The sun shone down on Orvis’ patch of the Timsbury beat on The River Test yesterday as we hosted a press day for the good and the great from The Field, Shooting Gazette, Trout and Salmon, Grey Fox Blog, Etc. Magazine and Luxurious Magazine.
The day began with James Doyle, Orvis’ Fieldsports Manager, taking the beginners aside and teaching them the fundamentals of fly-fishing. As the journalists practised casting their lines on the grass all was peaceful and serene. That was until David’s (founder of Grey Fox) dog Harry, a bear of a Labrador who has more energy than a child on blue smarties, bounded across the field as he tried to join in. It soon became clear that not only did Harry love fly-fishing, but he also had a penchant for Barbour jackets and Schoffel gilets. On numerous occasions he was seen scampering away with the clothes dangling from his mouth. Our kind of dog then…
Armed with Orvis’ renowned Helios 2 Rods, Recon Rods and Encounter Rods, our journalists then strutted off down the winding beat to catch themselves a fish or two. After a few tangles and some altercations with trees and bushes, it seemed everyone was coming to grips with the art of fly-fishing.
However, the fish were being particularly elusive, hiding way below the surface, rarely rising for the tasty nymphs set for them to try and feed on. Even fly-fishing afishionado (sorry!), and Editor of The Field, Jonathan Young spent a good part of the afternoon trying to out-fox his fish, before finally hooking himself a beautiful brownie. The real battle commenced as his fish fought desperately to escape. Jonathan, having none of this, held on. After finally managing to yank the fish out from his hiding spot, deep under the weed, Mr. Young was crowned the victor.
Cheering him on was Marina Gibson, one of the young faces of fly-fishing. Marina makes fly-fishing look extraordinarily easy. With just a few flicks of her fly-line, she landed two fish in the morning, before anyone had even had the chance to pull on their Arxus wellies. Marina has been fishing from a very young age and has since been awarded her 1st4sport Level 1 Award in Coaching Angling.
Much like Orvis, Marina is keen to see more young women take up fly-fishing. An inspiring fisherwoman she has recently set up her own website, which charts her worldwide angling adventures and her endless passion for the sport. An excellent guide, Marina provided a good deal of support on the day, helping Kathryn catch her first trout!
Although yesterday was dedicated to fly-fishing, it was also the perfect excuse for a puppy reunion! Looking like a page out of Orvis’ latest dog catalogue, Lola Zambuni, was joined by two of her four puppies, the newly named Nell and Lily. Straight from the Orvis headquarters in Vermont, Orvis’ MD Adrian Woolford brought Nell for her first outing on the Test. Lily’s owners Fiona and Ian Richardson spent the day fishing with Lily and their sprocker Fern prancing about their feet. For one day only puppy pandemonium was back!
Looking down the line of the Timbsury beat, it was a fantastic sight to see journalists, both proficient and amateur fly-fishers, arcing their lines and landing them on the Orvis waters with such enthusiasm. That and seeing Lola reunited with half of her brood…