River Fly fishing for me is one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of our sport. If you haven’t tried it yet you really should. For me the peace and tranquillity of wading up a river cannot be unsurpassed. Many people as I thought are put off by the perceived expense or as when starting still water fishing the fear of appearing a complete novice surrounded by lots of people. Rivers are surprisingly not heavily fished. Regularly, especially during the week day you would be lucky to see anyone at the bank side. This gives the novice time to practice casts and get the ‘feel’ of river fishing in peace.
With fishing with really light tackle you feel as though you become part of your tackle and the river environment. To become successful all of your senses must be alert. Judging likely holding areas for fish proves dividends. You will start to really read water, each nerve ending tingling in anticipation for the rise to the dry fly. No longer will you just be thrashing water in the hope that a stocky will grab your huge lure. You will be selecting flies to match the hatch and all the pre perceived boring entomology books will now come to the fore, gleaming the insights this knowledge can give you. With time accuracy will be improved due to the trout’s window of vision giving a sense of accomplishment that is difficult to explain. Imaginative casting now comes into the equation as vegetation, undercuts and trees attract your fly more than the fly attracts the fish! As frustrating as this can become over time these casts become second nature, judging the back cast perfectly to out manoeuvre obstacles yet still get that fly on target with gentle presentation. The old adage ‘there is more to fishing than catching fish’ comes to mind.
As soon as the fly lands it is engulfed in the flow of the river and starts to move. Mending lines up and down stream combats any drag and the fly flows downstream naturally. Suddenly a splash, the heart jumps out of no where and the battle is on. The fish is netted and one of the most beautiful sights nature can offer is there in your hand. A brown trout with glorious spots and butter sides. You slip the fish back into the water with both parties leaving with a little more respect for one another.
Good Luck and Tight Lines