April 1st 1986

It wouldn’t be the same without an entry on the 1st April, so here is an extract from my fishing diary 1st April 1986. This was my first day fishing the Club water and my first ever attempt at fly fishing – it didn’t go well…


Left home approximately 9am – arrived at Gascoyne Bridge and strode confidently downstream, selecting all the lies for my return journey. Tackled up by the fishing hut and started.

What a cock up, managed to get the fly in the river after several attempts. It’s going to be more difficult than I thought. Stayed struggling on this stretch for a couple of hours, then made my way to Bockhampton. Two fishermen already there and I didn’t want to show them up with my skill with a fly rod! So back to upstream from Loders.

This was a lot better and managed to cover one fish, which must have wondered what was happening to it. Walked up to Whitfield Hatches, this is some river and can’t wait to cast properly.

Packed up about 2ish, a Wessex Water Bailiff (Mike Whiffen) checked my licence and made a rude but true comment about my casting – ‘twas like a man with a whip! He suggested I contact Neil Attryde, he would put me right. (I never did)

Ordered more flies and leaders after loosing 2 flies and messing up two leaders.


This is still the only time anyone has checked my fishing licence.

My casting eventually improved after reading a children’s book on fishing, it had a small section on fly casting and three words that I still use today when my casting goes a little haywire – Lift, Pause, Push.

This was my best from the year – 3lb 5oz from the Lower Water during mayfly.

Membership Card 1986

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