Sunday, 4 September 2011

Fly fishing at Delbury Hall

The fly fisherman is the angling equivalent of the wild west gunslinger, so it stands to reason that The Riviera Kid couldn't wait to strap on a six shooter and bag himself a load of old Trout. Sounds easy. Looks easy. But if I had been firing a colt 45, it would have taken me about an hour to hit the first tin can and I probably would have killed the deputy in the process!

The setting for my first foray into the world of the game fisherman was the quiet and idyllic Delbury Hall in Shropshire. There are two lakes, fairly open, well groomed and brimming (it seemed) with rainbows and brownies (see how easily I slip into the colloquialisms of the fly fisher - I must be a natural!)

My good friend and long in the tooth fly expert, Bob, kindly supplied the gear and expertise for this very enjoyable trip. It costs £15 for five hours fishing (sounds steep but you can take one fish up to 4lb home for the pan) There is no bailiff at the site so they trust you to put the money in an envelope and post it through a letterbox in the small fishing lodge (which also has toilet and coffee making facilities - although I didn't see anyone making a toilet!)

As we approached the lakes, the fish were surfacing everywhere and the smell of trout was in my nostrils (hmm - nice!) so I couldn't wait to get going. Unfortunately, it did take me about an hour to master a half decent cast and I think that my fly presentation left a lot to be desired (can you knock a trout unconscious with a well aimed Wooly Bugger?) Bob had good luck and nearly landed a 3-4lb rainbow but it shook itself loose inches from the net. 

My casting improved throughout the day but my luck with the fish didn't. They simply pushed their noses out of the water and blew bubbles of fishy laughter. However, I still enjoyed the experience and would go again, and maybe even purchase some gear of my own. I understand that Matt Hayes says you can catch carp on the fly, so who am I to contradict the Midland's God Almighty of Fishermen.

Bob struck gold (well rainbow) with his last cast of the day and netted a nice 2 1/2lb trout for the pot. I drove home with a new skill under my belt and another venue notched up on the Fairweather Fisherman's list. Next blog, free fishing on the River Teme at Ludlow.