Saturday, 24 March 2012

Fly fishing at The Lenches

     How many words rhyme with Lenches? Wenches. Benches. Tenches. There's three for starters but none of them are very useful when you're trying to think of a witty title for a blog. "But what about tenches?" I hear you holler. "They're fish, are they not, Riviera Kid?" Yes, dear reader, they are. But the Lenches (Lakes) are not about tenches, they're all about TROUT!

The fearful symmetry of the Lenches
     And the place is literally swimming in them! (Duh!) I fact, while I was there, a man in a small Tonka toy lorry rolled up to the edge of the lake and dumped a shed load of plump rainbows into the water (I tried a sneaky cast into the back of his aqua truck but he was having none of it) And that, in a nutshell, is what this gorgeous venue is all about. The fish go in mature, at at least 2lb or so, and then they just get bigger until you drag them out of the water, wack them on the head and fling them in the pan. There's no catch and release here, and although the cost is steep (between £19 and £25 for 3hours to all day) you do get to take away a fresh lunch (if you catch anything).

October sunshine! And in the
distance . . . an excellent pie shop!
     So the lakes here are picture perfect, well maintained and brimming with fairly naive fishes just waiting to be tempted by your Hackled Goat's Toe. When you roll up, you are welcomed heartily by the bailiff and offered a hot drink and useful advice. The scenery really is idyllic and there are plenty of inviting pegs. I was here with friend and fly fishing mentor, Guru Bob and his young apprentice (son), so as soon as he gave me the required gear (I have none of my own yet) I was away and slinging my hook. The fish were surfacing everywhere and the great thing about fly fishing, I have discovered, is that at any moment you can cast out and try and land your lure right on the nose of any tasty fish that passes by. Unless, of course, you're a bungling novice like me.

Gorgeous Timmy the Trout. And the
fish is attractive too.
     That said, on the hour mark, I hooked a decent fish on the edge of a overhanging tree. After a fair battle of about six or seven minutes (they don't try and drag you under like the great white carp) I managed to land a lovely 4lb rainbow, which my wife had already claimed for tomorrow's tea. The other great thing about fly fishing, as I have said in an earlier blog I think, is the ability to uproot and roam around a venue without the masses of bait and tackle that you need for coarse. And the Lenches is an ideal location for stalking, so I pulled my stetson down over my and commando crawled around the two lakes.

      Sadly, I hooked, but did not land, another nice fishy. The rest of the day was a blank for me and Guru Bob did hook a biggie but it escaped at the last minute to run and tell tales of the 'afterlife' in every fish bar from here to the opposite bank. You are limited to a certain number of fish with the price that you pay on the day, although that certainly didn't bother us on that fine October morning.

"Now then Young Guru Bob, 
visualize the trout on to the line . . ."
"When can I have a pasty?"
      When my time was up, I packed away with satisfaction at a fine day's fishing and a dream to one day own my my own gear (I wonder if you can go after carp with flies? I bet you can.) While Guru Bob carried on fishing, I went on a casting practise tour of the lake with Guru Bob Jr, pretending to give good advice but principally just hanging grimly on to his jacket to stop him flinging himself further into the lake than the fly on the end of his line.

     Finally, we headed back to the ranch-house. They also serve home made pies for ravenous anglers to fall back on in the well-appointed tackle shop, and provide you with more coffee (there was also a stray dog story on this occasion!!) So all in all it was a tremendous day (cheers Guru Bob). I will certainly be going again in the future.

Riviera Kid