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  1. The start of a new year inevitably brings with it an intention to change things and plan to do things differently to what has gone before. Some make resolutions and try to follow them through, but I suspect many are forgotten once normal life restarts.

    As I read through my fishing diary from last year I notice the number of Blanks that I had and which flies that made contact, but did not result in netted fish. So, maybe a time to take note of what nearly worked and a resolve to re-stock those patterns that either disappeared with the fish or lost in a tree.

    The trouble is the lack of time.

    • I have been tying flies for a few months to re-stock boxes for the forthcoming season and am part way through the list of patterns that were planned
    • I plan to enter my usual Fly Tying competition that finishes just before the start of the new season (fortunately!). I usually start tying entries in the last months - a deadline helps to improve concentration!
    • I have several repairs to rods and related fishing equipment that need adressing. Part of the problem is the repair of a piece of equipment instrumental in rod ringing
    • I have been reading too many articles on 'must have' patterns that I would like to tie, as they help me re-visit my early fly tying career
    • The BFFI may only be less than two months away, but I am planning my shopping list already and the questions that need to be asked
    • And normal life keeps re-appearing with new responsibilities and further travel......

    Happy New year!

  2. My trout season essentially closed at the end of October. I had planned to carry on into the winter. but other matters put an end to that!

    So, I have been at my tying bench for a few weeks and will be again in the New Year. I am currently tying patterns that I will use in the Spring months, mainly black nymphs of varied patterns.

    I also have some repairs to do to some rods, re-ringing etc. Unfortunately, the revolving tying caddy, that I use to assist rod wrapping has broken, so I will have to try and mend the switch.

    I also plan to increase the range of Salmon fly brooches next year, these will mainly be Traditional patterns, that appear to be popular with customers. The more esoteric and bespoke patterns only have a limited appeal, probably to the original customers for whom they were tied.

    I intend to produce some of the previous patterns that are currently 'Out of stock' as I suspect they are not readily available elsewhere.

  3. OK, if you are lucky enough to go fishing in this warm and changeable summer weather, be prepared for frustration!

    I was out fishing at my Club water today and whilst the weather was conducive to trout fishing, the fish were not obliging as they should have been. OK, we are chasing a quarry that offers us exciting sport, but to the fish, this is really a matter of life and death, especially if all fish must be retained. But in a Sporting fishery (Catch and Release) are fish aware that they may be released to feed and fight again?

    Probably not and until we can converse direct with fish, we will never know.

    I spent approximately three hours this morning without so much as a touch, despite fish rising in the near vicinity. Later in the afternoon, my luck did change slightly, when I hooked a very lively RT under the oak tree, but it appeared to be lightly hooked and left by itself. Well, I now know what it was likely to be feeding on, even if no actual samples were available from its stomach.

    Later I was fishing from a vantage point over the reeds and casting almost direct to fish that I could see in the water. Several fish were just milling about in the cooler water near an inflow, but did not appear to be actively feeding. Suddenly two or three fish appeared in the area and one moved forward towards my fly and hooked itself (briefly!). It was a fast motion repeat of the earlier incident, a few splashes and nearly buried itself in the weed, but the escape was the same.

    Ah well, summer rolls on and I have more ammunition for future trips and flies to try next time (hopefully next week!) Gardening this weekend....

  4. I was up in Satfford recently at the British Fly Fair International. It is the first time that I have attended the Fair at Stafforshire County Showground and it really is a perfect venue for an ever growing event. It is easy to find and plenty of space for parking. I expect it is also quite a picturesque place, but the weather was not conducive to distant views (snow had threatened earlier).

    I met old friends and made some new ones. It is good to see that well-established suppliers are still trading, as well as newer ones coming onto the market.

    I had a shopping list and managed to get most of what I wanted, but mail order will have to suffice for those items not found. The benefit of a live event, is being able to check the product before purchase, something not easily done via mail order.

    Looking forward to i-fish in the Autumn, closer to home!