Many thanks to my lovely wife, who after having to listen to me moaning for some time about the need for casting lessons, took the hint and arranged for a days tuition with Nick Hart up at Exe Valley Fishery. Initially arranged as a present for my birthday, the original date was rained off and the after a couple of weeks wait the big day dawned still and overcast, if a little chilly.
Having never fished Exe Valley Fishery I really had no idea what to expect. Arriving I was greeted by Nick at the tackle shop on site and after a good chat and welcome cup of tea we got out on one of the lakes to make a start. Fair play to Nick for keeping a straight face when I was demonstrating the extent of my ability (or lack of). What followed was a day of patient and thoroughly useful advice and guidance on where I was going wrong and how to do it right. I have to hand it to Nick, but he never showed any frustration with my bad habits formed over the last year or so, and was really good at analysing where I was making mistakes and then demonstrating how to correct them. I’ve got quite a bit of practice still to go, but having had the day’s lesson at least now feel I have a solid base of understanding as to what I should be doing and what I need to look out for.
Not only was the casting tuition top notch but Nick was able to offer guidance on tackle set up, techniques and some fantastic tips on fishing still waters such as the lake we were tackling.
We started off running through set up, roll casts and over head casts before moving on to shooting line. All stuff I’ve been doing (or trying to do) to some extent before, but now at least I have a chance of putting these techniques into practice correctly. After a few hours of casting we moved onto actually casting to fish. Nick demonstrated how to fish with blobs, which is certainly something I’ve never even considered trying before but which proved exceptional on the day. I had several follows and gentle takes from fish as well as temporarily hooking up a couple even if only briefly, before finally managing to land a cracking rainbow trout. Not a monster but a great fish to end a thoroughly enjoyable day.
I’ve come away from the day with enough knowledge and encouragement to see me through for a while, and will look forward to doing another session next year once I’ve got a bit more experience under my belt. Just need some spare time to get back out again!