Varzuga (2011) fishing buddy Craig P joined me on the Gaula last month for a week. Although, thanks to a ‘one-in-ten-years’ scenario of high, cold water and a bias in runs towards the lower river and earlier weeks of the season, Craig was a good sport about a seeming scarcity of taking fish, casting well throughout with his 15+ft Sintrix rod but also … wait for it … his 18ft Scott Mackenzie DTX.
Apart from the fact the story of Craig’s buying the ’18’ off Scott at the Game Fair is a great tale in itself, the way he cast such a long way across the Gaula is testament to his casting skill and strength.
I had a go with it and Craig was kind enough to suggest I hadn’t made too much of a numpty of it – but the rod did unsurprisingly feel ‘freaking’ heavy and the main interest for me was getting back to my 15fters which – even the Vision Catapult, which has a bit of red meat in its blank – felt like toy rods, they felt so light. This was something of a revelation and has made me consider a 16footer for the Gaula next year.
One evening I arrived as dusk gathered in at Langoy to find Thies R and Johannes K watching Craig crash out beasts of casts into the tail of the pool. Apparently Thies had got away a good cast or two earlier, but I missed that.
Such was the Gaula-side media bubble that surrounded the rod over the next few days, even Manfred Raguse, who fished for years with very meaty split-cane DHs, had a try of Craig’s rod, really liked it, and is now getting one for himself.
All in all a great blow for tradition on a river where so often the 13.5ft ‘Scandy’ DH-er is king..
But just to get to the point of all this, in the great tradition of ‘here’s one I caught earlier’, here is a 17lb salmon Craig caught from the Lochy earlier this summer. There is a nice shot of Craig holding the fish but the file is so big I haven’t been able to upload it yet but here’s the fish:
Very solid fish, Craig, very nice.