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’…