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  #1  
Old 25-11-2009, 10:47 AM
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Default Reading Rivers, Tracing Trout

Hi', All.
Firstly, I would like to thank Paul and Richard, in Admin, for this opportunity to pass on to Forum members a series of articles which might help them learn how to 'read the water.' It is aimed at beginners, but I hope some of the more exprienced anglers who browse here may also find my observations at least a little helpful.
As my experience and knowledge as a river fisher has been gained from tormenting wild trout in the often stony and rocky rivers of northern England and the Scottish Border area, the Highlands and Islands, mid-Wales and, all too briefly, in Ireland, I must apologise to those whose fishing has been concentrated only upon the classic chalk streams. However, rivers are rivers and there are anatomical similarities between rain-fed rivers, true spate rivers and the more placid waters of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, and their parallels in the south-east and elsewhere. Hopefully, then, there is something for all.
Secondly, I expect and encourage questions on, and constructive criticisms of, all that I have written. Nobody knows it all, and I don't claim to be more than a chapter or two ahead of anyone who is, like myself, still learning from the book of nature about the things that make trout tick.
Thirdly, you will find that numerous references to features of rivers are made to help anglers who frequent the Eden valley. Only they will know where and what is being described. So, I have taken a few photographs to illustrate these features at the points mentioned in the text. I had hoped to take the shots when the rivers had fined down, revealing more clearly the characteristics of riffles and other normally shallow features, and when the trees in autumn dress would provide their glorious colours as a backdrop. We all know why that has not been possible this traumatic month in Cumbria; but I may replace some of the shots when the opportunity for their improvement arises.
Finally, I shall leave the text, as near as possible, in its original form in order to preserve some of its spontaneity.
TerryC

Last edited by guest3; 25-11-2009 at 02:40 PM.
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  #2  
Old 25-11-2009, 11:06 AM
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Smile very good idea

hi terry. it sounds like a great idea mate. it's very nice of you to take the time and effort to educate others. this is why this forum is so great and this is why it should be used.

i still classify myself as a beginner and am always looking to learn to improve my fishing. looking forward to it. is it going to be on this thread or on a seperate website/webpage?

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Old 25-11-2009, 12:36 PM
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Default Looking forward to it.

I think this will be a great thread.
I only started this fly fishing very recently, but eventually, after cutting my teeth on stillwaters i hope to advance to rivers.
When I was aged 10ish I lived near a small river in west wales (Cleddau), and some of my best memories are of days spent on the riverbank watching the wildlife and hearing nothing but the water tumbling over rocks, whilst fishing for small wild brownies. Perfect.
That's what I would like to try and get near to again, so I look forward to your contributions.
Thanks,
Gary.
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Old 25-11-2009, 12:55 PM
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TC, what a cracking idea! I'm looking forward to reading, learning and maybe even contributing occasionally! I'm sure we will all benefit from your advise and observations of river and stream fly fishing! Thanks Terry. I look forward to reading your first post on this subject!


Regards

Mostyn
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Old 25-11-2009, 08:45 PM
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Sounds great As a bit of newbie, any help on river fishing would be gratefully received
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Old 25-11-2009, 09:07 PM
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brilliant terry ,shall look forward to reading them.........
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Old 26-11-2009, 12:02 PM
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You can always learn something new, this will be a great new thread thanks Terry
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Old 26-11-2009, 02:15 PM
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Have been trout fishing for a few years now and am planning on starting my first ever season river fishing next year. I am sure this thread will be invaluable to me so i thankyou in advance.

Dan
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  #9  
Old 26-11-2009, 07:52 PM
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The following series is presented with the kind permission of the Cumberland And Westmorland Herald.

Think Like A Trout

In he autumn terms of 1994 and 1996, I was invited to run short fishing courses at our Further Education Centre at Ullswater School, Penrith and at Trinity School, Carlisle, respectively. They were designed to introduce beginners to fly fishing for trout, and to encourage those who already had some knowledge of the sport to learn more about the trout and its habitat in order to make the best use of their acquired skills.
In such a short space of time, even with my capacity for discourse, it was not possible to explore all that was relevant to the subject, so, the lessons were aimed at helping students to assimilate the basics and to stimulate them into 'thinking like a trout'. Some might regard that as an insult, as we are lead to believe that animals are incapable of thinking, but the class knew what I was trying to say.
At the outset, I said that anglers learn their craft in a number of ways. The fortunate have an angling father, uncle ( lady anglers will have to forgive my choice of gender ) or family friend sufficiently skilled to pass on the right information, and to demonstrate, correctly, the art of casting a fly, controlling its drift, timing the strike and playing and netting the quarry etc.
The extremely fortunate may have a guide or tutor who is also a naturalist. If so, then the attentive beginner should soon learn sufficient about the trout and its environment to enable him to make a fair fist of tackling any angling situation in which he may find himself.
Some anglers learn from experience, by their own efforts in the main, and as a result of continued study of the trout and the sport which has built up around it. Sadly, as I demonstrated at the first class, that sort of knowledge, self-taught skill and river-craft, is often amassed along with a crop of grey hair!
There are quicker, more direct routes to the goal of knowledge, and I suppose the best is found by coupling enthusiastic study ( I emphasise enthusiastic study ) with practical help from an angler of proven, all-round ability -- I avoid use of the word, expert. I have to say that with some experts, like some teachers, sometimes the best may appear to be only one or two chapters or so, in the book of learning, ahead of the class. That is not too bad a state, however, as it can help establish empathy and mutual respect between tutor and pupil. Each may more readily recognise and respect the other's requirements.
In order to think like a trout, the angler needs to know what makes a trout tick, and to do that, he must know something about the food cycle of the trout. The angler who knows what a trout may eat can then confidently present the fly or lure of his choice, knowing that it was selected to match a food item normally on the menu for the particular stream, pool or lake under attack at a given time.
If the angler also knows the other requirements of the trout -- adequate aeration of the water, shelter from strong currents, shelter from predators , etc -- and the habits of the various food forms in and over the water, including their development and movement season by season, then he will be able to deduce where the fish are likely to be, and why. Then, the angler can claim to be able to think like a trout!
Unfortunately, some anglers devote little or no time to study of the trout or the sport of fly-fishing. They may often catch fish despite their lack of knowledge, getting by on experience alone. Some also manage to catch trout in spite of their shortage of casting skill.
During the close season, I hope to provide a succession of articles which will help both the beginner and the less knowledgeable of the more experienced anglers among our readers. Nobody knows it all, and one of the greatest attractions of our sport is that anglers who have an open, receptive mind never stop learning about it. Writing about river-craft is, for me, truly, a lesson in learning it all over again.


I have typed this post, laboriously, just to get things going; but I hope to be able to upload the rest of this series in a more efficient manner. I'm a really slow learner, please bear with me. I can't even dump my signature from this page. TC

Last edited by guest3; 26-11-2009 at 08:04 PM.
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  #10  
Old 27-11-2009, 05:58 AM
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Thank you for making the effort and posting this Terry, it has whetted my appetite.
Already looking forward to the next installment !
Regards,
Gary
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