The Hardest Fishing of all?

Posted · Add Comment

Small Stocked Stillwaters I mean..




Shock Horror.


Well you might like to know that in another life I used to be an Engineer.

Finished up as a Chief Engineer.

So what has that got to do with hard fishing?

Well as an Engineer Maths and Physics were an everyday part of my life.

Thermodynamics, Calculus, Equations and just plain Numbers.

Now most of this is thankfully forgotten but I still like to think I have a logical frame of mind.

So I sometimes think about fishing in that way.

As an aside perhaps we should try and get the Trout to think that way as well and while we are at it get them to read some of the Fly-Fishing Books and Magazines……… đŸ™‚

So anyway a few years ago when I still had the Tackle Shop I got word that a new small still water was being opened up in the area.

This turned out to be the very popular Chatton Fishery and I got an invite to go there before it opened to the public.

The idea was to chat with the new owners about rules and the likes and then have a fish afterwards.

Now up until about then I used to slightly turn my nose up at what is sometimes known irreverently as Puddle Bashing. I used to pride myself and think I was just a bit superior as I fished Loch Style and Rivers to International Rules. None of this huge lure stuff for stupid stockies.

However around that same time I had begun to notice that in the National Bank Championship it was nearly always the team from Maran Lakes that won it.

That team was Peter Appleby, Fred Bainbridge and Chris Micalief.

Four years out of five they won it and they were second the other year.

So I began thinking about this and got in touch with Fred and we had a day on Maran lakes where he absolutely thrashed me.

( Bear in mind I am a Fly Fishing Instructor and have fished for England)

Well it was his local water but he was giving me flies and telling me what he was doing.

However I could not catch half of what he was. Not even when standing right next to him with the same line and flies.

This really got me thinking and the logical conclusion therefore was that there was more to this than meets the eye.

So began my quest over the last few years to learn what it was all about.

So how does that bring us to the hardest fishing of all?

Well of course when a small water is stocked then everyone catches but after a day or so it soon gets tough. Regulars at small fisheries will know this but if the place is well run with regular stocking another good day soon comes around.

But why does it get tough so soon?

As a former Engineer this is what I came up with.

Take a popular fishery like Chatton when it first opened.

They would get around 20 anglers a day who would usually fish for around 5 hours. They are restricted to a 2 fly cast and probably cast around 40 times an hour.

20 x 5 x 2 x 40 = 8000. That is Eight Thousand Flies the fish see in one day!

Even if a Fishery is stocked weekly that is 56,000 flies they see between stockings………………………

Most places these days enjoy a high percentage of catch and release so many of the fish will be caught more than once. and even if not then they will have watched almost every fly under the sun constantly being pulled back and forth.

Now a Trout on a Highland Loch may not see a fly from one year to the next but some people think it so much better.

Of course on a subjective level I may not disagree but on the level of difficulty….. well you can make your own mind up.

That brings me to yesterday.

The Winter League on a Northern Small Water. At least Five International Anglers fishing including two who have won medals at World Level.  The fishing was tough. Really tough.

The Internationals managed an average of one fish each in a six hour session.

We each had three rods set up and our fly patches were full by the end of the day!

So anyway, the next time you think about tough fishing, or that your type of fishing is  harder than someone else’s then you might just want to give the Maths a passing thought……………. đŸ™‚

Best Regards


Keeping Score

Keeping Score










  • What did you get that on?Surely the most common question in Fly Fishing. It’s the [...]
  • It DependsIt Depends. That is probably the only true answer for [...]
  • Fishermans FriendsSometimes out of a tragedy something good can happen. Of [...]
  • Youth DayYouth Day. This went ahead on Bank Holiday Monday the [...]