OK, I’ll admit it – I screwed up and took too many days off in 2007 so that I had no days left to take off over Christmas. I’ve been coming into an empty office, or sitting at home watching my inbox just in case some other screw-up sent me a mail which actually generated something for me to do – days of waiting – days of boredom.
Now, what does a computer literate fly-fisher do when he gets bored:
- Read the forums – but no-one is posting because they’re too busy celebrating with their family.
- Check out the other blogs – very little new content for the same reason.
- Hit eBay looking for the bargain of the year.
After a couple of hours trawling through the same old stuff from the same old sellers on ebay.co.uk I went over to ebay.com to see what was on offer over in the states. Now this is much more interesting, especially the reels. They have names over there that we seldom see on this side of the pond. Pleuger Medalists abound, as do South Bends and Martins but among these so called Blue Collar reels are one or two unusual [to us] makes like Peerless, Ballan, Bogdan, Browning and Saracione. Prices are flattered by the favourable exchange rate so I’ve been sorely tempted by an Orvis CFO II, though I doubt I could justify it to SWMBO, especially since I’ve recently bought the Hardy Featherweight 😦
If you want to see some really interesting vintage tackle; head over to ebay.fr. With a little schoolboy French and the aid of Google translation you should be able to navigate the site without too much difficulty.
I can only assume that the Belgians don’t do much fly fishing – searching ebay.be returns only 7 rods and 5 reels! Spain is even worse with only 4 rods and zero reels while Italy has zero rods and 11 reels including this sweet little Martin
I finished work at lunchtime yesterday and called by the river for an hour or two to get acquainted with the new cane rod. I have to admit, it looks the mutt’s nuts with the Hardy Featherweight mounted.
My first impression was how easily it cast a short line; it loads well with only a few feet of line out of the tip ring and accuracy is second to none – it even makes me look good! This rod is light too – a meagre 3.5 oz. Longer casts are a bit of a problem, though I suspect this is related to my casting rather than the rod. I need to get used to the slower, softer action as I am creating huge tailing loops; not something I usually suffer. I don’t think the line helps either. Though I’ve spent hours massaging grease into it, the belly is still quite stiff and is very reluctant to shoot. I guess I’ll have to fish a lot over the Christmas holiday to get it broken in 🙂
Overall, I’m delighted with this rod and I’m sure we will get along just fine when we’ve worked out our foibles. As Neil said when he picked it up for the first time “This rod has soul”.
I just weighed the first 30 ft of the silk line pictured below – an amazing 5.33 grams. That converts to 82.25 grains. Using the conversion chart here it looks like I have a sub 3 weight! Looking at the diameter of the tip and comparing it to my Thebault DT4 I see it is much thinner so I guess that’s right – I wonder how much weight it’ll put on by absorbing the line grease :-\
I picked up another silk line on ebay for a measly £16 – pretty good deal. The line came boxed and marked “Corona Superba” D/T FLY LINE No C 35 YDS. The line itself is dark brown, dry and stiff as a board but apart from a half hitch about 1 yard from the backing end and a poorly executed end loop, it looks to be in great nick. No signs of rot or damage.
Googling around I found that, if the line is indeed a Superba it was manufactured by Hardys but I still need to identify the line weight. I suspect that it’s around 5 or 6 weight but I need to get it on the scales to be sure as none of the conversion charts mention a ‘C’ weight DT line.
Although it’s dark and stiff it does not appear to be dirty so I have applied a little of the grease supplied with my Thebault line – it’s drinking it in and already the first few yards are becoming noticeably more supple so I may not be looking at a complete restoration job – time will tell.
I’ve just checked the weather forecast for the weekend and it’s shaping up to be just perfect for chasing silver ladies. Clear skies, temperatures around freezing and light winds – I may get to use the new rod yet!
Tight lines. Adrian.
£500,000 to restore River Wandle
December 11th, 2007
An historic agreement has been reached that will see more than £500,000 being paid by Thames Water to restore and improve the River Wandle over the next 5 years.
This follows the serious pollution incident on 17 September, which saw thousands of fish killed and a significant impact on invertebrate and plant life in the river. Thames Water admitted responsibility for the incident within days and has apologised unreservedly to the local community and angling clubs. The Anglers’ Conservation Association has led negotiations which have concluded today with the largest settlement in the ACA’s 60 year history. The water company will today announce:
• £7,000 project funding for a local education project;
• £10,000 in compensation for the two angling clubs;
• £30,000 to meet the costs of restocking and an ongoing survey to assess damage to the river’s ecology;
• £200,000 core funding for the Wandle Trust to include support for the cost of an employee who will raise additional project funding to deliver access and habitat improvements along the length of the river;
• £250,000 over 5 years for a restoration fund to support local projects to improve the river environment;
• Investment in failsafe measures at Beddington Sewage Treatment works to prevent pollution like this ever happening again in the future;
The announcement of this project will not have any bearing whatsoever on any future criminal prosecution of Thames Water by the Environment Agency for the incident.
Mark Lloyd, Executive Director of the Anglers’ Conservation Association said: “This incident has been transformed from a disaster into a triumph for the river by Thames Water’s genuine desire to put right the damage they caused back in September. The settlement we have negotiated provides the basis for a long term future for the River Wandle by giving the Wandle Trust the funding it needs to become a sustainable River Trust. It also compensates the anglers fully for their loss of angling amenity.”
Theo Pike, Trustee of the Wandle Trust and Senior Vice President of the Wandle Piscators said: “September 17 was a catastrophe for the Wandle, but we are now delighted to be entering into this 5-year habitat rehabilitation project with Thames Water and the Environment Agency. With the security of significant funding, we’re looking forward to leading a genuine partnership of local stakeholders, helping a long stretch of the river literally come back from Year Zero, and restoring the Wandle as a world-class showcase for responsible community stewardship of urban waterways. We welcome all ideas for the future health of the Wandle, its habitats and biodiversity, and will shortly start collecting these via a web forum at http://www.wandletrust.org”
Thames Water’s CEO, David Owens said:
“Thames Water was quick to acknowledge that we caused this incident and we are acting quickly to not only restore, but improve the health of this important river. We have been working particularly closely with the Anglers’ Conservation Association, as well as other local groups to ensure that the programme being put into action now yields real and lasting results. It will provide the resources to support the ongoing stewardship of the river and create a fund which can be used to continually restore and improve the health of its habitats. We would like to thank the ACA for facilitating rapid and productive discussion with the Wandle Trust, the Environment Agency, the National Trust and the local community, which have enabled us jointly to begin what we will know will inevitably be a long process of rehabilitation.”