I’ve been carting my rods around Europe for 2 weeks now, hoping to find a spot to fish at the same time as my slowly improving recently operated upon shoulder was not too sore. My best chance was in Cornwall where I lined up a day on Drift Reservoir near Penzance but which fell through because the shoulder decided to have a bad day. That appeared to be the end and I had reason to contemplate whethere the 10 kilograms of essential fishing gear weighing down my suitcase might not have been the reason I wasn’t recovering. Anyway, tonight I’m sitting at Heathrow en route to Australia and I can report an “accidental tourist” fishing experience.
I mentioned in a previous accidental tourist blog the River Wye, Atlantic salmon run. As a young man I joined my mates on the walls of Chepstow Castle 70 or 80 metres above the water on a sheer cliff to watch the tide turn, and see the salmon run on the small tidal bore that came up the river on the castle bend. The water is brown, and the fish navigate by swimming in straight lines until they reach shallow water where they turn through 90 degrees and swim off again, zig zagging their way upstream. As they hit the bank, poachers with giant scoop nets on long poles rush from the tree line to scoop up their prize and bolt for cover before the bailiffs and police emerge from the same tree lines in pursuit of the poachers. The time they brought dogs the poaching settled down for a while afterwards.
So back to my accidental tourist experience. We drove up to the Kymin, a memorial to Admiral Boscawen, and other Admirals of the fleet. It’s not completely clear why a Welsh mountain top should have such a monument but its a great place to see the Wye Valley as it runs through Monmouth. Anyway, as we were winding our way back down I spotted a sign that said “fly fishing” – insisted on a U turn, and drove into a caravan park and trout fishery. There, three muddy ponds sat apparently containing trout to 10 pounds. We negotiated an hours fishing – did I mention we were on the way to the airport – for 10 pounds with two bacon rolls thrown in as we now weren’t going to have time to stop for lunch.
Well, we flogged those muddy puddles mercilessly for an hour, competing with George and Mildred on the sunken pontoon, and the chap who’d claimed the seat on the dam wall. All I can say is God bless Australia and may we never be this desperate.
Now we did see some trout. A 2 lber swam up and down the bank looking for somewhere to die and as if everything wasn’t already stacked up against us – including 6 inch visibility – a couple of fish were nailing dragonsflies in flight – you’ve got to love dragon fly feeders.
Anyway, it was a bit of fun, and we caught a rudd – we think. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the pics of our adventure. Tight tippets all, Steve (www.nakedtrout.com.au)