BONEFISHING (ABACO) v TROUT FISHING (DORSET)
BONEFISHING! We will soon be back at the Delphi Club at last and out on the Marls in 10 days time. The slow-poled movement through the shallow waters. Keen eyes searching for moving shadows on the sand. The urgent half-whispered directions as bones are sighted. The swift confident raise of the arm and flick forward of the cast… and the tangled mass that lands 15 feet short and well behind the vanishing fish. I love it! The guides don’t, of course, but they are generally kind enough to keep their muttered imprecations barely audible. And occasionally there is a fortuitous hook-up. If exceedingly lucky, the obstacle of playing and bringing in the fish without it self-releasing prematurely is surmounted, and RH eventually boats a bone (see above).
TROUTFISHING! At the moment I am sporadically fishing on the River Frome, the westernmost of the southern English chalk rivers. I’m after small wild brown trout, though the river also has sea trout and salmon. The weather has been cold, wet (hail!) and windy, and I have had roughly the same rate of success as with the bones. There have been experimental tugs at the fly. Times when, as I watch swallows skimming the water surface, a fish takes the fly and has spat it out by the time I have turned round to glimpse it dive below. And, as happened yesterday, it’s ‘Fish On’ – until it leaps clear of the water, effortlessly shakes out the (barbless) hook, and fins me a rude gesture as it plunges back. Plainly I need a brand new rod. And reel. And line. And jacket. And… It can’t possibly be operator error, can it? Anyway, this is all a world away (4,250 miles, in fact) from the Marls. It is pastoral fishing at its finest, even if the fish come out on top. Practice makes perfect, as they say… out with the willows, bring on the mangroves
(All exaggerations are strictly for comic effect. Except, tragically, there aren’t really any…)