As a fisherman, one of the most infuriating questions I'm asked is:
What's the point in fishing if you don't catch any fish?
What follows is a cartoon style cut scene where I remove said offenders tongue and use it as dead bait before snapping back to reality and have to handle the matter in an adult way. It usually involves me getting up and making a cup of tea!
I digress. This blasphemy has got me thinking, or maybe reflecting is the appropriate term, on my fishing exploits. This past Saturday was a prime example.
Before I start, I must say that I think Twitter is cursed. All week we have fine weather, which leads my fellow Twitterati to start talking about how and where to fish over the weekend. Only for it to pour down on Friday and ruin the rivers for the following day. Lots of color, high, fast flowing water – known to non fishermen and my wife as excuses!
As was the case this past week. I was chatting via Twitter to Daniel Popp (his blog is Small Stream Addicts and its very good) who had kindly tied me some excellent looking flies. Said flies were to be my ammunition for fishing the River Wye on Saturday. With Friday came the rain and within the first 2 hours the Wye had risen by 22cm and continued to do so.
I woke early on Saturday morning, fed the kids and turned my attentions to the fishing. Having checked the river levels I could see the Wye was up! As this would be the only opportunity I would get over the weekend I decided to go anyway.
As I had envisaged the fishing being slow given the conditions, I thought I’d try a stretch of river I had not really fished before – The stretch from
, downstream to Church Pool. I was greeted with a cool crisp morning, the mist was down and the sun was breaking through. I started with a pool at the top of the run. This pool starts just above Builth Bridge and a place I caught lots of fish on the dry fly over the summer. Builth Bridge
|Pool under Builth Bridge|
I remember thinking as I made my way down the river how nice it was to finally get on the river after weeks of rain. It occurred to me that I didn’t care I hadn’t caught and didn’t care the conditions were not great I was just happy to be out. The scenery was gorgeous and my head was clear.
|River Wye, Builth Wells|
I spent the rest of the morning taking pictures of the scenery and anything that just looked nice. I strolled down the river, fishing any likely looking spots and exploring the sections of the river I knew little about. If nothing else, I have found some lovely spots and pools for my next outing.
|Woodland Walk along side River Wye|
I made my way through the woodland path to the final pool I was going to fish, where I eventually managed 3 gorgeous Grayling. No PB's and no serious rod benders but that didn't matter one bit.
|Best of the Grayling|
To me it’s not just about catching fish but the whole fishing experience. Maybe if you haven’t fished you won’t understand! This outlook reminded me of a video I recently watched. Two brothers from
(Zack and Travis Broughton - Montana Wild) who take the fishing experience to a new level. They venture out into the wilds (proper wilds) to camp and fish. To them it’s not about catching a fish but about the journey they are on, exploring new places in search of some elusive wild trout. Their videos are certainly worth a watch, this one in particular. Montana
7 Miles Back - Montana Wild
Oh and to answer the question 'what is the point in fishing if you don’t catch fish' - Does it matter? Not to me, besides, if you caught fish every time it would be called catching and not fishing!
Until next time…