With the help of YouTube instructional videos I was “ready” to try my hand at some fly fishing, something I’ve never done before. Off I went to Cheshire Fishing to give it a go. My reasons for choosing this particular fishery were multiple. 1. I know where it is. 2. They rent out fly fishing tackle and I wanted to try it before breaking open my wallet buying my own stuff. 3. Their fly fishing waters are wide open and tree/snag free and I needed every possible advantage for my first foray into fly fishing.
The staff at Cheshire Fishing, in the form of Dave, gave me a quick helping hand as they nervously handed over their valuable rental rod and reel to the Clumsy Rank Beginner. “Don’t try and cast too far, the fish will be close in, don’t cast the entire rod and reel into the water, when you lose the fly don’t worry, we have more for sale” etc. etc. My first cast was a complete success in that the fly ended up in the water. I say “fly” but in reality the object on the end of the line looked like a fluorescent green space alien. I was assured that this was a “nymph” (of some sort) and that it would catch trout today.
The unedited video below is proof that I caught my first trout ever on the fly:
Here’s the thing with “Trout” and many other fish species. The plural of “trout” is “trout” but I didn’t catch a plural of trout, I caught just one. But, let me tell you, it ranks up there with the most satisfying of any fish I’ve ever caught. There are several reasons for this great feeling of satisfaction and inner peace:
1. I spent almost three hours casting and retrieving before I caught it. I now look like a professional tennis player in that one arm is normal and the other looks like Hellboy’s deformed armoured sledghammer of an arm.
2. I caught the trout on a Space Alien fly which proves that Game Fish are dumber than Coarse Fish because I have eaten bread and Spam and sweetcorn and prawns and cheese and thus I fully understand why Coarse Fish might be attracted to these items. I have, on the other hand, never eaten an artificial fly that looks like it had made an appearance at the Star Wars Cantina and I can only assume that trout must be a little short of brains in order to be attracted to such a food group.
3. I had actually missed EIGHT “takes” before I finally hooked this particular trout and yet I kept my cool. I was quite excited and was bubbling up inside but such was my self-control the other patrons fishing Cheshire Fishing Lakes could only see an expert angler practicing his craft. Agreed, the video (above) might suggest otherwise.It turns out this is a rainbow trout. They obviously make AWESOME eating once you battle your way past the millions of bones, but of course I returned him to the water because it would have been cruel of me to eat my very first fly caught trout. Besides, waiting for me for supper this evening was a proper Shepherd’s Pie made with succulent and tender Lamb Mince, taken from a lamb (or the plural of “lamb” because there could be lamb parts from many different lambs in a pound of minced lamb) and I had nothing to do with the capture or death of said lamb(s) and so this evening I would eat it/them guilt-free.
If you’ll recall I made a list of New Years Resolutions for 2016 and this was one of them: Catch a trout on the fly. So, we can cross that off the list although this is one of many fly fishing excursions I’ll be making this year. I really enjoyed it! The weather wasn’t great but I stayed warm thanks to the constant casting, retrieving, stalking, missing bites and swearing.
After I’d finished I popped over to Pool Five where I knew some of the gang from the excellent “Fishing In The North West” group would be. They were just packing up and luckily they had not yet carried out the weird Coarse Fishing Ritual of taking all of their hard caught fish out of their keep nets and releasing them thus forcing their families to eat artificial flies for supper. So, to end this article, here’s the proof the lads had a great day.