West of Eden

Rod, reel, notes and fellow AAPGAI trainees out on the River Eden yesterday.

Last night I returned from a weekend spent in Cumbria with AAPGAI gurus Clive Mitchelhill and Glyn Freeman on the first of the association’s two spring instructor training weekends. We ran through the syllabus for AAPGAI’s provisional double-handed rod assessment and talked about much more besides.

While I definitely felt a bit rusty on the Saturday, by yesterday everything warmed up as the spring sunshine lit up the abundant daffodils on the far bank. It’s amazing what you can achieve with tuition of the calibre dished out by Clive and Glyn and suddenly the Circle and spey casts were turning out nicely.

I used Loop, Vision and my own Orvis 15-footers with lines by Hardy (Mach 55) and a Menteith floater. It was nice to cast with a full length spey line after so much shooting head fishing that’s been my experience in the past couple of seasons. And I look forward to ‘going traditional’ to some extent in the coming season (ie not just fishing with shooting heads, good though they are).

Now the story continues up at the AAPGAI open day in Cockermouth in two weeks’ time which I am also really looking forward to.

A bonus to the weekend was that I was able to visit two friends who very kindly put me up on the Friday and Saturday nights – ‘Off-Road’ Charlie in his house and stables north of York and fellow Nith rod-owner Neil B – who lives just 12 miles from the course at Lazonby. Neil and I went for a drink at Charles Lowther’s swish pub/restaurant, the George and Dragon on the Saturday night where it seemed the entire clan from the famous Penrith John Norris fishing shop were present. John, his daughter and son James were there. They greeted Neil like the good friend he is and we all had some excellent game-fishing banter – which included news of the sea-liced 28lb springer caught in the past few days on the lower Eden, the best of a healthy early spring run into the river.

Which brings me to my footnote. Halfway through yesterday came evidence these springers had already made it up to Lazonby when a fish of eight pounds or so came clear out of the water in front of Glyn  and myself. One of our number, Chris from Bywell on the Tyne tied a fly on and covered the lie a few times but the fish had seemingly moved on up the river. Good tho’…


About henrygiles

Born to fish forced to work and fish
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4 Responses to West of Eden

  1. Bruce says:

    Hi Henry!

    Great week end summary, I see you were in good hands! I have not packed anything yet for my instructor week end. I have some time ahead to think about it! As you say, a lot of guys go with shooting heads nowadays and I only have that type of line in my possession. Should I invest in a full length Spey line before the week end to pair it with my old 14’6 #10-11 Daiwa OSprey – S rod?

    Talk to you later!

  2. henrygiles says:

    Hi Bruce and cheers. Yes you will need a full length Spey line with a 55ft head (Hardy Mach 55s – ie 55ft head-lengths) were in use so would guess that’s the guide. I think the heads need to be about 55-60 feet (ie normal shooting heads, certainly the RIO AFS I’ve been using are too short) but I’ll be honest I’m not sure what the form is exactly. I’m sure you’d be able to borrow stuff but I’d guess it would be good to get your own. Best Henry

    • bruce says:

      Thanks for your reply Henry! I will my shooting heads but i guess they are shorter than the required length. i will look into the Mach 55 from hardy though. excellent!

      Stay in touch.

      • henrygiles says:

        I will do of course, Bruce and throughout what you have called this ‘challenge’ (it is certainly that). I’m sure we will not regret it. Clive M said something that ‘lit the blue touch-paper’ for me: he said his real joy was when the AAPGAI technical side and knowhow (let’s face it, damn good casting technique) combined with what I call the real fishing thing. He talked about a huge buzz. It sounds like dynamite and I want to be there too so it’s worth going for! Good luck.

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