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Yorkshire Post - Country Week

2018 Fly Fishing Monthly Articles

Since April 2005 Roger Beck and Stephen Cheetham produce a fly fishing column in the Country Week section of the Yorkshire Post once a month.

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Here are the monthly articles, published in 2018, which we trust you will enjoy reading:

The Shrimp

 

January 2018

The Shrimp

Do you experience those days when the flesh is willing but the spirit is weak? Oh good, then I’m not alone.

For the last couple of weeks, here in Ryedale, there has been a bit of a nip in the air. One morning, as I set off on a feather harvesting foray, the thermometer in the back yard registered minus seven degrees. This was a double disappointment because it was barely light; regular readers will know that I am (allegedly) not at my best before noon. There was a sprinkling of snow on the ground and a slick of ice on the road, which reflected the half-moon that was slowly expiring below the south western sky line. I suppose that some would say that this was a wonderful and seasonal landscape; had it materialised a little closer to noon, I might have agreed but at silly am. it barely impinged upon my somnolent senses. Common sense kicked in and I decided to delay my embarkation by one cup of coffee in order to allow the gritter to do its thing.

As I headed east, there was a strange red light in the sky; I later discovered that this was sun-rise; I live and learn.

My journey took me over the Rye Bridge in Helmsley; the river snaked silently across the meadows, carrying a very “fishable” volume of water but looking surprisingly clear. I slowed as I drew level with the parapet and momentarily scrutinised the slick, meandering flow as it headed on its journey to meet up with the Yorkshire Derwent further to the east. I hasten to add that this was an entirely safe manoeuvre; nobody else in their right mind would be abroad at that nonsensical time of day.

All day, the image of the clear cold water preyed upon my mind; I had not ventured out with rod and line for too long and the old familiar yearning started an itch at corners of my consciousness. Two days later, the itch was unbearable and just had to be scratched. This is where the weak flesh raises its intrusive head but when the itch persists, common sense dissipates like a morning mist. At the sight of rods and nets being assembled, Management was scathing and sentences alluding to age and foolishness resounded through the house.

During the shortest days of the year, fishing expeditions are best confined to the couple of hours around noon, for which I am eternally grateful. However, as I left the house around 11.30, the thermometer registered only two degrees; under these climatic conditions, thermals are essential apparel. At the risk of offering too much information might I commend to you overlapping wicking underwear such that the John Longs can be pulled over the long vest creating a double layer of wadding around the anatomical equator. Two more fleece layers follow, enveloping both hemispheres, then the waders with a wind proof shell to complete the sartorial set up. Now, this creates something akin to the Michelin Man which makes driving a bit of a challenge so it’s best to travel to the waterside in just the thermals before donning outer layers. Apologies to the dog walkers who may take some time to recover from the sight of grey thermals silhouetted against the winter skyline.   

In cold weather, grayling are suckers for a heavy shrimp pattern trundled along the gravel; eventually a nice plump fish made a timely appearance. The thermals were beginning to ruckle up inside the waders creating a certain discomfort that defies description. Emerging from the water, I undertook a major and vigorous restructuring of the lagging and made my contented way home to a warm fireside and a soporific sampling of sloe gin.

Shrimp fly pattern

Narrative by Roger Beck

Fly by Stephen Cheetham.  0113 2507244.  www.fishingwithstyle.co.uk

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February 2018

 

Flies dressed by Stephen Cheetham.  0113 2507244.  www.fishingwithstyle.co.uk

Narrative by Roger Beck                    01439 788483

 

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 March 2018

 

Flies dressed by Stephen Cheetham.  0113 2507244.  www.fishingwithstyle.co.uk

Narrative by Roger Beck                    01439 788483

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April 2018

 

Flies dressed by Stephen Cheetham.  0113 2507244.  www.fishingwithstyle.co.uk

Narrative by Roger Beck                    01439 788483

 

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May 2018

Flies dressed by Stephen Cheetham.  0113 2507244.  www.fishingwithstyle.co.uk

Narrative by Roger Beck                    01439 788483. 

 

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June 2018

 

Flies dressed by Stephen Cheetham.  0113 2507244.  www.fishingwithstyle.co.uk

 

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July 2018

 

Fly and Narrative by Roger Beck                    01439 788483. 

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August 2018

 

Flies dressed by Stephen Cheetham.  0113 2507244.  www.fishingwithstyle.co.uk

Narrative by Roger Beck                    01439 788483. 

 

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September 2018

 

Flies dressed by Stephen Cheetham.  0113 2507244.  www.fishingwithstyle.co.uk

Narrative by Roger Beck                    01439 788483. 

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October 2018

 

Flies dressed by Stephen Cheetham.  0113 2507244.   sales@fishingwithstyle.co.uk

Narrative by Stephen Cheetham

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 November 2018

 

Narrative by Roger Beck 

Fly by Stephen Cheetham

Fly Photo by Steve Haithwaite

 

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December 2018

 

Narrative by Roger Beck 

Fly by Stephen Cheetham

Fly Photo by Steve Haithwaite

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