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
Fishcakesinthe making... ...andtheappetisingendresult.