You are correct, I have not been fishing in ages. Have a dream instead…

It has been noted in the comments that there has been a lack of actual fishing over the last month or so. One would think that I have not been fishing with a rod and line at all and that thought would go in fact be correct. The miserable weather, trout on the dry being off the radar and the fact that any half decent Grayling fishing is bloody miles away has dampened the spirit somewhat of this urban fly fisher.

Pike is still on the menu however with the dark evenings and the weekends being taken up with fatherhood the chances to pick up a rod are few and far between. Saying that, I took the oldest boy down to the canal a week or so ago and spotted something interesting. I just happened to be looking at a spot of water under a bridge when out of the water emerged a long green back – it looked a bit like Jaws taking the boy from the surface.
This is where it occurred..

This is where it occurred..

Anyway, I marked the spot and went off to dip the water for some nymphs. This was productive and the boy proudly showed off his catch before hitting me over the head with the net.
Cheers little dude...

Cheers little dude…

I may not be able to bring you stories of real life trips however I can bring you a story about a dream I had the other night which has stayed with me. In my dreams I appear to visit two rivers (do any of you guys do this?) one is bigger and one is smaller. On this occasion it was the smaller one. In my dream there is always a nice familiarity about it as if I have fished it often even though it is totally fictional. It appears to be on a steep slope as there is lots of tumbling pools and riffles, lots of pocket water with small pools where you just know if you place a fly it will be snapped up by a hungry brown trout. On this occasion I had someone with me, no idea who it was however I remember feeling that I wanted to show off this small stream and was full of those nerves you get when you want a guest to do well on somewhere that you know is full of potential however there is always the possibility that it could be poor due to conditions or just plain bloody minded belligerent trout.

A photo snapped in from my mind..

It was a warm summer day and the light was breaking through the trees, there was plenty of fly life on the water and it felt good to be out fishing. Something I like about wee streams like this is the way you can get in and there may be no way out for several hundred yards as you make your way up. Each step you take brings into view a new pocket or puts a fresh perspective on an old one that you can fish the next time. You know how it goes, from a certain point of view a small bit of pocket water looks like nothing and when you pass it you find it is actually a good foot deep and a trout darts out of it. This stream seems largely untouched at least not many folk fish it as nobody was met the whole session.

Some pools were deep…

So that my friends is the wee stream that my mind makes up when it has been starved of fly fishing for trout. They say you only dream about stuff you cannot have and the scenario I just described to you will not be happening anytime soon. Saying that it will soon be January and then in February we will have people talking about the Salmon season again. It does not look like a cold winter is going to hit us so here is hoping that possibly just possibly on the 15th March I may just catch a trout on a fly.

In the meantime, if you guys are reading this on Friday the 21st you should be aware that we have just passed by the Winter Solstice .The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days.  Different cultures celebrate this in various ways, it just so happens we have Christmas around this time.

Annually this time not only marks Christmas it also marks the point in the year that I look out my JVice and start tying up some flies in preparation for the new season.

I am looking forward to it, I know I am because my dreams are telling me so.


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  1. Colin wilson · December 20, 2012

    A nice post Alistair , I aint been out , ” sucessfully” for about a month now, cant say i’m in any rush with this totally crap weather.

    Thats a really stunning looking burn . I think it’s what i crave most at the moment, roll on march , i’m going to make sure i do a fair more burns next season . Having said that this is off season talk and the reality is probably quite differant, to much fishing to do not enough time.

  2. Alistair · December 20, 2012

    Hey Colin, next season lets meet up and fish a burn eh?

  3. Emanuele · December 20, 2012

    Hi Mr.
    I can assure you that you are not the only one dreaming about rivers and fishing…..
    looking forward to march and dry fly action…

  4. Dreaming about your next Fly Fishing adventure is half the fun of the sport!

  5. Alistair · December 20, 2012

    I have around 5 months to go 😉

  6. Ken Joslin · December 20, 2012

    You are not the only one with a dream river. Mine is an embedded memory of a stream of my childhood, where we boys made dams and had bow and arrow fights, scaring the occasional fish. Trout? It ran parallel with a railway line, under small bridges and through a copse with a WW2 pill box, our fort. I occasionally visit in a dream, I see trout, I have a rod and I know it’s free fishing, but I never get a chance to cast…. In the area on business some years ago, I found the lane, that led to the stream. It is now lined with houses, the copse and stream long gone beneath acres of urban redevelopment.

  7. Alistair · December 20, 2012

    That was supposed to end differently Ken, I was hoping you were going to tell me about a fun couple of hours catching micro trout from a ditch 🙁

  8. Ken Joslin · December 20, 2012

    Sorry Alistair, not all Christmas stories have a happy ending. If you check out my site from time to time, I will be visiting my own real life secluded pocket water, where the fishing is free and the wild brown trout hard fighting. Down south the weather has put a stopper on most people’s sport at the moment.

  9. Alistair · December 20, 2012

    Looking forward to it Ken !