The place that fly fishing occupies in my life is impossible to describe; deeply personal, as it is for any one of us. It has become somewhere I go, on waters I love so much, where I can do exactly what I want to do, without hindrance from anyone, or dogma, but rather where I can take experiences from so many years with a fly rod to the next level. I have always been fascinated by instinctive fishing, rather than mechanical technique, while always supported by experience. I have enjoyed the evolution of tackle in our sport and frankly endured the severely limiting nature of some of it over the years. We are so lucky nowadays, because the tackle is supremely good; so much so that there is little that is genuinely new, or significantly more advanced.
You see, the fish are big, and wild. In the summer time they are looking upwards, and come readily to dry fly, and so you will see most of them; but even so, you set the hook and, naturally, they go berserk. Like one of the fish that comes, and goes, on Penstock lagoon. I see it sixty metres down-drift, and know it is on the track of my flies (a brown hopper and a possum dun), but even though I see it snaffle down the dun, and have anticipated the rise, I lift, set the hook and with an impossible surge the fish breaks me. Ten seconds later I see it jump a hundred metres off to our right. And twice more, farther off, until it sheds the hook
After all these years. You put in a few casts with the duo, but you keep them short, off the rise line, because, really, you want to waste this? Oh please. Another rise, and another. Out there, hard in against the bank. Impossible position, Perfect position, right where the black gnats are caught momentarily, before being whisked away into the river’s spill, if not intercepted by this trout.