Better to be Lucky than Good?

Posted · Add Comment

I often say to Clients and other Anglers “There is no such thing as Luck in Fly Fishing.”

Well that is not in the strictest sense true.

You can of course get a bit lucky by hooking a good fish and then having the skills to land it.

Most of us will have had the hook drop out just as soon as the fish is in the net and of course the opposite just before we slip the net under a trout!

What I really mean is there is not really a Luck Factor when taken over a Season.

Good Anglers, those who have put in the time, effort and probably money will always win out over a season. Most Clubs will have their Anglers who consistently do well over a season and probably over the years as well.

One way of looking at luck is that Sunderland might beat Chelsea in a one off Cup Match but never over the season in the League.

So last Sunday I was fishing on the River Ure in Yorkshire.

It was an Eliminator to qualify for the English National Rivers Final to be held later in the year.

The top five in the Final will qualify to fish for England against Scotland, Wales and Ireland in next year’s International.

I had been controlling another Angler in the morning and this is where you measure any Trout that are caught, record the Length, check the Flies are Barbless and make sure the Fish swims away strongly.

In the afternoon it was my turn to fish on the top beat and I was halfway through the four hour session and had by then caught and measured two Trout. Coming along the opposite Bank was another angler and his controller my good friend Fred Bainbridge.

Fred shouted across in his usual dulcet tones, “HOW YOU GETTING ON?”

I told him I had two fish to which he replied there are a few people on two and the rest are blank.

As most people will be aware of there has been very little rain recently and so the fishing was very tough as the river was about as low and clear as anyone had ever seen it.

“GET ANOTHER ONE AND YOU SHOULD QUALIFY” says Fred as he and his angler moved on.

Shortly after I hooked and lost two Trout!

I think the expression I used was *!*”*~##~*!?

Any way never one to give up I pushed on.

With around 25 minutes to go I came to a great pool. It was tucked in to a high bank with overhanging trees and a fast run into a deep hole.

So I was thinking there had to be a fish in there and I diligently worked my nymphs through it.


Not a flash or a follow or a take.

So by now I was running out of good water and time.

Anyway I turned round and started to work across to the other bank and just as I came to the far side I flicked the nymphs in but could not see my line.

My flies were in an overhanging bush!

With very little time left to try and carefully retrieve them I gave the rod a quick yank.

They came loose!

A quick check to make sure they were not tangled and what’s this?

Another fly and a short bit of nylon had come back with them so I put that fly on my patch.

Now looking round for where to go next and with only about 10 minutes to go I was stuck.

There was another angler above me and no time to climb the high bank and get above him.

However my eye was once again caught by the good pool under the trees by the bank.

I couldn’t could I?

So I tied on the fly from my patch that I had pulled out of the tree.

First cast a 29 cm brownie!

Happy Days.

How did you end up says Fred when we met back at the Pub for the results?

I got one more I said.

Should be enough he said, what did you get it on.

As I described the incident and the fly his eyes got wider and wider.

“THATS MY FLY” I lost that practising last week!

The results were announced and I came third with five to go through to the Final. Fred was the winner with 5 trout in the morning from the bottom beat.

So was I lucky?

Well I was unlucky to drop the two Trout I lost but lucky to retrieve that fly from the tree and not tangle my leader so perhaps it does all balance out in the end.

So perhaps if you are not a lucky or consistent fisherman maybe, just maybe you need to take stock.

Now if you are happy plodding along and having the odd good day but generally enjoying your fishing then that’s fine.

However if you really want to become a more proficient angler there are no quick fixes or magic flies.

Read the books, buy the DVD’s, study the magazines, have the good equipment and maybe just maybe book some lessons.

If there is a shortcut then it is Tuition and it can save you years of learning.

I should know I booked myself lessons with many of the best anglers in the country when I started out. 🙂

Very Little Water

We need Rain!