Sunday, 12 January 2014

Things to do when the weather is too bad for fly fishing

Let me first say the weather has to be really bad to stop me fishing.  However sometimes the rivers are "up and out" as my friends in the States say (see the Daily Mail picture above).  This means that the river levels are high and the fishing impossible due to flow rates and water clarity.  It is common place in the States to be able to go on a web site and get the actual flow rate in cubic feet per second. This is starting to be more common in the UK and I go on the web to check what the Wiltshire Avon is up to before I drive 100 miles to fish it. See
Also lakes and even rivers can be frozen over.  I have managed to successfully fly fish for trout on partially frozen lakes and have fished for grayling on rivers with mini icebergs drifting past.  If the air temperature is around freezing the fly line will stick to the rod or rod rings (called guides in the Americas). This tends to inhibit casting but immersing the rod in the water for a couple of seconds usually unfreezes everything long enough to get a cast in.
So for the days when fishing is impractical here is a list of alternative fishing activities:-
  • Sort through the contents of your tackle bag(s) and get it ready for the next trip.
  • Examine your rods for damage and clean and repair
  • Clean and check reels, lightly oil if necessary
  • Clean and check fly lines, paying special attention to where and how the leader is joined to the main line.  Replace damaged lines, or if double tapered lines consider reversing them.
  • Clean and check all your outdoor fishing clothing, waders, fingerless mitts etc.
  • Tidy up your fly boxes and label them
  • Tie a few extra flies or if you don't tie have a look at some fly tying videos on YouTube and get tempted.  Flies like buzzers and pheasant tail nymphs are fairly easy to tie.
  • Read a fishing magazine, write them a "star letter" and win a fishing rod (like I did a few years ago).
  • Join a fishing club and get on their forum.
  • Carry out an "inventory check" to see if you need any more tackle.
  • Phone a friend and plan a future trip or holiday.
  • Start or update a fishing diary or log or you could even start to blog!
  • Develop a boasting book of fishing pictures (paper or electronic).
  • Read or re-read the fishing books on your shelf, or join a library.
  • Practice tying the knots you want to use but have yet to master. See
  • Watch advanced casting techniques on YouTube  such as the Snap Tee or Circle C.
So there is plenty to do.  Taking advantage of a "window in the weather" I gave Bryant an american pal a quick lesson at Albury and this was the result!

Then I got really lucky the other day in East Grinstead.  I popped in to the tackle shop to see if there were any trout fisheries in the area that I had not heard of and I met up with a gent who had brought in all his old tackle to dispose of and we ended up doing a deal.  He went off with some of my money and I filled the boot of my car with his tackle (all in front of my very understanding wife)!   I count my blessings.       

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