Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Windy on Wimbleball

Back for another course is Philip Bradney who last year began his fly fishing career here at Exe Valley Fishery. During the last 12 months Phillip has seriously progressed and is now a regular at Thorton Reservoir.

We began with a session here at the lake to tune up casting and make a game plan for the rest of the course. Pretty soon a few faults had been ironed out and Philip picked up a nice Exe Valley Rainbow on a dry. His tip top casting meant that Exe Valley was not going to represent enough of a challenge and so despite the blustery weather we packed the car and headed for Wimbleball Reservoir, just a few miles up the road.

This 385 acre venue was snarling! High up on Haddon hill the clouds rolled across the horizon as a serious South West wind snorted its fury at us. Despite his experience on Thorton this was going to prove a challenging if not daunting task for Philip. But climbing into Ruggs Bay you would have never have known that he has only been fishing for just over a year. Chucking a nice line across wind with a couple of Buzzers I was confident that we would get fish. Instead we got takes!

I tried lighter leader, smaller flies ... but all we got were hard takes and no fish! The hours went past and the cold started to creep into Philip as we were waded deep and taking the full brunt of the wind. By now we had changed to an indicator rig using the Loon Strike Out II which is superb for long distance indicator fishing in rough conditions. We missed a seriously good take early on but as Philip began to shiver we decided it was time to head for home. One more cast out for the road and I said "just imagine how a fish would warm you up", when down went the indicator! A swift strike and this superb Wimbleball specimen was ours. Tomorrow we head out on a boat and although we would love to be fishing Wimbleball it sounds like there won't be any boats available. So instead we will head to another favourite venue of mine, Clatworthy.

Another angler amongst the fish recently was none other than Charles Jardine. This guy is a legend in fly fishing circles and a consultant to Hardy & Greys. During a recent visit to the Kola Peninsula in Russia he landed this wild River Brown Trout measuring a staggering 71cm and estimated at around 5kg. The huge fish was landed using a 10'0" #5 Streamflex Rod, Hardy Cascapedia Reel and Marksman Fly Line.

Charles said;

“If ever there was a fishing experience then this was it. We were left on the Tundra without any helicopter provisions, weather was closing in, there were bears in the area and the fishing and the wildness was staggering. This fantastic Trout was certainly the icing on the cake of a memorable fly fishing day.”

“There can be few greater tests or ringing endorsements for light line, imitative fishing and Hardy & Greys equipment than this. I can’t wait to return!”

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