Glancing across the foreshore I glimpsed the silhouette of a fly fisher the casting motions clearly visible to my angling oriented eye. Always keen to seek inspiration I apologized to Pauline for my departure as we finished our fish and chips. The angler had indeed been casting a fly but had called it a day the gin clear conditions proving unsuitable for the bass he was targeting. The sea was however teaming with mullet that were cruising tantalizingly just a few yards from where we both sat chatting. Angling is brilliant in that it enables total strangers to become embarked in deep discussion within moments of meeting enthusiasm bouncing off one another as future plans and ideas are formulated. A glance through my fellow piscator’s fly box inspired me to return home and sort the fly’s I had been given last year whilst in Ireland. In addition I formulated a plan to target the mullet on the fly.
Over the weekend I tied up half a dozen creations using creamy white fur intended to imitate bread flake. This was not a new idea as I had thought of it many times and read of such tactics.
A couple of evenings later I headed to the waters edge armed with two fly rods. A 9’ 6” 9 weight saltwater fly rod for the bass and a 10ft 5 weight Greys Streamflex. The bass rod was loaded with WF9 Floating line and the Grey’s with a WF 5 weight floating line. The sun was starting to sink when I arrived and the water was fast retreating as the tide ebbed. To cut a long story short the first half an hour drew a blank. The water was crystal clear and I felt the chance of bass minimal until the light faded. The mullet that had been clearly visible a few nights ago were few and far between.
Knowing the area well I decided on trek to another feature a hundred yards along the beach. Wading out onto a rock I tossed some segments of bread into the water at my feet allowing the current to take it further out. As I lengthened the fly line I caught sight of a swirl in the calm water; then another’ bingo I had found the mullet! Casting the five-weight line out towards the rising fish I allowed it to settle before beginning a slow figure of eight retrieve. The line tightened, I lifted the rod and a fish boiled on the surface before departing for the horizon causing the reel to sing out in protest. The next five minutes saw an exciting tussle before I was able to coax a two pound grey mullet into the waiting net. The next hour proved an exciting session as three more mullet between 1lb 12oz and 2lb seized my bread fly.
I spent the last half hour as the light faded casting a bass fly without success. The bass were there as a big fish swirled at fry close to my feet and another angler fifty yards away landed a four-pounder whilst fishing a shallow diver. I will be back after those mullet before too long I dread to think how hard a four pounder will pull on the five weight and a 4lb point.
The following evening I join members of Wistlandpound Fly Fishing Club at picturesque Bratton Water were brown trout are the target species. I soon tempt my brace of pleasing browns using a small pheasant tail nymph and black pennel combination. Not everyone succeeds but we have enough for a barbeque to round off the evening. I fillet the fish in the river wrap them in foil, stuff with butter and leave to cook gradually on the BBQ whilst we talk of fish and fishing.
Two evenings of fun with the five weight; the mullet proving the winners by a mile in the fight club!