Fly Fishing, 11th August 2018

A 60th birthday present for a friend turned into a boys day out for three of us at the weekend.

Graham turned sixty in May, his present, a day's fly fishing tuition with Trevor Coxon at Surrey Fly Fishing. It was a great excuse for me to also learn to chuck some fluff!  Our third member is Carl, neighbour, friend, chef and drinking buddy to us both.

A number of calls to Trevor and a few dates where booked in to the diaries and finally we settled on August at Albury Estate Fisheries.

What do you get?
Trevor outlined what we would expect of the day over the phone calls.  Our package consisted of the following:
  • 90 minutes casting tuition
  • 2 hours guided fishing
  • Hire of all equipment
As for Trevor's fishing CV, it's very impressive, he has been fly fishing for 45 years and fishing in general since he was 6.  With Trevor celebrating a very big birthday this year he has been on the bank for almost 74 years!  I'm sure Trevor doesn't mind me giving his age away as he certainly doesn't look it!!

Casting Tuition
Trevor took use through the mechanics of the cast, how not to cast and the relative simplicity of the cast!

Stance - right foot forward so you are planted on the ground.

Birthday boy and his first fish!
The push and pull of the rod from the 11 to 1 o'clock positions "feeling the line" before the next push or pull.  Trevor even got us to close our eyes to ensure we understood what the line was doing.

The importance of not "breaking the wrist" which was helped by some Velcro straps that fastened the rod to our wrists.

Following down the line when putting the fly on the water and trying to get the line to land in a straight line.

Very difficult to write about however Trevor was an excellent teacher and we were soon up and running with the basics while learning not to tire ourselves out!

The Fishing
Once we were all given the basics Trevor decided that I should try a dry fly, aka one that floats and the other lads on a wet fly, one that sinks.

I was getting the hang of casting however it was now clear that with the sun rising the trout were not interested in taking anything from the top.  It was equally frustrating and exciting being able to see the fish and then watch them follow the fly only to turn away from it.

Graham was with Trevor around the lake when he hooked up to a fish.  We all gathered round watching him play the fish and eventually it graced Trevors net and swiftly dispatched.

I swapped to a wet fly and decided to try the shady part of the lake, eventually I could see the end of the fly line squirrel away, strike and fish on.  What a feeling to play a fish on a fly rod with a beautiful full action.  Trevor netted the fish and it was my turn to enjoy the moment of capture.

Now it was Carl's turn and we popped to the other lake to try and capture our quarry.

I managed to hook another fish and as we were swapping the rod over for Carl to play and land the fish it made a quick dive and the 7lb leader broke.  Not to worry, we had plenty of lines in the water and soon Carl was hooked up again and his fish was definitely the largest of the trio.

A great day was had by all, many thanks to Trevor for his patience, superb teaching skills and management of 3 "kidults".

I've now ordered a fly rod identical to the rod Trevor taught us with together with a selection of wet and dry flies ready for my next outing.

The Prize
We all caught a rainbow trout each ranging from 2lb 4oz through to 2lb 8oz.  My fish I took home, watched a few videos on how to fillet it and produced two reasonable fillets that were cooked up simply in a frying pan with some creamy boiled potatoes and greens that was lovely!

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