I'll fish for anything with the fly and pretty much anywhere too, ask my friends, it's embarrassing!
I've fished in ditch at the back of the Tesco store in Rugby once, that got me some looks, catching large perch and some half decent jack pike too, a white rabbit, tied large usually fools these greedy little buggers. It's silly that I fish for them as I'm actually quite scared of the things but hey ho, needs must and all that jazz!
I had a great trip recently to a tiny totsy stream, my mad as a brush, and to be frank he looks likes one, all hair and bones, the legend that is Skateboard Dave. This guy knows small rivers and trouting on them too also knows about coarse fish on the fly more than anyone I know in the UK, by a mile!
A great story, Dave was at some fly-tying fair, and he was introduced to Dom Garnett – the guy who wrote the book 'Flyfishing For Coarse Fish' – and Dom exclaimed: "NO WAY, YOU'RE SKATEBOARD DAVE!" That is true!
Dave looked at Dom's book and he reckons, in his words: "The guy is where I was about 10 years ago!"
Dave is uttterly eccentric but a great fly tyer and the number-one person you want with you when combat fishing, in amongst the undergrowth or in the urban sprawl!
He told me about his new 'secret place', a little river. Little is an understatement, it's teeny and in the middle of Leicestershire. I shan't give the name away, though, it's special!
"It's full of trout Steve! You can't believe it, I can't believe it!"
I needed no more prompting.
I picked him up the following day, silly really as it's such a small river it needs rain, we'd had none before the trip and it was on it's arse when we got there. I saw it and asked: "Dave, are you serious?"
No matter – wee rod, one fly and catapult casts were the order of the day and so we proceeded. Pool one we spooked everything, including, I noticed, several fish of half a pound or more!
Two pools up and Dave had one, small about 8 inches, I was impressed nonetheless. Next pool was mine and what a beauty, a tree had fallen creating a deeper hole up against a tight bank on the bend, it must have been all of two foot deep – fish heaven in a small stream!
Creeping up and lowering my fly down – a black bugger, size 6! – into the floating raft of mush, I jiggled the rod tip up and down… Whack! Something nailed it and shot under the tree, I leaned over the bank and put some pressure on, you can with 6lb fluoro, no messing!
I had it out of here in no time, it was a cracker, wee but very handsome!
This continued all the way upstream. We were spooking fish, some small and some not so and taking a few from all the likely looking holes, twas AWESOME!
After a while we decided to go down stream. It's totally different, open and featureless, not like upstream, tactics are lean the rod over the bank, THERE IS NO COVER and swim the Buggers up past any overhangs! This was SO exciting – one minute you were watching your fly, the next a large dark shape would shoot out from under the banks and nail it!
Each one was like an electric shock, I loved it!
Soon enough we came to a horrible-looking stretch where a barrel in the water created a large pool, but the whole pool was covered in brown foam, we couldn't see anything!
"Get your flies in there Steve, there's a biggy in there!"
"You sh***** me Dave! It's bowfin!"
"Go for it"
I did, I could feel my fly hit bottom, I lifted it and started to jig the thing when it was nailed and nailed big time. A trout, no kidding, all of three pounds came hurtling out of the brown foam. It jumped all of two feet high, before hitting the barrel, bouncing off and slipping the hook in the process… bugger!
If this is the river when it's fishing bad imagine what it's like with some water, the things will be going nuts, probably their only chance to feed properly!
We caught about a dozen between us but when it's got flow, we'd be looking at that each and more!
I'll be back!
Oh by the way the best fish Dave and his mates have had – 4lb 3oz!!