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Peter Davidson

Absolute beginner & Day release head east to Geddes Fishery
« on: January 22, 2017, 22:45:18 PM »
Obviously a quandary- should a fishing report not at least hint at the hunted? If so I am in the wrong place, but only by desperation as there is no absolute beginners section for me to lurk in.

Today, Sunday 22nd January was a pivotal date in my fly fishing career - which now stretches from waaaaaaaaay back at the day before the 2016 season closed to............. almost the last week in January 2017. Today I cast my first fly with there being any - and I do stress the point, ANY chance of a fish's mouth being open, in the wrong place at the wrong time whist its' brain was confused enough to believe there would be manna from heaven arriving to brighten a cold, overcast Sunday in that boring time between big filling lunch and Ski Sunday coming on, seemingly ever later.

It was not a knee jerk reaction - open the curtains and think - fishing day, no - not by no means. It was a day of medium term planning, myself free of work for the day, good lady away south, jaunting no doubt for the week, whilst my fishing companion had worked hard at brownie points to have a day off from a fairly new wife and a young family. Those of you old enough to know the mere male human with a live in spouse has little say in their own time will appreciate this dedication and possibly understand why we shrugged off the following.

Our original intention was to go to Dunlichity but, on checking their website yesterday it was closed due to ice. The more experienced may have said there and then - no matter - we'll go another day because if it is cold there it'll be just as cold further east and the fish will be dormant. Ha! Not so the Gung Ho absolute beginner and willing escapee compatriot. A flurry of web browsing and a quick call to the Geddes Fishery near Cawdor confirmed they would be open as they were on Saturday - when one fisher had five fish for his day! No arguments there then. Early bed, good breakfast, load car, load more car with extra clothing, fill flask head east. During the drive to collect my day release companion I remember reading that during cold periods the best, and possibly only time to catch fish is on the cusp of the upward temperature curve, again, probably just one of these old wives tales to mystify absolute beginner types.

And so we arrived at the loch. Two small lochs which were, at one time one man made loch servicing the fresh water needs of Auldearn but long since abandoned in favour of fresh EU hill water no doubt. We were met in a cosy shed by two men who were very friendly and welcoming, good fun and quick to advise which flies, Day Release nodded his head knowingly, which areas to fish and the sloping layout of the fly loch - Absolute beginner nods his head as if he understands every word.

Outside to don extra clothing - then full winter hill gear as it was all of 2 degrees Centigrade. Whilst rigging rods I casually ask "Did you catch all the right stuff about flies then"? "Not a bloody clue - didn't recognise any of them."
Just a trifle. We've plenty flies to try and there's no wind, good platforms and it's almost as if that white cloud is going to move over and the sun may come out. Lead on McDuff!!!

We choose medium depth water, probably about 10ft, and separate onto our own platforms and slide into our own little planets of Nirvana for the next two hours. Not long after my first of many tangles of the day I see a ripple out ahead and gain further confidence that I'm going to feel my fist pull soon. Concentrate. Rhythm. Watch the line, don't rush, try other bits of water from where you're standing. Slow retrieve, jerky retrieve, quick retrieve. I was absolutely involved! It was like I knew there was a stag just up front somewhere but I haven't spotted it yet. But I'll get him!! 

All too soon it was time for a quick coffee and piece and I wondered where the morning had gone? No fish between us, two or three others out with the same result - including the five fish man from yesterday and if HE hadn't caught anything then at least we were staying up with HIM.
Back out for another two hours in the afternoon with the same results but with Day Release at least getting a nibble while my driving force was that my casting was now looking, at least to me, far better than it had this morning. By the time we headed back to the car it was nil nil for us but also for HIM! Another fisher had caught something not far from our morning stance but it was whispered he was quite lucky because the fly was just hitting the water when it was taken. Whatever! Didn't bovver us.

We came away delighted with our first days fishing of 2017 and my first days fishing for real. It didn't matter at all we hadn't caught anything, we had learned, we had practice, we had encouragement from the loch boys and we felt we'd accomplished what we hope to repeat once a month. A day away at the fishing - which is not the same as a day catching fish.

Mike Barrio

Re: Absolute beginner & Day release head east to Geddes Fishery
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 13:24:13 PM »
Great stuff :z16

Best wishes
Mike
www.flylineshop.com   At the heart of your fishing ..... lies a great fly line!

 




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