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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

What would you save?

I have various photos of grip and grin shots and of fishing buddies I have met and have fished with over the years. I like to look at them and remind myself of what was a good day or sometimes wasn’t such a good one but turned out well for some  reason other than fishing. I think it was John Gierach who said when asked how the fishing had been “the fishing was good but the catching poor” This sums it all up really nicely on so many levels and shows why we all love it so much. It isn’t about numbers it’s about the whole big picture.

Talking of which I, as ever, seem to have gone off topic a bit and in a bid to get back again I was thinking about all of my fishing photos both on the computer and the actual hard copies I have. Computers are great in that you can have files and files of pics to look through and it is nice to quickly scoot through them but there is something nice about having pile of photos in your hand that you can flick through.

I’m never going to give any serious photographer a run for his money sadly; I don’t have the “eye”, but there are some really good ones about and the internet is a great medium for us to be transported to far away places that we might only ever get to dream about. Sometimes a photo can say more than a guy on TV or DVD can possibly do and it lets us form our own idea of what the place might be like and if we aren’t ever going to be there then that’s a nice thought to have. I remember a website that had a picture of a trout about to take an anglers fly. It really was a cool picture and I found myself imagining it was a spring creek somewhere in Montana despite having no idea where it actually was.

Looking at the old “hard copy” pics the little mistakes that we have made are there for ever and we’ll not be able to change them, not that I’d want to as it all adds to the character-well thats my excuse.

Looks like I have wandered off topic again and what I keep meaning to ask is do you have a fishing picture that means a lot to you? If there were a fire and you could save one fishing pic what would it be?

The pic below is one that means a lot to me for a lot of reasons. Firstly as it was taken in Colorado in 2006 at Mike Clark’s place in Lyons. I had just been there to pick up a bamboo rod he had built for me for my 40th birthday. Emma had saved up for the rod for 3 years, ordered it and only told me when it came to how the rod was going to be finished. This was quite a shock!


From the left: AK Best, The Dude, some scruffy urchin and Mike Clark

The other reason this picture means a lot is that Emma told me about the rod then said as my Christmas present I should go out there and pick it up with The Dude coming along too. This was a memorable trip for so many reasons but the trip to Lyons was pretty special. It was so cool meeting up with AK and looking at his flies and to just to talk fishing with him. I think we covered everything from downstream dry fly presentations to bonefishing and just about everything inbetween!

Mike then shut the shop early and we fished the St Vrain just at the top of the High Street. I will never forget this as Mike was guiding me and Kathy who works with Mike was following me. I fished the holes like we would at home and I covered the water quickly whereas Kathy worked a hole methodically and kept catching fish. I soon cottoned on to the fact and got into the groove…well it was our first day!

One of the other reasons this picture makes me smile is that we had arrived the night before and The Dude had driven us from Denver Airport. I remember asking him (he is American by birth) how easy it was to slip back into driving on the other side of the road to the UK. “It seems to be pretty easy” was his reply. It was about this time he realised we were driving down Lyons High Street on the wrong side of the road. I’ll tell you about our other “off road” adventure we had on this trip another time.

I did try and load a photo of all four of us smiling. As you can see Mike isn’t really showing his teeth but he doesn’t really like his photo being taken and I have about 10 different shots and the expression is the same…I’ll try another time.

Needless to say the rod is everything I hoped for and more, and the attention to detail and skill gone into it is amazing.  There is now a 5 year wait for one of his rods. It fishes pretty well too! I often use it on the first day of the trout season where I usually like to fish the Bray. After all the rod is called the Bray Special so it seems only right.

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