FISHING THE HOLSLOOT
There’s something about the Holsloot valley that traps the heat and two days ago when I fished up here with Chris Bladen it was one of the first hot spells when you can say, ‘Summer’s here!,’ and really mean it. We arrived early yet we were already looking for shade even as we tackled up. On the walk in the bushes were ticking with heat, but as usual the river was cool enough to soon forget how hot it was.
Nothing rose all day. Not a single bug hatched. The closest I got to seeing an insect was a Wolf spider sitting on a rock where we stopped for lunch.
Yet we caught fish pretty much from start to finish, mainly on a size 18 holographic nymph with a black metal bead, a pattern I had just conjured up the day before. But at times the fish also rose to a dainty, dun-grey Mirage dry fly. I’m really getting impressed with this pattern.
The photography was difficult. There was too much hard, brassy light around. We should have stayed on the river until after 6 pm when the light softens. Maybe on the next trip that’s what I’ll do. I also gave my old Canon 20 D a trot. They are worth nothing these days and since I often like to wade the rivers with a camera in my hand I reckoned if I dunked it the sky wouldn’t fall on my head – at least not as much as if I dunked my 7D with a 70 – 200 mm lens on it. That would be close to suffering an earth quake.
Lunch with a wolf spider for company
Chris Bladen, if you didn’t already know it, is an accomplished sculptor. He works in bronze and makes the kind of pieces that to me are perfect – plenty of movement, precisely enough realism, plenty of his own sweat and heartache in each piece, a true artist. We’ve been fishing together on and off now for years. He’s great company and a very balanced, neat fly fisher.