A Year like no other

A Year like no other

Tracy&James | Sunday, 27 December 2020

This is mine and Tracy’s last FP of 2020, I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday period (if you’re on holiday) and is looking forward to the New Year celebrations. I have to admit that writing these FPs has been tough this year because of our enforced lack of fishing and casting competitions. I don’t think I’ve ever fished less in a year since I first took up angling as a 9 year old. I’ve only fished one venue all year, the Welsh Dee, and my number of trips was seriously curtailed due to a movement ban for a good part of the year.

 As such I’ve not had a lot of fresh experiences to write about.  I’ve also not been in my laboratory at work much, so I couldn’t add to my mechanical testing of knots or dynamic mechanical assessments of materials etc.  I also couldn’t build a vacuum system with fly loop generator to prove that fly lines don’t accelerate in the absence of drag :)

As far as casting goes, the BFCC had one event back in March prior to the first national lockdown being announced.  Beyond that one it was not possible to arrange anything else.  Tracy and the rest of the BFCC committee are in discussion about the 2021 season, however as things stand at the moment, making any firm plans is impossible until the Covidsituation eases.  We did also get to the UK championships in Cumbria, which turned out to be our only ‘get away’ holiday of the year.  I believe Lee is planning the next UK competition, but again I suspect it’s impossible to firm up any arrangements currently.

With no BFCC casting competitions and no socialising allowed, I’ve had lots of time spent on my usual casting field practicing alone.  The good news, for me, is that even at my age I’ve seen improvements and I’m now casting further than I was more than a decade ago when I considered myself quite fit.  In fact I’ve set four PB’s since March in #5 trout distance, #7 distance, sea-trout distance and 55g salmon overhead.  I know Paul doesn’t keep PB’s, and I agree with him that they’re very weather dependent, but for me they give me a personal target that shows I’m still as good as I’ve been in the past.  I just hope this new found improvement sticks with me until we start competitive casting again.

The #5 PULD competition is still running.  I must admit I’ve now had several goes at improving on the initial distance I set, failing quite miserably on occasions.  This really is a very tough challenge, but a good one for sharpening up the initial backcast to the point that you can shoot a lot of line into it.  At the moment 40m seems impossible for me but the top 6 entries have exceeded this figure – awesome casting I think we can all agree.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll have more fishing exploits to talk about next year.  Here’s wishing all Sexyloops readers a great new year.

James

PS - the photo is from one of our walks in North Wales.