Over the past few years FishingMagic has raised several thousand pounds for charity through the Charity Carp Fish-in and James Farrow Memorial and this year was no exception.

Most of the donations come via Cakey’s Charity Auction where members donate tackle and other items and several members offer a day out. And so it was with me, I offered a day’s fly fishing or barbel fishing and Dave Bassett, who made the highest bid for the second time, chose to go fly fishing.

Dave has done plenty of barbel fishing over the years and thought it would be interesting and a nice change to have a go at fly fishing for the first time. So the date was set.

To add a little spice to the day Eddie Bibby and Dave Chilton came along. (To save confusion between the two Daves, Dave Bassett will henceforth be Dave and Dave Chilton will be Uncle Dave). It was a bit of a risk as Uncle Dave hadn’t been released for a while and Ed, well, he’s Ed, and you never know what might happen.

We met at my house and stopped at the roadside diner for breakfast and to get aquainted. When we arrived at the fishery Uncle Dave lent Dave a #7 Sage Z-Axis rod and the reel and line to go with it, so Dave was starting fly fishing with the very best tackle. Both Uncle Dave and I gave him a few lessons to begin with and then let him loose on the trout. As was to be expected Dave struggled for a while, making the usual coarse fisher’s mistake of trying to cast the fly rather than the line, but was soon getting the fly out a few yards, but not quite far enough to put his fly where the bulk of the trout were.


With more lessons and tips from all of us through the day, with occasional breaks for a brew and to swap a few stories, Dave struggled on but assured us he was thoroughly enjoying himself. I offered to cast for him and let him try to catch a trout on the retrieve and also offered to hand him my rod when I had a trout on so that he could have a go at playing a fishing on a fly rod and line, but he refused, being determined to catch his first trout entirely unaided. I understood that completely.

Dave had a few pulls and on two occasions had a trout kicking on the end, only to lose one through a hook pull and another through the leader breaking. Playing fish by pulling on a fly line is quite a bit different than winding a reel with the drag offering a good safety factor. Of course you can play a trout on the reel when fly fishing but most often, unless the trout runs far enough to take up all the loose line, its via the fly line being pulled by hand. Also, rainbows, and most of the ones we were catching were around 4lb apiece (Ed had the best at 8lb 5oz) go off at a hell of a pace and if you’re not used to hand-lining fish it can take you by surprise.

Dave came good in the end though. He lost another fish and then not long afterwards landed a fine specimen that was duly dispatched and taken home for the pot. That trout will probably taste better than any trout he’s had before. Well done Dave!

To top off a good day Uncle Dave and Ed had been on their best behaviour.

Video clip of Dave landing his trout