The Promise of a New Season
For me this early Spring time is a magical time of year. The whole season lies ahead of us and who knows what triumph and disappointment it might hold! And just in case you are thinking 'I could do without the disappointment bit' - remember the cautionary tale of the man who died and initially thought he had gone to heaven as he caught an endless procession of large trout before realising that he was in fact now doomed to repeat the process forever and that he was actually in the other place! Even without the philosophy it is a time of great preparation and anticipation as summed up by a brief message we received with an urgent order yesterday 'Draycote opens on Friday - I can't wait!'
Some of us haven't been so patient. Ten days ago Alan Waller tempted 3 huge fish, totalling over 36lbs! from Lechlade on one of our Snakelets to win the rescheduled Craig Barr Fur and Feather competition.
That's a salmon net these monsters are in!
Up on the Tyne Andy Blyth kicked his season off in style with two beautiful fresh fish, which engulfed his Conehead Flamethrower as it worked its way through the Tyne's peaty depths. Here's the bigger of the two, estimated at a bit over 20lbs - the other one wasn't much smaller!
As some of you may know, ex rugby star Andy is now rather less mobile than he used to be (but no less adventurous) and, delivering fully on the message above regarding both triumph and disappointment, tells me that shortly after releasing his first fish he fell in!
Don't forget that, from this year, closure/restriction of drift net and T&J operations off the North East coast should mean an extra 20,000+ salmon per year reach English and Scottish rivers - a great result for everyone who had campaigned so long and hard to achieve this.
Meanwhile, down South, James King was targeting pike down on the Test - with some success! - 21 pounds, on that supremely versatile predator pattern - the Black Bomber.
Who ate all the trout!
The moral of the story is that if you're not fishing already or planning to do so very soon - what are you waiting for?!
We've got lots of nice fresh leader material - including the newly launched Fulling Mill Masterclass tapered leaders - and probably the most comprehensive offering of super seductive and successful flies new and old available in the UK today, including a hugely successful Barbless range - and we're adding new patterns all the time. I know that there are those who say that the old flies work just as well as the new fangled stuff - but I also know that lots of our customers would feel hugely handicapped without their Snakelets, Micro Blue Flash Damsels, Black Eyed Peas, Voodoo Cats and more (who comes up with these names?! Ed) They know that they can catch on flies like these when they can't on other things. These hot patterns can sell out fast too - lots of people don't just order 2 or 3 - so don't leave your own order too late.
We do keep our NEW PATTERNS sections up to date, whether they're from Fulling Mill or any of our own ranges - Barbless, Original and Pro - so these are the pages to check if you want to zoom in on the very latest killers - just be aware that there are lots of great patterns that just aren't quite new enough to still be here, so top selling flies like our Snakelets and Fulling Mill's Mini Snakes (which came out more than a year later!) have already moved away.
Reminders and Dates for your Diary
The annual Wild Trout Trust Auction takes place this year between the 8th and 17th March. This is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a fishing experience that - in many cases - money just can't buy. With lots ranging from chasing Golden Dorado in South America to 'a secret loch' in Argyll where one lucky previous bidder caught 6 brownies over 2 pounds before lunch, if there's nothing here that gets you day dreaming maybe you should consider golf!
On the 22nd and 23rd March the third London Fly Fishing Fair will be held, once more at the Business Design Centre in Islington. A great place to see what's new on the fly fishing scene, enjoy a little retail therapy, pick up new ideas through workshops and talks from famous fly fishing faces and catch up over a beer with friends old and new.
Finally, it's nearly time to sort out your new fishing licence. Do it here - directly with the Environment Agency. Totally easy and no extra costs so don't get led astray by one of the parasite websites that will do the same thing whilst charging you extra for the privilege of their 'help'!
Time for Action
With the water still cold and clear our small stillwaters are already in full swing. Most of the big reservoirs open in the next few days and trouting on the rivers will follow at different times during March or the beginning of April. Many salmon rivers are already up and running (with numbers and size of Spring fish appearing to be on an upward trend) - the others will follow shortly. Don't 'get round to it later' - ring a friend, book a boat, a beat or a ticket and enjoy our beautiful countryside. If you're looking for inspiration on the right flies for this time of year have a look at our 'Flies for the Current Month' they're continuously updated and reflect both our own experience and what our customers are buying. Do get out and get a fly in the water soon... and please let us know how you get on! We love to hear from you and learn what's working for you and where.