Trout Fish­er­man read­ers have their say

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

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.

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