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.


The Jassid Man said...

Nice spiders! So you like the new Partridge spider hook. I've been thinking of getting some to tie spiders on but I've been using Tiemco 2499SP since I want to use a barbless hook. Looking forward to hear how they work out.

Kind regards,

George said...

Nice spiders matt, good luck after the ladies.

wildbrowntrout said...

Matt, Your absence has been deafening and it gives me much pleasure to see your erudite observations back, - I thought you were lost, missing behind enemy lines !

Somehow your period of silence was mirroring my own, and for a variety of reasons I felt that I had lost my fishing mojo for the first time in forty years, so each time I watched your page loading, I nodded in quiet agreement as the unchanging Terrestrial Adaptation image held top position, unknowingly endorsing my loss of writing motivation; its been more than mid season doldrums, but over the past week I've written up a few articles which I've had in mind for a while. When we first set out the public listing of our inward thoughts and outward observations, it doesn't occur to us that we might enthuse or inspire others, but yours does....Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful flies. Have you tried Wizard hooks - just like Partridge spider, but barbless. Great for small beadhead nymphs too

Bernard said...

Matt - Very pleased you're back.I hope the spiders mean that the allergy was short-lived. Hope to see you by the river again.
Best regards,

Matthew Eastham said...

Thanks for your comments gents. It's been a horror show of a season for me, but i had a nice day today and remembered all I love about the sport. Those hooks sound extremely interesting Pat!

Anonymous said...

Phil Holding sells them at Flytying Boutique under the FTB title, although they're out of stock at the moment. They are straight-eyed

Anonymous said...

Matt, Glad your back telling it how it is, I have checked every day for more NCA observations please dont leave it so long next time.
Any chance you could do an upstream nymph piece similar to the (some thoughts on spiders) one you done and explained so well.

Nick Carter said...

That's a relief...started to think you'd taken up golf.

Anonymous said...

Good to see you back matey... I'm another fisherman lost to the greens of the golfing world but I'm sure I will be out chasing some grayling this close season.