When I first started out with this blog I frequently posted pictures of our guests with their catches, from the lake here at Exe Valley. One such angler is Lester Beckett seen here with his first ever Rainbow Trout taken on a fly. A Buzzer of course!
However as the shop has become busier and busier, my chances to size pictures in photoshop and load them up here have reduced drastically. However Lester got me thinking because although he has only just cast a fly in anger for the first time yesterday he was already keen to see what opportunities lay before him, other than stillwater Trout. This is a recurring theme that I have noticed more and more during the last couple of years as the diversity of fly fishing continues to expand.
Lester comes from Zimbabwe and so the air was soon filled with talk concerning the possibility of Tiger fish on fly. However he would have to try that the next time he visits, as Lester currently resides in the UK. I therefore suggested that Pike or maybe even Zander gave the best opportunity of something toothy to target. But to tackle these fish requires some hefty gear and plenty of line speed so my advice was to practice hard and build a seriously good set of foundation casts before moving into the realms of double haul and other advanced techniques required for distance casts with large flies. It is great to have a goal but I have witnessed many fly anglers attempting to run before they can walk which results in nothing more than frustration and sometimes anger. Whats the point in that, fishing is after all supposed to be fun?
However, there are plenty of fish that Lester can tackle before he becomes a familiar face on his local canal. One such fish is the Grayling. In just a couple of weeks hordes of fly fishers will head to their favourite haunts in search of this beautiful species which appear frequently in our guests catches. See here for some recent Grayling captures. I have several dates booked to guide the species but I have to say more than any other this is a fish that I try to fish for myself as regularly as possible, the winter season providing me with a little extra time to enjoy a few days. So far I am looking forward to a weekend on the Coln and some days on the Itchen & Test.
I look forward to those days but at present all eyes are on the Salmon. I have guests here this week to fish for them and although the water is now low on the Exe, we have had a release of water from Wimbleball Lake that has definitely stirred the fish up. And if the Exe does not produce then I also have the Mole and the Torridge which of course will have a few straggler Sea Trout running them too. The Exe and The Torridge both benefit from season extensions so if we get some rain then good sport can be had as I found out last season, capturing this fish just the before the extension expired.
A winter season enjoying some Grayling (and of course the pike) is an exciting prospect in itself but I must admit that my latest obsession comes in the form of 4 wheels. As many of you who have spent time fishing with me over the years will know I am more than just a little bit of a petrol head. My own weakness being VWs and in particular the Corrado. After 6 years of waiting the right one finally turned up in the form of this Black VR6, finished in Black leather. I came across the car quite by chance while looking for a new truck and still pinch myself regarding how lucky I have been.
It turns out the car had previously belonged to an enthusiast who had spent thousands adding a Quaife differential (could be good for a turbo then) and a quick shift in the process, not to mention a Magnex Exhaust, Koni Filters, GMax suspension kit (this thing rides low!) and all finished off with diamond cut Speedline rims. Putting damn near 3 litres of engine in a coupe like this equals serious fun, close to 200 bhp when standard. But of course, I won’t be able to leave it at that.