Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

TroutFish­er­man read­ers have their say

MY long­ing to learn to fly­fish ex­tends over more than 10 years, but I never had the time. Then out of the blue I was in­vited to spend an af­ter­noon at Hamp­shire’s Meon Springs and I was hooked! The lo­ca­tion, af­ter be­ing an of­fice-based city dweller, is one of true nat­u­ral beauty, and the team of gentle­men run­ning the op­er­a­tion are sim­ply won­der­ful – so knowl­edge­able, bril­liant fun and su­per sup­port­ive. I booked lessons and was pretty use­less and not con­fi­dent at all that I would mas­ter any sort of cast­ing tech­nique that would al­low me to catch a fish. My in­struc­tors showed saintly pa­tience. Af­ter re­ceiv­ing a beau­ti­ful hand-ini­tialled rod for my birth­day, I be­came even more de­ter­mined to catch and land a fish. Over a pe­riod of five months I’ve en­joyed the com­pany of some fab­u­lous peo­ple, been gifted nu­mer­ous hand­made flies from ladies and gents de­ter­mined to help me in my quest. But un­for­tu­nately, un­til now I had only be­come a bit of an ex­pert at adding leader, ty­ing flies and get­ting my line stuck in the trees. This meant that, even though I now had all the gear and was full of en­thu­si­asm, with each visit I be­came more dis­heart­ened that I was no good at this fish­ing lark and – de­spite the fact I love the whole at­mos­phere, feel to­tally re­laxed etc., I thought about giv­ing up and tak­ing up yoga! BUT, when your favourite per­son, who is will­ing you not to give up, catches an 8lb trout and gives you one of his lucky flies, cou­pled with your 10-year-old nephew catch­ing, you have to give it one last bash. So, I read an Orvis book cover to cover, soaked up all the words of en­cour­age­ment and ban­ter from Tim, Greg and Roger (the team at Meon Springs) and with kit in hand I left the club­house. Will had planned ev­ery­thing to per­fec­tion – where I was go­ing to fish, ex­actly what time, with my new lucky fly on and blood knot checked. Seven fairly good casts later I hooked my first fish. The ex­cite­ment of know­ing it was ac­tu­ally on there and I now needed to get it in and land was won­der­ful. I can’t be­lieve how long it took to ac­tu­ally net it but the pride was im­mense when I even­tu­ally did. That was it then, I wanted to go again and I landed two more beau­ties. Our to­tal catch for the day was seven so we have been busy clean­ing, gut­ting and prep­ping all sorts of fishy dishes to en­joy with great pride. I would dearly love to thank ALL in­volved in help­ing me achieve my goal and this is just the be­gin­ning! We had the 8lb trout smoked lo­cally and it is sub­lime! Kala Kil­shaw, by email

Mis­sion­ac­com­plished!KalaKil­shaw­is­nowwelland tru­ly­hooke­don­fly-fish­ing.

Fish­cakesinthe mak­ing... ...andtheap­petisin­gen­dresult.

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