Saturday, 15 September 2012

Fishing The Usk Pt5

The true sportsman needs neither game laws nor bag limits, nor does the securing of a license make a sportsman. He must be moderate in his kill, find part of the pleasure in being afield, and in observing the lives of the denizens of the streams and wood. Many of our best days are those in which a large catch was not made.
"Uncle" Lloyd Taylor
No fishing excursion is complete without an emergency trip to the fishing shop, so when The Lighthouse Keeper's waders self-destructed we made a pilgrimage to SportFish in Hereford. The shop is vast, they have a casting pool out the back, but due to my scrappy and short range casting I could have practiced indoors the shop is so big.

The enthusiasm of the fly shop guys is something to behold, this is a job for people who basically couldn't do anything else, because there's only so much talking about fishing that is aceptable in other more conventional workplaces.

As we patrolled the aisles it quickly became apparent the scheme is a simple one:  loads of tiny gadgets and accessories that you can get in the door for pennies and sell for £4.98 so you can take at least a tenner off every one who comes through the door, but if they want to spend £100's you can then take some of the pain away by 'throwing in' a pile of stuff with a nominal value of £40-50 without it actually costing you more than a few quid.

By the time you or I are in the shop everything they sell seems like a duress purchase, without which we have no hope whatsoever of ever catching a fish. Cunning.

Shop guy: Have you tried a Czech Nymph?
SBW: One or Two
Shop guy: Fantastic aren't they!
SBW: Sixteen years and two kids later she's still speaking to me, most weekends.

It turns out that Czech Nymphs are a kind of fly that isn't a fly, they are for catching fish under water where Trout do most of their feeding, and therefore TLK considers them un-sporting. Until day two without having caught a fish, when they suddenly become worth a special trip to the fly shop. But hold your horses/park yer pony if you do decide to use Czech Nymphs you'll then need 'Strike Indicators' which are basically little floats, so 'fly' fishing has now become float-fishing just in miniature. So much for the simple life. The sodding things are £5 a tube of 5; two out of five broke while being put on the line, with the next two flying off into the bushes on casts one and four. The whereabouts of the fifth remains unknown. On our second visit we find that they also sell coloured thread in a cute little tin that you can add to the leader knot to make an unbreakable strike indicator. "That'll be £4.98 sir."  Another £4.98.

Shop guy: [having just sold TLK set of waders] What about your mate, does he need anything?
TLK: Oh I think he's got most things
Shop guy: Tackle Tart is he?
TLK: You could say that.

The man who coined the phrase "Money can't buy happiness", never bought himself a good fly rod!
Reg Baird

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