FLY FISHING has long been one of my favourite ways to catch fish and I’ve had the pleasure of doing so all over the UK; bass in Wales and Dorset, salmon in the Highlands, rudd in the Hampshire Avon, barbel in the Bristol Avon, brownies in Cape Wrath and rainbows, well, everywhere.
But regular readers will know that I have been taken in again recently by the lure of giant carp. Living on the Water Park has a lot to answer for. I’m currently a bivvy dweller, a camouflaged and single-minded specimen hunter, and it has been a while since I’ve cast a fly rod in anger. Too long.
All that will change, and soon. An email this week from Jonathan Rooke at the Bull Hotel in Fairford has reminded me of the joys of river trout fishing, and had me digging out my boxes of Pheasant Tails, Parachute Adams and Greenwell’s Glories.
Jonathan tells me that there are two important trout-themed events coming up, both of which should appeal to many readers – and at least one carp-addicted columnist.
The first of these is a Fly Fishing Open Day on Saturday, May 24. The Bull’s resident expert, Jim Williams, will be on hand to share some of his skills, demonstrating the subtle nuances of casting as well as the prized tips and wrinkles that are needed to land a Coln brownie. The day is open to novice and expert alike, and details can be had on 01285 712535. I hope to meet a few readers there.
The second is a Trout Ball, a black tie affair, on October 18. You won’t be surprised to hear which variety of fish is on the menu, and The Bull manager Ian Summers is keen to encourage us to sample the river’s bounty.
I won’t need persuading; the first fish I ever caught was a Scottish brownie which, thanks to my grandmother, found its way into a frying pan with a knob of butter and a few herbs. I may be guilty of a little romanticism, but it was a fine moment in both a piscatorial and a culinary sense, and for 40 years I have been telling people that supermarket-bought, pellet-reared rainbow trout are insipid in comparison. I’d rather eat carp. Almost.
Details of the Ball can be had on the same number. I hope to meet some of you there, too.
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