Ten years ago today, on 27th May 2006, the shop opened its doors. As this post explains that didn’t really go to plan but the date still has some significance as Exe Valley Fishery became the Nick Hart Fly Fishing HQ.
To celebrate I had thought about a big open day and perhaps a party but in the end it felt right to forget all that, take the day off and go fishing instead. A plan was formed with a couple of guys a few nights ago in the local pub and the deal was done, especially as one of them offered a slap up breakfast to get the day started.
It was a top breakfast to and so filling our waders with the windy remnants of black pudding and local sausage we set off for the moors and shared a rod, taking it in turns to have a pop with a dry fly at some delicious looking pools.
The fish were not big, but that did not matter. We watched a herd of deer on the horizon. Spotted a huge Raven and listened to the Cuckoo providing a background soundtrack throughout. Meanwhile Buzzards mewed above; song birds provided a chorus for the cuckoo while the soothing sound of water added percussion.
We yomped over the moors, talked fishing and every now and again took our turns to meet a few of the rivers inhabitants. The guys had to set off at lunch time, but those few hours were just perfect. These moments feel like being a kid again, out in the open with not a care in the world. This is what fly fishing is all about. No scratch that; it is what life should be all about.
Returning back to HQ I sat out in the sun with lunch and looked across the lakes framed by the luscious green of spring. Yes the last 10 years hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses I thought but that’s a pretty damn fine office!
And just as I was about to go fishing again my mobile sprang into life and a good friend who I have not seen in years appeared at lakes. Cue tea and a two hour catch up on all the fishing we used to do and the inevitable conversations about how things have changed.
Fish & chips next, most likely a little more wader wind and I will be heading off to another river somewhere but this time with just my thoughts and hopefully a few more finned friends for company. The 27th May 2016 will be a day I remember for a long time to come.