Recently I was invited by a friend to a “taster day” at the Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate. I know very little about fly fishing, but I do have Orvis fly fishing set, given to me by my wife as a Christmas present some years ago. To not appear a complete novice, I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to cast. They were presented by anglers who were apparently “stoked” and found the whole subject “awesome”. Anyway, I felt prepared and looked forward to going.
At Cinder Hill
On the day, a small group of us novices were warmly welcomed by the Cinder Hill Syndicate. They had laid on tea, coffee and buns under a gazebo, how very civilised I thought. I put my rod together and threaded the fluorescent line through the “S” shaped rings. So far so good I though, now for the fly. I have an assortment of flies in a “go anywhere box” I bought on line. One of the Cinder Hill anglers cast his expert eye over my selection, pointing at a Green Damsel Nymph he said, “that’ll do”, so I tied it on.
As soon as I had my gear together, forgoing all beverages, I went to the nearest of three lakes to start fishing. Just like an impatient kid, I began thrashing around trying to get my fly to the fish, but I soon found it is more difficult than I was led to believe.
Trying to fly
After about twenty minutes one of the instructors came over and without so much as a smirk, started to put my cast right. “You’re breaking your wrist”, “don’t pause on the back stroke”, “too far forward”, he said. It’s one thing to be able to do something yourself, but it’s quite another to be able to coach someone else. My instructor had a deep understanding of fly fishing. He had the ability to relate to me where I was going wrong and without once using the word “awesome”.
Although my casting was crude, untidy and somewhat make-do, I understand how to fish. I knew the trout would not be very active in the cool water of autumn, so I allowed the nymph to sink deep before using a slow retrieve. As the morning wore on, the fish started to show at the surface, by mid-morning, the weak October sun saw the trout much shallower.
One fish broke the surface within my limited range, I immediately cast to somewhere close and teased the fly back. Within seconds the fly was taken and I was into my first trout. Playing a fish on fly tackle is different to what I’m used to, the reel does not play part. Instead the fish is controlled by holding the line, letting it out or pulling it in as needed. After a short fight I landed my first and only fish of the day, a rainbow trout of 1½ lb’s.
A good day
I genuinely enjoyed my morning at the Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate, and was very pleased to catch my first rainbow trout on a fly. Thank you to the Syndicate members who gave up their spare time to help me. The Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate is a well run and friendly group, if you want to try fly fishing in beautiful surrounding, with people who know their fishing, then please try Cinder Hill. Full details on membership or taster days can be found on their website.