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The Flight of the Bumble Bee


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Back in 1997 Norma and I went for our usual fortnight on South Uist, after the seatrout. That year there was little rain, waters were low, and few seatrout were being taken.

 

So one afternoon I had a shot at the wild brown trout of the hill burns. Stan Headley had just done an piece in Trout and Salmon, on the Orange Rory - a little known bushy bob fly of four hackles, alternating hot orange and black, tied palmer-fashion. Stan had raved about its effectiveness, but had not suggested what it imitated. (though in hill burns that doesn't matter much, any sensible fly usually catches)

 

Anyway, I had tied up a few Orange Rories, and put one on (size 8) There was a pretty strong wind, and fishing a narrow burn overhung with thick heather was not easy. The gusting cross-wind meant I had to aim for the upwind bank and cut the line down smartly. If the wind gusted as I cast, the fly hit the downwind bank. If the wind suddenly dropped, I hit the upwind bank I was aiming for!

 

When I got it right, all hell was let loose - these trout were rather bigger than most burn trout and had hair-trigger reactions. One even leapt out of the water to intercept the fly before it hit the water! Once hooked, they went like guided missiles for the nearest snag, or jumped out of the water into the overhanging heather. Great sport. I must have had a dozen good fish.

 

I soon realised my fly was being taken for an orange-tailed bumble bee - large numbers of which were working the heather flowers, and getting blown into the burn by the fiercer gusts.

 

Dry-fly purism at its best - the hook even imitates the sting! I'm sure the large numbers of these plump bees explained why the trout were larger than most burn trout. A couple of three-quarter pounders kept for breakfast showed several bees plus other insects in the stomachs.

 

In view of the current furore over fish and bee-venom, I thought this might be of interest.

I'm sure the bees must sting the trout sometimes, but these fish were taking bees and my Orange Rory like there was no tomorrow, so stings can't have worried them much.

 

[ 01. May 2003, 05:56 PM: Message edited by: Vagabond ]

 

 

RNLI Governor

 

World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .

Certhia's world species - 215

Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato

...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...

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They weren't fighting when hooked......they were displaying a 'rocking motion' :D

 

[ 01. May 2003, 05:47 PM: Message edited by: Elton ]

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No mate, they were fighting, it was ME that was rocking :D:D

 

 

RNLI Governor

 

World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .

Certhia's world species - 215

Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato

...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...

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Vagabond:

No mate, they were fighting, it was ME that was rocking   :D      :D  

Conclusive proof that anglers feel pain.

 

Probably.

 

:D

 

Elton

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A size 8 is a bloody big Bee. Sounds like fishing at it's finest.

 

Along similar lines I'm hoping to hike up to a couple of the very remote Tarns in the lake district after the small wildies this Summer. Wife and Sprogs will be dropped off at her parents in Kendal leaving me free to do some 'proper' fishing. Can't wait.

Paul

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Size 8 it was - I didn't want the fish to overlook it :D:D

 

BTW that's an old Veniard fine wire size 8, not the meathooks sold nowadays. Some modern size 8 hooks are a full two sizes bigger than their Veniard counterparts.

 

Have a good time hillwalking and fishing. A halfpounder or better from a hill tarn after a long climb is one of life's great prizes.

 

[ 02. May 2003, 11:01 AM: Message edited by: Vagabond ]

 

 

RNLI Governor

 

World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .

Certhia's world species - 215

Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato

...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...

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Vagabond:

Back in 1997 Norma and I went for our usual fortnight on South Uist, after the seatrout.   That year there was little rain, waters were low, and few seatrout were being taken.

Once again, a pleasure to read Vagabond, I actually caught myself turning round to look at my rods :D

 

Alan(nl)

ANMC Founder Member. . www.the-lounge.org.uk/valley/

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