('You don't know what you've got 'til it's) Gone Fishing'
(with apologies to Joni Mitchell)
Sadly, we must accept that we can't enjoy being on the water at this wonderful time of the year when the countryside bursts into life again but, with luck, we will be fishing again sometime in the next few weeks or months. Until then we will all have to do as instructed and do our bit to avoid making a bad situation worse. Having access to it denied certainly does make you appreciate more fully what we normally take for granted.
And, with that in mind, the most important part of this message is to take the opportunity to wish you and your families good luck and good health throughout this very difficult time.
While restrictions continue, we will keep our home page updated with what's happening at Selectafly. Here's what it says at present:
For the time being we will continue to deal with orders as normal. Since Selectafly is a business run from a home office by the two people who live there and packages can be put into a letterbox without any interaction with other people, or even a worksurface, we believe that this does not create any significant risk. However, we will not currently offer premium postage services which would require face to face contact at the post office and create an unnecessary risk.
Whilst we fully understand that, without a river at the bottom of your garden, you are unlikely to be fishing right now, there may be an unexpected opportunity for that long overdue 'fly box tidy up' - a chance to replace some tatty things you don't use any longer with some lovely new flies you can dream of tying on once things become more normal. In the meantime, stay safe - we wish all of you and your families good fortune and good health throughout this horrible time.
Since - like so many others - we currently have rather more time available than expected, we put our heads together to think about how we might use some of it and, as well as working on some new features for the Tips & Techniques section of our website, for the next couple of weeks we are offering a telephone advice service. It doesn't need anyone to leave their house and - who knows? - it might just help a few people enjoy a little more success later in the year. So, whether it's pike fly recommendations, what sort of ground should I look for if I want to catch a bass on the fly? advice on tackle other than flies (we don't sell it so we can be totally impartial!) just call us on 01753 883366. If we don't answer straight away, leave a message and we'll get back to you. (Office hours have gone a bit casual recently!)
Flies in the news
Roza's Rock Chick, Neonka (Violet CDC Jig) and French V Wing
Those of you who read Trout & Salmon magazine will see that this month there is a big piece on the Czech world champion fly fisherman Lubos Roza and 6 of the flies he uses to such deadly effect. We have them and you can find them HERE.
A Fishy Tale
Finally, because we don't have any current fishing news here's my Father's diary entry for a Webster family classic fishing moment from this week 49 years ago. It all began when my brother cast his March Brown across the sparkling water of the River Usk at Llangybi.....
Sunday, March 28th 1971
Mid afternoon I walked down to see how the boys were doing - they were on the run below Bat's Hole and Jonathan's rod was bent in to what he assured us calmly was a fair-sized trout. After a moment I suggested it was playing more like a fair-sized salmon, with which the fish performed a series of leaps and proved the point.
Jonathan was using a 8ft Rudge rod and had less than 40 yards of fly line and backing together and a 4lb cast with two flies.
The fish was hooked in fast, broken water and wanted to go downstream - in any case we could never have landed it in the run. Either we lost the fish or we went in after him - so in we went, with Martin on one side and myself on the other, supporting and lecturing Jonathan while we crossed the river waist deep in fast, cold water.
Eventually I had to take the rod over. Time and again we were down to the last few turns of backing and once down to the knot. The fish took us almost to the end of Edward's water and then two or three hundred yards back upstream again. Several times we despaired of ever landing him but after more than an hour Martin tailed him at the second attempt. The blacksmith had watched throughout and held on to Martin at the end! (the bank at that point was steeply sloping mud)
The salmon - a lean, powerful 16 ½ pounds, 38 inch cock fish with sea-lice on him - had taken the March Brown dropper. The tail fly, a Greenwells, had foul hooked his flank and fortunately broken off.
An old photo, but the smile hasn't faded. Well done Jonathan!