Trout Fisherman readers have their say
IN a previous letter to Trout Fisherman, I mentioned the value that competition presents to an angler who is keen to learn. My recent competition experience with the Bristol Reservoirs Fly Fishers Association (BRFFA) may be of interest to your readers. On the day in question, a blazing sun promised a very difficult session. Along with others, my boat partner put conventional wisdom to good effect, and headed for the dam at Chew. We were full of anticipation and expecting to find fish in the deep and cooler water. We were not alone! The ‘go deep’ mantra echoed in my head for several fishless hours, after which I began to despair. We decided to utilise plans B, C and D, but an extensive search of other areas, apart from a solitary fish, served only to deepen our tans. I was already reviewing my day as we pulled up at the dock. What had gone wrong? I followed conventional wisdom after all. I consoled myself by thinking that maybe the fish just didn’t want to play. This is where I left it until Chew guide and BRFFA secretary Martin Cottis surprised me during the presentations, when he said only three fish had been taken from the deep dam area. He asked if anyone had bothered to take temperature readings when out on the water. No one had. Martin disclosed that he had and in doing so, at various depths, the temperatures across the lake, including the deeps at the dam area, were consistently the same! What! Where was the ‘cool water’ wisdom I had relied upon? Martin surmised that the aerators at Chew had churned the water like a washing machine, to such an extent that the conventional wisdom – ‘deep water equals cool water’ – had gone out of the window. Had I simply been complacent or stupid? The answer seems to be both yes and no. Of course, it is wise to consider convention. However, the lesson seems be that it is wiser still to question it and challenge it wherever possible. No day out on the water is a waste of time: even when fishing is tough, there are always lessons to learn. My lesson this day was understanding that following the crowd and conventional tactical wisdom may sometimes fail you, particularly if one is complacent and all the variables affecting the fishing are not considered. This was certainly the case when I failed to consider the effect of the aerators on deep water temperature at Chew on this occasion. Ron Howard, by email
Editor’ s reply: Wise words Ron. On many other occasions you would have been right to go deep. It’s all valuable experience.
Withsomanyvariablesin fly-fishing, itdoesn’talways payto follow the crowd.