So I headed up into the hills above Buxton, Derbyshire, to Errwood Reservoir, where Ian Gould, Secretary of Errwood Fly Fishing club and who knows a thing or two about fishing, had kindly offered to show me the ropes.
I've interviewed Ian, and he gives some really good pointers to anglers either new or relatively new to reservoir fishing, or who quite fancies giving it a go but hasn't yet got around to it. If this last is you, then you no longer have any excuses. The article is scheduled to go in Countryman's Weekly on 5th October. Ian is a great bloke with great advice to offer - and he puts it over well too.
Ian though, shock horror, does not tie his own flies. He showed me a Shipman's Buzzer he'd bought and I think I actually shuddered. It was so like a cigar I wasn't sure whether he was going to cast it or light it up. I nodded along and smiled of course, humouring him, but confident in the knowledge that that fly couldn't catch a rain drop in a thunderstorm.
My illusions were somewhat shattered when a few minutes later, Ian was landing his seventh double digit fish of the season - a rainbow trout of quite awesome proportions. Needless to say, and no doubt purely to spite me, it had found the Shipman's Buzzer simply irresistable.
This fish had clearly been reading the wrong fly tying books, and unperturbed, I tied up a selection of Shipman's Buzzers in the style of the river flies I usually tie.
Shipman's Buzzer - Black">
Shipman's Buzzer - fire brown">
I've given these to Ian and asked him to fish them and let me know how he goes on with them. So, the challenge is on.
It was a good afternoon Ian, I learnt a lot, cheers, and hopefully we got a good story out of it too.
I've also agreed to reciprocate and take him grayling fishing this winter. If he out-fishes me on the river too, then I shall sulk.
Post Script: No fish were harmed during the making of this production - a little shaken up maybe, but the monster was returned fit and well to the murky depths, hopefully to read up on what a proper fishing fly should look like.