I was fortunate enough to have been able to take part in a friendly match in memory of Gary Hyde who sadly passed away last year. Although I had only spoken to Gary a couple of times, his posts on the flyfishingforums were always ones I wanted to read, generous with his knowledge and always friendly.
The match had been arranged by Danny and was well attended by many from the northern region; myself and Tom represented the south. The match was held in Sheffield on various parts of the River Don. Sections of the river were split in to beats, thankfully there were no fights over the stretches, Tom and I teamed up and headed to the beat that conveniently was closest to where we had all met up - no worries about finding parking.
It only took a couple of minutes and half a dozen casts before Tom landed the first fish of the day, a grayling, from there on we took turns catching a fish each and passing the rod over - not the most efficient way to catch and yes although it was a competition of sorts, we were happy to be there. We both believe fishing like that is really fishing with someone, rather than both fishing near one another but not actually fishing with each other.
|Tom's first fish|
Our pace was slow as we worked upstream and I'm sure we could have covered a lot more river by the end of the day, but there wasn't really any rush and it was great just to be fishing somewhere different - I have only fished the River Don twice, both were winter trips, the last being a short three hour session curtailed by persistent rain and rising water.
|White bead head pheasant tail nymph, tied with melanistic|
pheasant tail, courtesy of Matt Eastham
|Pink bead head nymph, brown partridge for tail,|
biot body and Hends peacock spectre dubbing
As an aside it was the first time I used a new wading jacket that I received as a birthday present. Extremely well priced, a snippet at £39.99 delivered from Caimore vie eBay and it performed exceptionally well. Despite the continued rain I didn't get wet except for when I failed to put the hood up. If you want performance at a reasonable cost then I seriously recommend you have a look at this jacket.
|Largest fish of the day, just before Tom dropped it|