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It Ought To Be Banned! Fly Fishing Hot Tip of the Month.

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The IOTBB Humpy - give it a go - if you can see it that is! The IOTBB Humpy - give it a go - if you can see it that is!

GAIA member Stephen Cheetham ruminates further on fly fishing in general and then gives the nod to a little fly with a big reputation - the IOTBB Humpy.

IOTBB Humpy (It Ought To Be Banned - it is so good)
Aka IOTBO (It ought to be outlawed)

I am now into my eighth year as a qualified fly fishing and fly tying instructor. Over the past years it has been my privilege and honour not only to work with the finest instructors in the country but also to teach some of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. What is it about people who want to learn about standing up to their waist in cold water, stand in the pouring rain and sometimes snow, thrashing a rod backwards and forwards? Who wants to learn about insects that fly so fast over the water that identifying them is an art in itself. Who wants to learn about tying fiddly knots with cold fingers in line that they can hardly see? Lots of people do by all accounts.

I arranged to teach a lady at Bolton Abbey in March last year, it was blowing a gale, raining, snowing and hailing. “OK Louise shall we come back another day?” “No! Lets get on” she said cheerfully. “I will give you a full refund” I pleaded shivering in my waders. “Come on” she said “I have been looking forward to this all winter” What is it about lady anglers? My wife is just the same, I cannot drag her off the riverbank no matter what the weather is doing.

A few years ago I was asked to take over the Malham Tarn Field Studies Centre fly fishing course. This is a one week residential course and over the seven days, working with men and women of all ages, 16 hours a day, eating, talking and fishing you get to know them very well. My mind is full of wonderful memories of the success of the first fish, the laughter and the occasional accidental falling in particularly by me. Only one traumatic event will stay with me for the rest of my days. Cast your mind back to the film The Lord of the Rings the first one, Frodo is being dragged across the marsh and dead faces are looking up at him from beneath the waves. I had a similar experience when one of my students passed out, straight into water, when I got to him all I could see was his face looking back at me from under the shallow water. Ah! Memories. Fortunately, it was easy to get him out and revive him, a pure unavoidable accident but we instructors are trained in first aid but that was a real first for me.

Anyway I digress. Last year I had the pleasure of fishing as a guest of Roger Beck on the river Derwent near Scarborough. There I met David Southall who introduced me to a rather small fly tied on a size 26 hook. YES! Size 26. One hook, one CDC feather and Spiderweb thread.

As Roger always says, most anglers will fish with flies on hooks two sizes too big - go smaller. This one is a superb fly for those times when the trout or grayling are sipping those unidentifiable minute flies from the surface. Go on give it a go.

Stephen Cheetham - GAIC Trout, GAIC Fly Dressing

Stephen Cheetham is a qualified member of the Game Anglers Instructors Association (GAIC) and member of the Angling Development Board (ADB). He has fished for trout all his life and runs various fly fishing courses for the Salmon andTrout Association and is also a demonstrator and a course tutor at Otley Prince Henry's Grammar School in Fly Dressing. Stephen, a published author to various magazines, is heavily involved in a monthly fly fishing column in The Yorkshire Post newspaper. Stephen is a firm believer that: "Fishing should be fun".

See Stephen Cheetham's Instructors page for further information.

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