Whilst acquiring a few new book for my collection and reference I stumbled upon two Fly Fishing Registers on that infamous online action site. Offered by a book dealer from the South Coast I thought these would give an interesting insight into fishing on the Nadder, Itchen, Test and Broadlands Estate. I was happily surprised to see listings in the register of excursions to the River Exe and other waters, especially those that I haven’t fished.
What was more interesting in the narrative was to find one of the registers was written by a lady and indicated that most of her fishing companions were ladies. One fellow fisher was a gentleman by the name of Bryan Cook and a dog called Jonathan (Jon Jon).
The registers cover the seasons from 1985-1991, the blue and guilt hard cover bound register a gift from Charles to his Gran dated Christmas 1987. The narrative started with a fishing trip to the River Exe at Cove on the 23rd of August. The fishing companion for this trip was Gill. They stayed at the Bank House Hotel near Oakford Bridge and acquired their licenses from a fishing tackle shop called Launce Nicholson. This trip lasted for two days however having both hooked fish at 11am and then lost them no salmon were recorded as caught. The detail of the register indicated the fish fell to a Muddler Minnow. Having seen several fish over the two days the second day listed the river as ‘out of order’ due to gravel exstraction.
On August the 30th our writer of the register fished with Gill on beat 3 of the Nadder catching a rainbows (2lb) and a brown trout (2.2lb), quoted as Gill’s 2R’s, these fish falling to a BWO. The following day our author detailed another trip on the Nadder (beat 4) with a fishing friend by the name of Nancy, on that day a brown trout of 3.8lb was taken by the author on a ‘thingy nymph.
Within the register there are listing of flies used. The most prominent being, BWO, Lunn’s , Greenwell’s, Hawthorn, Shrimp, G.R.H.E, P.T, Sedge, Red, Sherry and Claret Spinner,Culs Mayfly, Black Nymph and Equalizer.
There are characters that I wish I could meet who are listed in this register, Gill Wood, Nancy, Joanne, Lizzie Rouse, The Countess, Charlie, Bryan Cook and Jeremy P.
I will over the coming weeks post more extracts from these fascinating diaries of fishing during those heady days of the mid 80’s and early 90’s.