Match the Hatch

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A favourite of fly fishers everywhere - the "fly nymph"! A favourite of fly fishers everywhere - the "fly nymph"!

Fishing with the fly nymph for the "Emperor of the River" on the Test -- a humorous tale.

The day had dawned bright and clear. At least, I’m sure it did, for by the time I got out of bed at 10 the sun was high in the sky. I quickly made myself the usual light breakfast of 3 eggs fried with a can of corned beef. Taking my cup of coffee – black, no sugar, 4 tablespoons of Nestle’s condensed milk -- out to the garden, I looked up at the azure dome above. 5 minutes later, after the black and green spots had stopped dancing in front of my eyes – note to self, never look directly at the sun – I decided that this was THE day to go for the “Emperor of the River”. Now, who is the said potentate, you may ask?

I will hasten to tell you that the Emperor was no less the Lord of the River, the hugest, baddest fish in the stretch of the river below the garden. He has never been caught by any means fair or foul, but today, today, I will be the first one to do so. And fairly. Hearing the question already half-forming in inquiring minds, I will quickly reveal that the Emperor is a fish that my paternal forefathers called a Porcopotamus, i.e., the “River Pig”, so large its kind was. My maternal forefathers spoke of it reverently as the Ipi, literally, “The One who will eat anything and everything up to the size of a horse.” Elsewhere, Bornean natives call it the “Iktapahan”. Mundane science calls it Silurus glanis, whatever that means.

After breakfast, I meandered on down to the cabin where I kept all my angling equipment. What you may not know is that all the skills, and the means to practice such skills, I now exhibit on yon river was learnt at the side of my dear departed father, who left yesterday on urgent business at the Edradour distillery up in distant Scotland. A dedicated fly-fisher, like I am today, he is a rather famous angler-author, best known for that oft-quoted classic tome on fly fishing, “Match the hatch, but fish the fly nymph.” Like I’ve said, everything I know was gleaned from the years of apprenticeship at his side. Today, I fish only with the rods he so painstakingly crafted by hand over long periods, sometimes lasting hours. I squared my shoulders. The task at hand. Which rod? The November 12, 2009 5’ rod made out of a single curved oak branch harvested from Richmond Park? No, not enough backbone. How about this stout fellow, a 4 footer, again carved out of a single continuous piece of fine wood, this time even more exotic for its Indonesian provenance? The name of the tree from whence came the branch escapes me now, sufficient to say that it produces a rod of unparalleled rigidity of tip, mid-section and butt. It was quite old, dating to 2008, but should still conserve all the strength that I will require of it. The very ticket!







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