Saturday, October 20, 2012
From Under My Stone
Three months without a post is a long time and to those of you who drop by here occasionally, I apologise. I wouldn't go so far as saying that I've fallen out of love with fly fishing this summer, but we had a bit of an argument and fly fishing went off and sulked in the corner for a good while, bloody fickle mistress that she is. There are only so many occasions an angler can offer up his services only to be rebuffed time and again....and after a while, I laid the year's efforts more or less to rest and turned my attention elsewhere.
This week, finally, the weather has turned slightly for the better and as I write, the rivers are dropping to a good height and running more or less clear. Yesterday at work I stood at the open door of my site office and smelt the sad dampness in the air, watched the leaves of grand lime trees see-saw slowly to the ground......and my thoughts turned to grayling and the possibility of a belated attempt to patch up the wounds of the season just passed.
At this time of year, whenever I think of grayling, slowly flowing rivers and bankside decay, I think too of tiny dry flies and spiders. So I sat at the dining room table for a couple of hours today and tied up a handful of the latter: orange partridge for any late season blue-winged olives which may be around; waterhen bloa for the second generation large dark olives; brown-black spiders for the tiny Leuctra stonefly species. As always, I enjoyed the tying of these traditional patterns and I found the new Partridge 'classic spider' hooks I bought recently to be pleasingly compact in proportion, being slightly shorter in the shank than the Mustad R50s I have become accustomed to. The flies above were all tied on #16 hooks and look perfect for pitching upstream to gently sipping grayling.
So, I have allowed myself to contemplate the gentle art once more. Maybe we can still resolve our differences. Whichever way, tomorrow I fish.