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Monday, 2 April 2012

A fishy tale...

You know the stories, you've heard them told 'it really was this big...' and we're talking fish here if you are a little lost already. Well, I took advantage of the warm spell and headed up North (not the wisest move I know, but it was still warm up there, honestly. Having stopped off briefly to collect my Dad, we headed a little further up the M6 to our favoured trout fishing lake and set about the serious task of catching some supper...

Well it was a day of glorious sunshine, with a biting wind a good few biting fish as well.

As is always the way, with fly fishing, I was a tad overexcited (I don't get to go that often) and what's more, I had a new, full fly fishing set to get out and play with, rod, reel, the whole works. By the time I was set up to go I had already caught two fish on my borrowed rod, so I knew I was in for a treat.

The rod is gorgeous, sleek and shiny in that 'new' way and the reel was a dream, I don't do too well at the technical stuff, but it made that lovely 'reely' sound when I cast, you know, like it was purring... anyway, I digress...

So, My fad and I, on pontoons approximately 200 yds apart, with the sun glinting on the lake and I get a bite, and it's a big one. I try to catch my dad's eye (should have concentrated on catching the fish!) which was a thankless task, he is clearly in a world of his own and has reached that level of deafness where denial is king, so my shouting didn't work either. So without a net (Dad had it), I attempted to land the beast that was now fighting furiously on the other end of the rod. I could see the end of the rod flexing and despite trying to take the tension off, the fish was playing hard to get...

It felt bigger than the two I had already caught (did I mention that dad only had one?)but it could have just been a fighter... well that was at least what I thought until with a snap, the top of the rod broke off! Brand new and snapped, like a twig! But the fish was still there and I frantically fought to get hold of the line (completely flouting health and safety regulations, fishing line round fingers, blah blah). We battled on for a few more minutes with me before the line also snapped and the slack leader line whipped back at me, thankfully missing the hook bit!

It is my opinion that I was up against a beast, possibly man eating, and of course the good thing is that when they get too big they don't taste nice anyway, but I am gutted that the rod broke!

And so ended a day at the Cleveley Mere trout lake, which I have to say is well worth a trip even if you don't have the fly fishing gene. They have a tree house you can hire to stay in as well as a Huf Haus, both lakeside and stunning as well as other accommodation available, each unique and luxurious. The lake has walks around it and plenty of stuff to see and do, including otters somewhere abouts... and boats you can take on the lake if you fancy a meander. Just don't upset the fishing eh?

Interesting facts:
• There are many different types of trout, apart form the usual Brown and rainbow, there are tigers, steel blue and many more, go on see if you know any more, there seem to be hundreds!
• In fly fishing, the flies follow no logic naming conventions: 'Buzzers' are not meant to emulate wasps/bees, but a larvae that emerges from the bottom of the lake/river. Boobies, don't represent their namesake, so I'm told, but they do have two large white spherical objects perched on top of the hook...? And no, the cats whisker isn't anything to do with cats - not sure I will ever get to grips with the terminology.
• If you remove the barb from the hook when you fish, it takes a little more skill to land the fish, but causes minimum damage and is easier to release the fish if it's too big or not big enough.

That's all for now folks and yes it really was 'that big!'

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