I ventured out Thursday evening about 8 o’clock to fish the River Sullane as it leaves the town on it’s way to the reservoir in the hope of the larger trout that come up river. I parked the car and grabbing the set up rod from the back (another advantage of a car designed to carry seven people) went down off the bridge to fish just upstream of the weir. I waded out 10 yards and cast the green klink to drift just in front of the bridge columns, managed to miss a few rises and also managed to hook up with the only piece of vegetation growing on the bridge on my back cast. One green klink lost, another tied on and first cast my fly box falls out of my unzipped waistcoat and floats downstream through the bridge arch into the swirling rapids.
Things went from bad to worse from here, a quick scramble up the bank, over the wall, across the road, down the other side and a quick but dignified walk past other anglers downstream, all the time scanning the water for the lost box. I waded out and searched the flow but no joy.
Now this box, which was a orange plastic freebie from the front of Trout Fisherman magazine many years ago does not contain all the flies I own, just about 25 or so drys but these are flies I have tied myself over the last few weeks and so represent a lot of time and effort. I was pretty pissed off so I decided that I was going home even though there was plenty of light left and I had another box of nymphs and wets. I spoke to a couple of anglers upstream asking them to keep a eye out and went back to the car.
Back at the car as I tried to start it I remembered my wife’s words as I left ” There is no petrol in the car so don’t forget to go and fill up “.
A few months ago the car wouldn’t start when my wife parked on the hill at school and the recovery truck driver told us after he had taken it to a level place and started it that this particular model should not be parked on a hill with a small amount of fuel as was likely to not start because of the shape of the fuel tank.
I had parked the car with the front end high and with very little fuel in the tank because I forgot to go to the petrol station, so it would not start. After a short round of swearing and looking for someone to blame other than myself I decided to walk home to get a fuel canister so I could go to the petrol station and get a gallon to get the car started.
Unfortunately I was wearing chest high rubber waders and no spare boots or shoes in the car. I walked the couple of miles through the town centre getting very strange looks from locals and tourists in my very old, ripped wax coat and rubber waders, I almost wished I had carried my rod as at least this would have explained my attire. I have never walked very far in waders and about halfway I could feel the blisters forming and by the time I reached home both feet felt very fluid.
On arriving home I apologised to my wife for blaming her in a mobile phone call earlier for not putting petrol in the car and searched the shed for a petrol can. I then took off the waders and put my blistered feet into my boots for the cycle ride about a mile in the wrong direction to the petrol station. Petrol was bought and then a cycle back through town to the car.
It was now about 10-45 and just getting dark and back at the car I was met by one of the search party that were looking for me as they new I had lost my fly box but seeing my car still there with rod inside had presumed I had gone looking for it and maybe fallen in and was now a floating corpse on my way to join the River Lee. Both anglers are prominent members of the committee and although I was very embarrassed I was very glad they were concerned for my welfare.
I an now unable to walk very far because of the blisters but did manage Friday evening on the river without the waders. I will always put my boots in the car now in case I ever breakdown, it is a really relaxing way to spend an evening this fly fishing lark. I may take up golf.