Staying Dry

Staying Dry

Tracy&James | Thursday, 15 August 2019

Tracy and I are not long back from the BFCC meeting in Jersey, Channel Islands. There is a small group of casters there who are dedicated to fly casting sport and their results show how significant improvements can be made in a relatively short time – it’s great to have one of the Jersey Fly Fishers names written across a number of BFCC records. I know this will spur them on to more practice and more records in the future (we met up on the day after the competition to cast together).

Mark Surtees was present to provide tuition throughout the course of the day and judging by how knackered he looked in the evening he had been kept busy all day (although his slightly glazed look and beetroot complexion may have been enhanced by a gin or two).  Tracy had a number of attendees tell her afterwards how much they’d enjoyed the lesson with Mark, and hopefully some of the complete beginners, including the juniors who attended, will be back next time having worked on the techniques given to them in the meantime.

It was great that people mucked-in to help out in running the competition events.  Things run much more smoothly when there’s help offered and it means Tracy and myself get to have a bit of a warm up before casting. Several people who came along didn’t fancy competing in the distance events due to the swirly-wind conditions, though most had a go at the accuracy event that we placed in a ‘sheltered’ spot.

I’d also like to thank Kevin and Marcus for taking the time to show us some of their fishing areas.  I know saltwater fishing is a closely guarded secret at times, so we really appreciated being shown some of the favoured spots – and I did manage to catch a bass on the fly, maintaining my 100% record on trips over there.  I actually find saltwater fishing in the British Islands to be much more difficult than in tropical flats destinations.  Bonefish flats are much easier to read than rocky outcrops or surf beaches as, despite what some may say, at least you can see if there are bonefish in front of you (you can also see if they’ve visited recently and have fed in the area).  With shore-fishing for bass there are no such clues, you have to cast the fly into areas that look fishy and hope that they’re present and feeding.

This weekend we have an invitation to fish the river Test in Hampshire.  At the moment the weather prospects are not looking good, it’s been raining a lot this week and the wind is forecast to be pretty strong – not the greatest for a dry fly beat.  However we’ll give it a go in the hope there is some surface activity.

All the best, James.

P.S. I didn’t fall in during this trip to Jersey, even when we went night fishing.  My average number of dunkings per visit is now down to 1.33.