Olympic Sailing

A few days ago I took an Australian officiating at the Olympic Sailing Event for a day on the river. Hugh is a mad keen trout fisherman from Sydney who had brought his rod and reel to the UK just in case he got the chance to go fishing. A rest day from the Laser event allowed the time to try his luck on the Club’s water. I must say that I was not too optimistic about his chances of having a good day in the quiet month of August but I was to be pleasantly surprised. When we arrived at the river the weather was overcast with quite a strong south-westerly wind. As nothing was rising I gave Hugh a nymph to try and let him get on with it dressed in a pair of waders that he had borrowed from me. The waders were soon to be full of water but that did not seem to trouble him too much – tough guys these Aussies.

I went on my way persevering with the nymph and I did succeed in turning a couple of fish. When I went back to find out how Hugh was doing I found him fishing the dry fly and he had caught three trout. Not so good I thought – Australia 3 UK 0 and on home waters. It is quite often the case that a visitor to the river tries a different approach and is rewarded with success. Hugh was fishing something that he called a coachman – a rather large fly that to me resembled a sedge. I was soon fishing with a sedge pattern and in the remaining half hour before lunch I had pushed the UK back up into contention with three trout to the net. A break for lunch over a Foster’s lager at the Sun Inn allowed an exchange of fishing experiences. Hugh’s home rivers are about 4 hours drive from his home in Sydney and the trout are not very free rising so he was used to fishing a dry fly into likely looking spots – a useful skill in August on the Frome.

Battle commenced after lunch and we both had some good fishing. A few fish were rising and these did not often refuse an orange sedge hog fly.
When we decided to pack up at 1700 I had to admit that Australia had convincingly won with a lovely 1 ½ pound trout that Hugh had photographed to remind him of his day on a Dorset river. The Frome could not have been in better condition for my guest. It is flowing beautifully clear at the moment. It is as a chalk stream should be and a joy to fish. Hugh was impressed by the number of trout in the river and he was even more impressed that there are no black tiger snakes. Back in Oz you have to keep one eye on the river for the fish and another eye on the bank for the snakes – and we complain about being stung by the nettles.