- Published on Friday, 25 May 2012 10:49
- Written by Chris Aldred
North West Region CPPD report, Stocks Reservoir, May 13th 2012.
The day arrived and it may have helped if I had included directions in the mails as a couple of people berated me for this, I apologise for this oversight, and it won’t happen again!
So everyone assembled for tea and coffee in the fishing lodge at Stocks, a warm welcome was given by Ben and his staff, in total we had 21 people turn up, which is a good turnout, a few of the usual suspect were there as well as a couple of new comers and hopefully 2 new GAIA members will come out of this meeting. We had people traveling from London, Dumfries in Scotland and even Yorkshire!
So, to the demonstrations, I had changed the format for this meeting, we had quick 30 minute demonstrations to allow everyone to see every demonstration, with time allotted at the end to allow people to go back for more information on any demonstrations they liked.
First up was Phil Ratcliffe, fresh from gaining his APGAI qualification in Scotland, I had asked him to demo, a smaller group and a safe environment and I am sure my introduction building him up helped calm his nerves! A great demonstration of the 5 essentials and casting styles followed which was appreciated by all.
Mal Hunter was up next and after traveling from Yorkshire to be with us, his demonstration couldn’t have been more apt, dealing with wind, well we certainly had the weather for it, a great common sense demonstration was given with some very good questions and answers, again this was Mal’s first demonstration and he did superbly.
Up next GAIA’s very own Japanese imports, Louis Noble and Bernie Ratcliffe, demonstrating and talking about Tenkara, a great talk which could have gone on for much more than the allotted 30 minutes and which I believe hooked a few people, thanks must go to Mike Roden as well, he couldn’t make the day but sent some tenkara kit over and everyone had a look and play with it. Mike is going to be selling this kit so it was good to have a look at it in advance.
Moving swiftly on and I was up next Accuracy casts, in a howling force 10 gale! I set out the targets and dragged Bob Carlson out of hiding as he had asked for this demonstration, this was based around Bob having bi-focal glasses and in turn they were affecting his accuracy due to the nature of the glasses, prior to this I had spoken with Philip Maher and Alun Rees, and I got some good ideas for the demo, which went well, and Roger Miles also chipped in with further help and in no time Bob went from being a shy embarrassed quiet man to someone hitting the targets with no problems at all.
Then it was back up to the fishing lodge were Bob and Vera carlson had set up for a very comprehensive talk regarding fly fishing for carp, this was a follow up to a demonstration given by Rob Doyle at Caer Beris a couple of years ago. Bob and Vera have been fly fishing for carp since Rob’s demonstration and on occasion Vera even lets Bob catch one or two fish as well! This was a detailed, well thought out demonstration and no stone was left unturned and it covered everything from flies to rods, reels, lines, tippet, and landing gear, a big point was made about welfare of your catch as well, all round another great demonstration.
We then broke for lunch for an hour, and what a lunch, the food and catering was brilliant, and thanks must go to Ben and the crew at Stocks, loads of roast chicken, burgers and award winning sausages, followed by home-made cup-cakes, with plenty of tea and coffee, I have to keep on about the service given by Stocks, they looked after us from beginning to end and a better host could not have been wished for, we will be back if they will have us.
Ben then gave us a talk regarding some stretches of the River Lune he sells day tickets for, wetting the appetite for people wanting to get out and catch salmon and sea trout.
Then it was the final 2 demonstrations of the day, the wind had increased to ridiculous levels and I was up again to deal with wiggles, mends and slack line casts! This was a wash out, I think I managed a couple of cast by just throwing the line up into the wind and making the mends, so time was called on this.
Next up, all the way from London Town was Roger Miles, it was great to see Roger and I would like to thank him for the effort he puts into traveling around the country supporting GAIA at as many events as he can. Roger was doing a demonstration on Distance casting, into the teeth of a howling wind; this went very well, even when he did his impression of Brian McGlashan by standing in a hole and almost disappearing! Everyone was encouraged to have a go at the distance and it was another well thought out demonstration.
The demonstrations came to an end at 2.30pm and I think the new format of quick 30 minute demonstrations worked well as people broke off into little groups working on the stuff that had caught their eye in the demos.
We had a couple of people to teach and “Woz” and Richard got some very comprehensive tuition.
All that was left was to pack up the gear and to head for a coffee, a great day had by all and I am planning the next one, and the plan is to have assessments in the North West region in May next year, I will inform you of a venue and date ASAP.
One a final note, when you go for a curry at the end of a long day, if the curry has 4 chilli’s alongside it on the menu, this means it will be hot and you will regret ordering it!