Every year seems to be busier than previous years with new projects and days on the water either guiding or introducing newcomers to the addictive sport of fly fishing and looking back at 2016 it was no exception.
Many days were spent on the water with fishing friends old and new in search of all manner of fish from trout and grayling through to some bass, carp and pike. Not unlike recent seasons the West Country migratory fish proved problematic with poor summer river levels seeming to make the fishes progress up the river systems later than ever. Even with the local river season extensions the rains didn’t really materialize, so this asks the question, are our river seasons outdated with climate change and should season dates be moved to accommodate? I know on one of my favourite rivers the salmon season starts on February the 14th (a popular date with wives and girlfriends!) and apart from the odd kelt, I would never expect to see a fresh run fish in the system until April.
Corporate bookings seem to make a bit of comeback in 2016, so the coming year will be interesting with all of the political changes happening around us to see if this resurgence gains any more momentum. Family days were also popular this year which is always great to see, on more than one occasion I had three generations of the same family on the bank with a fly rod in hand.
Working partnerships remained strong throughout the year with some amazing days spent on the bank with the brilliant Vale House Kitchen and Deer Park Fishery, both of which seem grow from strength to strength. Check out their websites for what is sure to be an even more exciting year to come with lots of events and courses on offer.
The year also saw me doing a bit of promo film work with Vale House Kitchen which was a real eye opener, hours of work went into the film but the results were amazing, you can check it out here. I spent a day on the river Otter with Dominic Garnett, fellow guide and author, for a magazine shoot, again great fun and even made the front cover of the magazine in one of Dom’s shots! You can check out some of Dominic’s work here. I look forward to doing a bit more with Dom in the coming year so keep an eye out for this.
Throughout the year I continued to work alongside Marryat Rods, Partridge of Redditch and Varivas, this gave my guests the chance to try out some of the best tackle on the market before buying. The new rods from Marryat went down a storm this year and I’m sure it’s a name you will being seeing and hearing more and more in 2017. Come and join me in the coming year and try these for yourself, you will be truly amazed!
So with the New Year looming and the diary filling fast I’m really looking forward to what’s in store and would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, fun and fished filled New Year.