The Continuing Adventures of the Fluff Club, Episode 54


Well-known member
South of England
(In which the names of the members are pseudonyms, so the appeal of the text is wider, encouraging more to read these accounts; everything else is factual)
“Life is like measles, we all have to go through it” – Jerome K Jerome
The Fluff Club hoards (or rather, the complete opposite) last rallied at Holbury Lane Lakes for episodes 3, 14, 19, 24, 38 and 43, sadly down to just three today; although the Admiral was present he wasn’t fishing but awaiting his Gayer chums (I think I might have spelled that wrong), the casting collective, for one of their instructional sessions up at the barn. Thus, the Professor, the Inspector and Whytee tackled up after shelling out; I had brought Dodgy again, so our host George probably assumed four Fluff Boys were fishing. Another chap, sitting in the porch of the fishery office, said he was considering joining the branch, so we all made our recommendations as to why he should. That said, I didn’t see him again all morning.
I fished here with a pal just two weeks ago, and the water has continued to clear, probably about a metre of visibility now, however you could just about spot fish in the slightly clearer River Dun. The weather forecast gave light rain for most of the day so we prepared suitably, but it turned out better, just showers on and off, a light breeze from time to time.
As is my wont, I decided to do the ‘four from four challenge’, i.e. catch one fish from each of the four pools. Dodgy and I squelched and slithered, following the river to the far end where ‘Willow’ awaited. Nearly there, midst peering into the river, Dodgy’ s hat slipped from his pate into the river, sinking rapidly due to the weight of the various metal badges on the front, soon lost from sight!
The Admiral, taking some pictures until the GAIA gang turned up, helped us stalk up and down the banks, searching for the Stetson but to no avail. “My fourth wife bought me that in Sydney” moaned D. I gave up and started fishing. I had a knock on each of my first two casts, then on about the tenth I hooked into a street-fighter Rainbow that tried to rip me up, but the ‘Wossname’ held firm in its top lip. Dodgy got a Blue trout on his sinking line and a #10 PTN, just as feisty as their reputation. Time to switch to ‘Long Lake’, over the footbridge across the river. On the second cast (of the Wychwood Ghost WF5I, nice line) came a take, I struck, felt brief resistance, before the tippet’s knot to the micro ring gave. “Flippin flip-flipper, flippin flipped flip!” sayeth I (well, something similar), then I heard Dodgy shout me; he was down the river bank at the water’s edge and had spotted his hat. It was lying ten or so yards downstream from where it sank, unaccountably closer to the opposite bank from where it went in, just visible in outline in the coloured water. Luckily, there was a longish branch nearby that the storms must have blown down. We snapped bits off until we had fashioned a long pole, and at full stretch, clinging to a bankside Alder trunk with my left hand, I could just get the pole tip under the hat’s brim and swung it up to the surface close to the bank. Result!
New tippet length, new ‘Wossname’, better knot and ‘nother Rainbow soon netted, just shy of three pounds, so I was now ‘two from two’, time to move to ‘Island’. At the little footbridge the Professor and I crossed paths, there were two trout swinging from his stringer. The first had taken a Dancer, albeit static on the pond bed under the rod tip, close to the bank, while he was attending to something else. A similar occurrence happened to me recently, and to the Admiral a while ago. His second fish had fallen for the charms of a hackled ‘Mop fly’; one of many I think he has tied while whiling away his daily London commute. Now, to my mind, the ‘Mop fly’ is even further to the dark side than a Blob!
My third fish took in the deep hole by the outlet end of ‘Island Lake’ while I was counting down past “… thirty-five one thousand …” the line moved away and I tightened up to soon make ‘three from three’. Dodgy was still somewhere down ‘Long’, out of sight, so I headed to the fishery office to enjoy a hot java with George, to find a like-minded Inspector already ensconced there. He had caught one from ‘Pond’ on a ‘Snatcher’ variant he’d tied with an olive and UV, longish straggle-string, a nice-looking fly. This was quite unusual for the Inspector, but the turbidity meant he couldn’t sight fish, in turn it would be difficult for the quarry to espy a static buzzer, and so he had altered his usual approach away from fishing buzzers on a floater, to an intermediate line, albeit the new method incorporated the Great Grey Heron stance and concentration, just the slightest movements of the hand controlling the line. The three of us chatted about this and that, including Church Paddock, a fishery run by George’s friend Jamie. We pondered whether the ‘catch and release’ trial would work, their smokery, the shortages of water in the summer, weed growth and removal, and so on. Dodgy limped up to join us, just as the Inspector headed out again. Funny, that. The range of topics broadened somewhat. Inevitably, time moved on. until finally we had to have a crack at ‘Pond’. Two chaps were already fishing where most of the punters go, so I went under the trees on the bank opposite them, while Dodgy started in the nearside corner, casting between the tree and the islet, with ‘Island’ just over his shoulder. From my position, fan casting where the lurking trees allowed, the ‘Wossname’ proved irresistible to another Trout, and my best, once again a hard fighter. ‘Four from four’ done, I took the fish to the scales, where George assisted: 3-8, 3-4, and two at 2-14; a fantastically-fit, fine-fettled, fully-finned foursome!
I noticed Dodgy’ s cast had drastically reduced to about three feet due to all his entanglements, so I made him another with ten-pound and eight-pound fluorocarbon, tied on a ‘Wossname’, and suggested he move to the other side of the tree, to cast to the other side of the islet. He had a take but didn’t strike in time, however on the next chuck he was hooked up to another battling Blue, a 2-8 twin of his first, completing his two-fish ticket.
While we stowed gear and got out of our waterproofs, the Professor and the Inspector hove into view with the Admiral, all respectively finished for the day. The Professor’s third had succumbed to the dubious charms of the Mop-thing, and his final one to a fritz lure tied at the tying evening preceding this outing; if pressed, I might have said it was a ‘Montanabou’ variant, you’ll get the picture. The Inspector was on a three-fish ticket today, and his second and third had both fallen for the delights of a red-bead-headed pattern with a red tail, silver body and black feather fibre wing – you might say a ‘post-modern Bloody Butcher’, if you were that way inclined. Dodgy ‘s phone went, it was his memsahib saying he’d got her car keys and she was expected somewhere, thus we bade our adieus to the Fluff Boys, now enjoying another brew from George, then sped off to rescue the fair lady in distress.
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