Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: The Graduate

  1. #1

    Default The Graduate

    MARCUS IS A GRADUATE-CUM-LAUDE OF THE AVNI SCHOOL OF FLYFISHING. He and his brother attended clinics that I used to present to the kids at Underberg Junior School back in the 90's. Both of them fish hard, wide and often. From time to time he sends me postings of his activities... and they are well worth sharing. This is his latest missive.

    Dear Wolf,

    Of late there seems to have been a pandemic of work and a national shortage of spare time with which to smell the flowers, drink fine wine and put pen to paper. Hence, I apologise for the abrupt, point form emails recently.

    Nonetheless, somewhere between tending to the whims of my oh so very precious clients, and planning my imminent move to New Zealand, I have managed to squeeze in some river time. Indeed, it seems the ***s have been smiling upon me of late and blessed me with remuneration for my time spent in the netherworld that is London, in the form of bars of silver. I have managed several trips up to Scotland this year, and all have yielded bountiful and generous reward.

    The long nights of winter spent either behind the fly tying vice or in front of Hendrik Mortensen’s latest salmon fishing DVD eventually made way for the arrival of April on Royal Deeside. And as sure as the snows were to continue into May, the Janssen boys made their first heedful steps into the icy rapids of the Dee. With collars pulled high and hands clad in mittens, passers by, and those walking their dogs divulged their perturbation with a mandatory shake of the head and mutters under their deerstalkers about mad bastards and morons. Spring fishing for Salmo Salar is not for those whose lists of winter creature comforts might include such things as log fires and leather futons or low fat mochachinos and full fat carbonaras. This is the kind of fishing that separates the fire-fighters from the flamenco dancers. It’s full on, inadvertent snot running, tear rolling, toe numbing, resolve breaking stuff. As I have mentioned to you before, whilst up to your armpits in frigid snowmelt, with sleet dripping down your neck and frost forming around your line guides, eyelashes and eyebrows, you do occasionally hear yourself saying things like “what the f*”k?”. But let me reiterate, if and when your line tightens up, and begins to peel from your quickening spool, you forget your troubles in an instant. In fact, give me a spring salmon in all its perfectly proportioned, silver glory and I’d quite happily wade into an April Dee with my balls out.

    At the end of our first week of the season, Yuri and I both sat in the pub in front of a roaring fire, and raised our glasses to a week full of memories of heartbreakingly beautiful fish.

    It was back down south and back to work after that. I am fortunate enough to be just a two hour drive from Grafham Water, one of England’s premier Stillwater trout lakes, where I spend as much of my time as possible. This year, the wettest thus far on record, has been one of mixed bags. May and June saw some decent fish fall to my devious imitations of all manner of delectable delicacies, including a 7 lbs rainbow which rose to a #16 Parachute Adams amidst an Imago fall of Blue Winged Olives. Since July, pickings at Grafham have been sparse, with the odd blank day thrown in to keep things in perspective and prevent my ego from getting in the way and snagging on my back cast.

    As you well know, my most recent sojourn north of Hadrian’s Wall warranted the sending of a photograph to this kid’s old mentor. Now, a chance to elaborate on what was a very special day on the river, a day when a memory was forged that I shall hang on to for a long, long time.

    The 737’s wheels touched down into puddles on the tarmac at Aberdeen airport. “How crap is this weather? We sure are in Aberdeen” was Sally’s response to the drizzly, miserable, misty gloom which obscured the wingtips from view. All I could think about was the river; “Perfect” was my reply.

    Our home river is a medium sized spate river which happens to be the largest tributary of the mighty River Spey. Heavily dependent on regular rainfall, it is at its absolute prime just after a large spate as the water level begins to drop and the peaty sediment load begins to clear. Add an overcast sky, throw in a light drizzle, and an air temperature between 16 and 22 deg C, and you have conditions which may only occur once a year, if you’re lucky. Well, on that Thursday morning, as I stood in the dark outside the kitchen door with my cup of coffee, it couldn’t have felt better. Jock, my Jack Russell gave me a quizzical look as I hurriedly pulled on my waders whilst explaining to him that the barometric pressure, air temperature, cloud cover, water temperature, water level, sediment load and lady luck were all poised in exquisite balance with one another, and that if I didn’t have a fish by breakfast time I’d eat my own deerstalker. With that Jock and his sister Bella, both bounded into the truck in anticipation of an afternoon of hat eating, one of Jock’s favourite pastimes.

    With trembling fingers, I checked my leader and retied on a size 12 Cascade Shrimp. There was a light mist lying upon the water’s surface, and I remember thinking to myself that it seemed a shame that I’d have to disrupt the perfection that was the scene which lay before me. A soft golden light filtered between birch, beech and oak leaves on the near bank, and gave the cool mist a warmer than it really was feeling. As I waded across the neck of Boat pool towards the far bank, I noticed that a hatch of Grannom Caddis had begun as they fluttered over my head in the still morning air. At times like these, I sometimes find myself grinning like an idiot and wondering what I have done to deserve this.

    I slowly made my way through the trees on the far bank, ensuring that I stayed obscured behind a leafy screen until I reached the neck of the fast riffle that I had opted to fish first. Once into position, I lengthened out until my fly was lapping the far bank. One upstream mend, and the fly was swinging round and fishing through the run beautifully. Bar actually slapping me in the face with a salmon, things just couldn’t have felt fishier.

    The take was uncharacteristically gentle for this type of fast, riffly water, and at first I thought I had hooked a little brown trout parr. This was quickly dispelled as 100 yards of line and backing was ripped from the reel in a matter of seconds. “Could be a good fish” I thought to myself. Due to low, overhanging branches on the near bank, it was impossible for me to back out of the river and follow the fish downstream. Instead, I had to wade deeper, out and beyond the extent of the branches before heading downstream in water up to the limit of my chest waders. Fortunately, the fish stayed within the run, spending the following twenty minutes or so sulking under the far bank. After one last, blistering run into the tail of the pool, the fish began to tire as the waiting game began. Twenty minutes later, I sat in the river, cradling one of nature’s true miracles; 18 lbs of Salmo Salar. “There is a lesser and greater reward in the catching of salmon; one relates to the mastery of skill, but the greater lies in cherishing the fish and knowing humility in the face of its saga”-Orri Vigfússon. Here is a fish that has travelled over 4000km, returned to it’s natal river and come so close to ending it’s journey. Would it not seem cold blooded and cruel to end this epic journey now? I shall never forget the feeling of guilt that I was riddled with after killing a large hen salmon that I had caught a few years ago. After a few quick photos, and three or four minutes spent reviving the fish until it’s strength returned, it slipped back into the fast, cold run and disappeared.
    “Catch one fish, and get straight back into the run, there could well be other takers near by” you read and hear time and time again. Surely a moment such as this should be held in your palms and examined over and over again before shifting one’s attention elsewhere? It had been a fine morning on the river, and at that I leant my rod against a tree and called the dogs to break the news to them .

    A great week it was, with seven or eight good fish, and one for the memory bank, I returned to London a man content with life and my place in it.

    Now, my plan Wolf is to move to New Zealand. I fly out of London on November the 14th and I shall be spending the following 5 weeks fishing and bumming my way around the Sothern half of the South Island. Dad and the Cormorant are joining me for the first three weeks of December when we shall be doing some rather serious fishing with helicopters and the whole bang shoot. Can’t wait! Thereafter, Dad and Yuri fly back to the UK, and I begin my new life out there. I have several things in the pipeline, all involving the pursuit of wild trout of course. I shall be sure to let you know how I get on.

    I do hope that all is well at Giant’s Cup, and that the Avni family are all well and happy. I shall be in SA for a month or so in November/December 2008. We have a couple of lodges booked at Lifton, so with a bit of luck I shall be able make it to GC to come and see you and give you some grief.

    Kind regards

    Marcus

    [/FONT]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Surly Ghillie; 30-08-07 at 08:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    A, A
    Posts
    1,745

    Default

    very well written and awe inspiring story

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Eastern Cape
    Posts
    6,347

    Default

    One can see who inspired Marcus in his youth. He has the same vocabularly as his mentor. A pleasure to read.

    Pity he does not share his outings on this forum, or does he?

    Dave
    Handle every situation like a dog.- If you cant hump it, piss on it and walk away. --JASPER.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    1,914

    Default

    Great read. Thanks for posting!
    " Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian." -Dennis Wholey

  5. #5

    Default

    ...aaah the benefits of a good education!! He could have sent that straight to the Journal for publication; Wolf please encourage him to do just that!
    Kind regards,
    KarelM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    69

    Default

    A good read captivating.
    Jono

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Jo Burg/ the foot of Table Mountain
    Posts
    336

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by turando101 View Post
    ...aaah the benefits of a good education!! He could have sent that straight to the Journal for publication; Wolf please encourage him to do just that!
    Kind regards,
    KarelM
    Agreed!!

    Superbly written article and would fit perfectly in THFJ!!

    My mouth is watering after that read!
    I'll stay as long as i can fish. . .

    Whenever the "club" for geniuses - MENSA - was mentioned, I always wondered if their was an opposite equivalent society for imbeciles. Now I know, it's called ANCYL.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Vandia Grove, Gauteng
    Posts
    4,055

    Default

    Welcome back James,

    Has the Referee spanked you in the tuck shop yet?...

    Just got a nice carp abt 5/6 kg in Saints dam dead-drifting a green marabou 'snotgrass' fly in all the muck by the lily pads that the prevailing wind was blowing into shore.

    Thirsty work on my 6 wt, off to One And All for carbo-loading and rugby...

    LOL
    OMR
    The more you know, the less you need (Aboriginal Australian proverb)

    Only dead fish swim with the stream (Malcolm Muggeridge)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Jo Burg/ the foot of Table Mountain
    Posts
    336

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chris williams View Post
    Welcome back James,

    Has the Referee spanked you in the tuck shop yet?...

    Just got a nice carp abt 5/6 kg in Saints dam dead-drifting a green marabou 'snotgrass' fly in all the muck by the lily pads that the prevailing wind was blowing into shore.

    Thirsty work on my 6 wt, off to One And All for carbo-loading and rugby...

    LOL
    OMR
    Brilliant stuff Chris!!
    Did you realise it or give it to the security guys??

    That 'referee' did managed to say i have 'enjoyed' my holiday a little too much! so now its off to the gym to get slim

    Ah don't tell me about the rugby i have been travelling with Kiwi's and Aussie's and lets say i've bought many beers but recieved none back
    And now i hear they have turned Ellis Park into the "Coca Cola" stadium?? ah to add insult to injury!! Anyways hopefully they turn it around by the time they tour UK in November!

    P.S. Chris you're an old Pangbourne boy, where's your beautifully written story? And you went to Saints, the school of two other great authors, you really are slacking here 'old chap'
    I'll stay as long as i can fish. . .

    Whenever the "club" for geniuses - MENSA - was mentioned, I always wondered if their was an opposite equivalent society for imbeciles. Now I know, it's called ANCYL.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Vandia Grove, Gauteng
    Posts
    4,055

    Default

    Pooes!

    Bit busy business-wise but I will re-eloquent myself within the next week or so!

    Glad to hear you're keeping strong!

    Harrovians could never write and cheated at Latin, so there!!!...
    The more you know, the less you need (Aboriginal Australian proverb)

    Only dead fish swim with the stream (Malcolm Muggeridge)

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •