach the same water as I fish.  Hopefully this will improve my nymphing and give me a much needed confidence boost.  I’m also planning on meeting some of the competitors for a beer or three after the fishing has finished for the day (it’s a two day competition), so I have an ulterior motive for going along.

I also did some work on my #5 and ST27 distance casting at the weekend.  I started off not particularly pleased with my results even though, given the conditions, I was not expecting big distances.  After having a quick word with myself things started coming together, the difference between an acceptable cast and one that falls short of expectations, for me, is quite small – just a few inches difference in body or hand positioning.  But it’s these small changes that make the difference between being competitive or not, especially as the standard of casting competitions is getting steadily tougher (either that or I’m getting steadily older).  I need to make more than a small improvement over the winter though and that has to come from improving my backcast – more speed required, this is a work in progress.

All the best, James.

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