No flies on Karl

Karl Gammler

No flies on Karl

MAY 2016 | Karl Gammler

THE GENTLE art of fly-fishing can, at times, be the most frustrating endeavour you will ever embark upon.  But it can also be the most addictively and richly rewarding experience you will ever encounter. So much so, on several occasions, I have actually gone to bed, only to dream about fishing.

The sight of a trout slowly swimming up to inspect my offering can make me weak in the knees. The disappointment of him turning his nose up at my fly selection is acute. And if he lingers and stares while making his mind up, this stretches my anticipation to the unbearable.

Sometimes he will actually turn and swim away; then change his mind and come back to swiftly gulp it down. Even then, I am not home yet.

It depends if it is a solid hook up. If happily it is, then all I have to do is land him. And as the four-pound tippet I am using has lost half its strength in unavoidable knots on my line, this has to be executed with some degree of patience – I truly have not outsmarted my quarry until he is either in my landing net or on dry land.

The passion for fly-fishing does not have to end on the water for there are numerous other ways it can consume my time. Reading up on the art of this sport, for example, gives me that little bit of an edge for the next occasion.

Then there are times I go to just practise my casting. Funnily, countless times I have casted like a champion all day until the moment I spot a fish. Unwittingly, my first back cast sees my fly in the nearest tree behind me.

And when I cannot be out on the water, I can still gain satisfaction by tying up our favourite flies as the patterns and combinations are endless. And it does not stop there – I can also invent my own pattern. Then there is the matter of ensuring the materials I use are of a quality superior to the commercial equivalent. This ensures I can make them stronger.

After all, there is a certain amount of satisfaction from catching a fish on a fly I have tied myself. And even more so when I have invented the knotting, especially when the money saved from not buying them can be put towards that next fishing trip.

Mike Moores