Three days and a broken wheel

Three days and a broken wheel

Paul Arden | Monday, 6 April 2015

I'm on a three day trip up to North England, fishing the Eden with Lightning Mark Stoatstail and Wild Pig Peter. At the time of writing, this is the end of Day 1. This day was undoubtedly Mark's day, for he had seven fish and Wild Peter and I had none each. Of course we all hooked fish, and broke on fish, and missed fish. But only one person landed fish, and that was Mark. Curiously Mark told me to tie Large Dark Olives in small sizes and Grannoms, which Peter and I duly did. Did Mark catch his fish on better-tied LDOs? No, of course not, he fished nymphs downstream and across and told me this on the way back from the river.

Anyway I'm only joking, I didn't really get into it today and I think you have to get into it at this time of year. Apart from which I've never fished bloody rivers at this time of year. There's not a lot of surface activity and so you can either go for what there is, or fish for the fish that aren't showing. I did hook a lovely fish on a dry fly, but I broke on it - it's been a long time since I've fished a tippet under 30lbs! I'm curious to see what happens tomorrow. I have two options if things don't change... one is I French Nymph and the other is I fish nymphs down and across. To be honest I'm not very good at either and consider myself to be a beginner at both techniques.

However having spent a long time trying to learn good downstream nymphing technique and never really getting it, and having spent a short time learning French Nymphing and becoming quickly very excited about it, I think I'm going to say au revoir to the first method tomorrow. Yes I would like to do something that works!

Incidentally I've almost made the decision to leave Europe in early to mid June and get back to Malaysia. There are lots of compelling reasons to be there, but the overriding one is that I just haven't spent enough time there yet! I've never felt so far that I've actually moved in... and there is so, so much to learn. I haven't made headway into my key species this year, and it's drawing me back. My commitments so far are England until end of the month with the Danish Fly Festival this coming weekend. Scottish Meet first weekend in May. Mid-May to early June I'll be in Hungary, Bosnia and Croatia. And then I'm thinking I might disappear for a while or two.

Fuck me, I'm fishing for trout and I'm thinking about Snakehead. I'm sleeping on the floor in Mark's holiday house, next to the fire place, and I'm thinking about sleeping in the jungle with my girl, next to the campfire. I'm driving up through England and I'm thinking about driving at night from Grik, looking for elephants. I'm not here, I'm there!

Anyway... that's the future. Tomorrow I fish for trout on the French Nymph...... But tonight, right now, I sleep next to the fire, dreaming of the jungle. That is where my heart is.


So here's a little addition for you as we go to press. It turns out that Mark had peaked yesterday, as both Peter and I suspected. While he caught three fish today they were all grayling which as we know are out of season and therefore don't count. Only one countable fish was caught today, on a very difficult day - a day when only the really best anglers catch fish - and that was a trout caught by me. This brings the score to 1-1, in the larger scheme of things. Now the question is, can Peter pull through tomorrow and surprise us all by beating us a the post... No one knows, but we do know that we're going to have a flat tyre, and this is because Peter's wife, Szuszi, is expecting us home in the morning, which quite simply is not going to happen and so Peter has come up with this cunning excuse.

Which brings us around to an interesting point: Peter took up fly fishing after he took up marriage. Had he taken up fly fishing first, Szuszi would probably never have married him. If she reads this page he might be single again, so let's see what happens! Have a great day!

Cheers, Paul