Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Back Where I Belong.

 As a university student there are obvious activities I must partake in, such as late night library sessions, and even later nights on the beers… But when I set off to start university 2 years ago, I was determined to not loose touch in my fly fishing. Admittedly, Exeter University’s Falmouth campus has many more opportunities for those wishing to pursue the outdoor lifestyle than the more urban universities, and although I have experienced some fantastic fishing in even better surroundings, something was missing. I quickly found myself longing for my home streams of Devon and Somerset, full of free rising and wild Brown Trout. I felt like I had lost my sense of adventure, and although I have explored the Falmouth area extensively I still felt a sense of cabin fever, trapped on the coast but dreaming of rising browns. After a year I was lucky enough to meet David, a fellow fly fanatic, and with his help we planned ourselves an adventure to chase the Brown trout we were craving.

No, this isn’t Montana, or New Zealand, but Bodmin. For the fee of a £6 return train ticket we could get ourselves to the river Fowey, and fish a free beat for wild brownies, and that’s exactly what we did. Leaving the squalor of my University house, creeping out at an hour of the morning my house mates haven’t seen for years, I was full of excitement. Fish or no fish, I was off on an adventure to new water and new prospects. A train journey of a little over an hour gave plenty of time for the imagination to run wild, not only was I excited for the fishing, but also the change of scenery and the chance to get back into waders and small river tactics.

Nymphing on the Fowey, in beautiful surroundings.

The river Fowey is a beautiful piece of water. Unbelievably clear water across clean gravel beds, which give way to deep pools and riffles. There is also a good run of Salmon and Sea Trout on the Fowey, which I will explore at a later date. Descending in to the valley and slowly becoming consumed by the woods I felt a million miles away from the frustrating saltwater fishing I had been sucked into on the coast. As we reached the first pool, a classic game of rock paper scissors saw David getting first chuck. Rising to the pressure he hooks up instantly to a pristine brownie of a few inches. As he worked a nymph through the deep water, I scanned our surroundings for rises as I had taken on the dry fly side of things, opting for a parachute Adams. I tempted a few to the dry, but the reality was that dries were not the golden ticket for today, and as David’s best fish of the day (of around 12 inches) slipped over the net, I swiftly changed to the nymph. We fished all day, scanning every inch of the Fowey, we went upstream, downstream and back again. The valley was beautiful, and I couldn’t stop smiling all day. By the end of the day we had caught countless brownies, some more memorable than others. Working the river with a partner and discussing tactics is a great way to fish, helping each other out and taking turns to fish pools.

A stunning Brown Trout, expertly out-whitted by David.

I never wanted this piece to be about the fish, the numbers or the sizes. The intension behind this story runs deeper, the inspiration to find new water and to smash the cabin fever. It always takes planning to fish a new area, be it in the travel, the access or even the watercraft. But I urge you to go out there and find these places. Never be scared of not catching, after all, I’d rather get my ass kicked by a new water than sit on it all day instead of fishing!

Gin clear water produces some very healthy fish on the

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