It’s been a year since I caught my first fish, a beautiful ¾lb wild Grayling on the river Wye with the biggest most ridiculous grin that wouldn’t go away! I’d not felt anything like it before but have been lucky to many times since. At that point I’d been learning fly fishing for four months since my introduction knots, bought my first rod, stalked, tried to catch a fish and exasperated Chris as he watches my first take fall off the hook “Why didn’t you strike?!” Strike? I have no idea how to strike! If it wasn’t for Hywel Morgan I doubt very much I’d have caught that Grayling and probably would have missed out on so much.
It’s Called Fishing For A Reason
Ok, when I’m in pain or get really frustrated I laugh, a lot. Better that then hear my sailor mouth I guess. I laughed my ass off over the next few months cos I couldn’t catch a thing until Chris took me course fishing. But it didn’t feel like fishing as soon as the hook was in the water the fish was on and it gave me confidence but somehow wasn’t rewarding (I knew so little!). Fishing in Lancashire in August if it wasn’t for Harry and the stunning landscape I’d have jacked it in. But I got a Salmon parr and I didn’t care it was a parr. It was a fish that I’d fished for, felt the take and landed, by myself!
Cold Turkey Made me Course
I’ll be honest, I liked working hard fly fishing so I didn’t get carp or course fishing. How can you just sit there and wait? But being at the WCM and talking to the guys I got it. The passion and single minded focus was the same, it’s just you did it in a different way. Then comes the winter and I can’t look at a stream, river or even the duck pond near the house without wanting to get my rod out. Who am I? No wonder my friends are still shocked that I fish! Thankfully Chris had a spare float rod and I hit the lakes. I laughed so hard for several months learning to cast a feeder. Tried not to vomit hooking a worm (moves too much like a snake) found a use for my ski trousers and got my first float rod and started catching Roach and Rudd.
For the Love of Prawns
I was desperate to catch a Perch and read they love prawns. First trip was a blow out (don’t use cooked ones). Raw ones the next trip didn’t work (January too early?). But I killed it on 4th March with 12 Perch all on prawn at Royal Berkshire Fishery and my best at 1.5lb. I was flying! I’d beaten Chris, got some stunning fish and I started to feel confident about what I was doing. You should have seen me grin! But the best came two weeks later at Watmore Lake. I got my first ever carp at 8lb, then Chris got his first double digit carp around 10lb 4oz he was beside himself! I didn’t mean to beat him an hour later with an 10lb 8oz common or a few hours later with my 13lb-er. I was done. It felt like the fish had jumped in a cab to Reading and I was trying not to wrestle it in. I am still shocked that just an hour later I got my biggest to date, a 13lb 5oz stunning common. I was done, the emotion was too much, but I got it and Chris got my ridiculous grin again.
It’s Been a Year
I didn’t think I could grin any more than I have been, but topping off the year by learning to trot using a centrepin with the amazing Nigel at TackleUp and catching five wild Grayling best at 1.5lb and six Brown Trout best at 2.2lb. I now own six rods, four reels including my centrepin, waders and so much equipment. I’ve fished course, carp, fly, french leader, spinning and used the centrepin. I still feel like I did a year ago, but now I know how to strike. I have a feeling fishing will always makes me either laugh like a sailor or grin so ridiculously that it feels just the way it did with the first fish I’d ever caught.