I’VE been fly-fishing for about six years, mainly fishing rivers, but this year have started to fish small lakes. I’d read the articles about Graf ham in Trout Fisherman and jumped at the offer from a friend to accompany him for a day’s fishing, never having fished such a large water before. We spent the morning fishing from the dam, keeping low, sitting on a stool and having good sport with nymphs, catching almost under the rod tip. Other anglers were standing up and casting more than 50 feet out and catching much less (they should read Trout Fisherman!). After a nice lunch at the Wheatsheaf pub, we decided to try the bank near Marlow Bay. I settled myself just off the promontory, wading out past the algae, so that I could cast out and let the flies drift into the bay. There was a boat competition and the boats were quite close in, but I politely checked with the nearest boat that I was okay fishing where I was. After about 10 minutes other boats came close and one of the competition anglers ‘kindly’ told me that the place I was fishing was useless, no one had caught any fish there, and it was much better about 50 yards further along. I took him at his word and moved along, only to find that the boats all moved in to where I had been fishing. I caught nothing where I’d been directed to and there was virtually no shrimp population, so clearly he had given me this ‘advice’ just to get me out of the way. This put a damper on what had been, up to then, a very pleasant day. I’ve always found pleasure anglers to be helpful, willingly sharing experiences and swapping flies, so I was not prepared for such devious behaviour. I suppose that the competitiveness brings out the worst in some people and they will stoop to the lowest form of behaviour to try and get some small advantage. If I go there again, I will make sure I go when there isn’t a competition.
Editor’ s reply: Sorry to heart his Frank. I suppose there’ s good and bad in all groups of people. But he acted poorly.
Anglers in harmony – but it isn’t always so.