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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Easter 2024 issue

St George’s Fly Fishers

Fly fishing offers so much. First, you have to go to some of the most beautiful places in the world to practice it.  Second, you will see all kinds of wild creatures, most of them trying to find something to eat, which is actually what you are doing too, so in that sense, you are at one with the natural world. Third, it’s incredibly relaxing and therapeutic because the sport requires you to switch off from everything else and concentrate completely on catching fish. Fourth, and not least, you can eat what you catch – and trout are delicious.  

All you have to do is put the right fly in the right bit of water behaving in the right way, and you will catch. Most beginners catch on their first outing, but it is a life-long learning experience. Trout are carnivorous predators, and a cubic metre of river mud contains millions of little creatures, most of them trout food. One method of fly fishing is to imitate the trout’s natural prey; another is to annoy the trout so that it snaps at your fly.   

Does being hooked hurt the trout?  Well, if I put a hook in your mouth and pulled, you’d go in the direction of the pull, wouldn’t you, but trout do the exact opposite and pull against the hook!  Once landed, they are killed instantly with a sharp blow to the head.

A small group of us, loosely associated with St George’s, meet for a day’s fishing about once a month. Some of us have been fishing for many years, others are just starting. We would be delighted to welcome new members, male or female, old or young, with or without experience, and can lend kit to anyone who’d like to have a go. You would need an Environment Agency fishing license for “non-migratory trout and coarse fish” (£6.60 for one day, or £33 for a year, reduced to £22 for over 66s, under 16s – free).  Glasses (ideally polarised) are essential, a broad-brim hat will protect your ears against errant flies, and suitable clothing and footwear for muddy conditions is best. It is not too expensive a sport - each day’s fishing costs between £25 and £40, which includes two fish to take home, and a comprehensive entry-level kit costs from £70.

One photograph shows four of us with our catch at Meon Springs in February; the other was taken by David, who, while trying to land a trout, saw this delightful water vole peeping out of his burrow, and manged to photograph it with his other hand!

Our next outing will be to Meon Springs on Friday 15th March.  We organise ourselves via a WhatsApp group, and if you’d like to join us, please call or text Fr. Charles on
07711 787 237.