Last week some of the Zambuni team began an early morning drive to the River Test to enjoy a morning of fishing on the Timsbury Beat number 5. Upon arrival we found that our hosts, Orvis, had laid out a beautiful spread of coffee and muffins and that the fresh morning sun was burning off the dew drops covering the surrounding meadow. As the sun rose further in the sky and the rest of the guests arrived, excitement began to bubble over for what promised to be a truly great day.
Amongst the guests were legendary fishermen and women, Paul Procter, Damon Valentine and Bec de Bois, as well as Orvis instructors and Nick Weston of Hunter Gather Cook. Press, fishing experts and friends alike all enjoyed their brews from Orvis branded thermos flasks whilst Richard Banbury of Orvis spoke on their brand new rod, the Helios 3.
As a keen yet very ignorant novice to fishing, I was excited to try out the rod which was clearly impressing so many of those who had far greater experience. As Richard concluded his explanation of the Helios’ highlights the group collected their rods and headed to the river bank. A silent hush then seemed to fall as everyone stalked along the bank in hunt of a sighting of their prey. I was lucky enough to be taken under the wing of Paul Proctor himself who explained the best parts of the river to find fish and where best to position a cast. Having passed a few Trout who seemed unimpressed by the tempting bait, Paul reeled in a couple of Grayling and let me have a look before releasing them into the stream.
We passed others who were having varying degrees of success but who all seemed more than content to enjoy the sunshine, the beautiful surroundings and the smooth and efficient abilities of the Helios 3. When we regathered for a phenomenal lunch of grilled burgers and fresh salads the chat around the tables and camp chairs was full of praise for this impressive new kit – and it wasn’t long before everyone was brushing off their trousers, picking up their rods and dashing back to the river to make as much of their time with the Helios 3 as possible.
Unlucky for Paul but very lucky for me, he was then roped into giving me a lesson on casting technique. I was amazed by the level of concentration and technique required to achieve a satisfactory cast, but could quickly tell how satisfying it would be to have the motion mastered. Reluctantly, I eventually let Paul say his farewells and joined some of the others around the Beat.
It was wonderful to see people who had never met before giving each other advice and swapping tales, and even more fantastic to hear how much everyone had enjoyed the new rod. A huge thank you is extended to the Orvis team for organising the day and for letting us try out the new kit. I, for one, can easily imagine how fishing addicts and experts alike will get ‘hooked’ on this rod.