Confess if you have ever had a blank day.
By Bill Drew
I hope that this title fills you with dismay. It certainly scares the living daylights out of me ...... or at least it would have done, and so to my tale. After 5 successful boyhood years trotting the garden fly (lobworm wriggilus) I abandoned the craft. I returned to fishing, fly fishing for river trout, in 1996, almost 30 years later.
The season of 98 has been a good one, or so I thought; passing fair ; too much water but a trout every other week and personal best; grins abound. Then one day I read an article in an excellent fishing magazine. Packed with useful tips, good patterns and well written it struck a peal of doom over the year to date.It was the title, " a fish every trip", " no such thing as a blank day", or something similar. It seemed to haunt me. Flicking through most of the fishing press the sentiments were the same. Talk of two or three brace, or a leash of fish jumped out at me. They were all at it. I was crushed by my own inadequacy. 2lb, 3lb, 4lb, leviathans seemed to leap mesmerised by the experts from everyday rivers ... ahm...everyday. I did not doubt them, but how did these blighters cope?
One such fish a year would be a case of break open the champers and pass the digitalis for me. These lads must be the very devil to please. Their fair day's haul is about a good season's worth for me!!
Having mused over this issue I have decided that there is a solution. I will start a self-help group for the uninitiated, the fellow bungler, the confused and the beginner amongst the brown trout brother/sisterhood. Using the wonders of the net (something appropriate about that ), I will produce a regular offering for co-duffers. There will be no fee but to be accepted you must bare your fishing failings to the world. To start you off on the right tack here is my confession.
My name is Bill. I fish.I do not always catch trout. In my first year of adult fishing (1996), in 2 months and 6 attempts I caught one ... yes one, trout , a 1/2 lb suicide artist. I enjoyed the whole experience so much that I signed up for another season (1997). In 20 plus trips I managed 4 keepable trout and 3 grayling. I was ecstatic. I spent a fortune on fishing gee-gaws. How could I have lived so long without a zinger for example. Even the name is filled with promise.1998 could not come soon enough and gave me 11 good trout and 1 decent grayling in 25 trips. I was nearly content. In May and June I was actually smug! Dryfly, upstream, big trout, come on is there anything to beat it? Until of course I read that article and realised that I was hopeless . Soon however it struck me. I do expect to catch trout every time but I know that I will not. On reflection I cannot however remember a truly unsuccessful few hours on the river. Weighed on the scales of contentment, relaxation, excitement, clean air and sociability when required, I suddenly realised that I too had never had a blank day: not when fishing. A sudden chill thought struck me. Perhaps I am alone, a contented twit surrounded by smirking fellow fishers knee- deep in trout. So give me a break if there are any other duffers out there, get back to me at this address firstname.lastname@example.org. I am starting to get worried again!!!
© Bill Drew 1999
This article has also been published in the UK Flyfishing Magazine: FISH AND FLY: www.fishandfly.co.uk
Back to "Miscellaneous" index page