Earlier in the month, given the effects of the summer heatwave, if you have asked the Eyebrook tuition duo of Jobe Burnham and Lee Henfrey, what they thought the likelihood of four beginners catching on their upcoming boat tuition day would have been I am sure the question would properly have been met with a very downbeat negative response. Fast forward two weeks and it was a very different reply when I asked them what they thought of the conditions ahead of day last Sunday. Both Jobe & Lee were full of enthusiasm & optimism at the prospects. The cooler weather was having a positive impact in reducing the surface water temperatures, which had dipped to below the 20°C marker.
The guys played host to four eager participants in what was Eyebrook’s first boat tuition day of the year. An earlier date in July had been cancelled due to the hot weather. A mixed bag for Jobe & Lee, with three complete beginners and one experienced bank angler, who was attending the day to learn the art of boat craft. The day started, as with all our tuition days, in a classroom session, looking firstly at entomology and moving onto balanced tackle. All were soon clearly enthused & enthralled as the full contents of England International Lee Henfrey’s fly box was displayed on the floor for inspection & envy. This ensured a great open discussion, looking at the names of different flies and learning how they imitate the natural insects so abundant at Eyebrook.
With all the questions and discussion flying around, the classroom hour flew by with heads filled with new and exciting fly fishing knowledge, not to mention an abundance of new jargon! After a five minute coffee break it was time to get out on the grass armed with the latest gear from Vision, Sage, Redington, and RIO. Jobe got the casting session underway by demonstrating the basic casts to the excited group. After 10 mins the 3 complete beginners where making good progress. However, this casting session wasn’t just intended to get them to a standard where they could effectively present a fly. Jobe & Lee also looking at improving the already existing skills of David, our experienced fly fishermen. Jobe decided that this would be the perfect time to teach him to double haul to help take his casting to the next level with added distance. Amazingly, once Jobe had broken the cast down into its key elements, David picked it up like a duck to water and very soon was hauling like he has been doing it for years. I would call that a fantastic feat in such a brief session. Also, under Lee’s watchful eye, all three novices were also shooting and casting a very presentable straight line. During lunch both Jobe and Lee told me that they felt confident that all had progressed so well that they had the skillset to land those first trout from the boat.
So, after lunch the two boats headed out onto the water with David & Nick under the watchful eye of Lee and the father and son team of Max & Tom aided by Jobe.
Both started with an explanation of the workings and how to start up & operate the petrol outboards. After this a short motor was made up the bank to Dogwood Bay & The Bell for a safe anchoring demonstration. Astonishingly, about 2 minutes after the anchor had set and fishing had commenced, Tom’s rod hooped over and he found himself excitedly playing his first lively Eyebrook rainbow! The fish took a liking to Tom’s orange foam daddy fished just off the Bell.
Having seen this, and not one to get beaten, Lee gave instruction for David to motor the boat just off the Valve Tower so they could try some drifting with a drogue. This proved to be a good call as no sooner had the drogue set than David was into his first ever trout from a boat too. The action did not stop as, after only another two minute or so, David was into yet another! Not to be left out of the action Jobe explained to Tom and Max that perhaps drifting was the best tactic in order to cover more water to seek out roving pods of fish.
Once again this proved to be the correct call as once the drift has begun it was Dad Max’s turn to hook into his first acrobatic rainbow. During the course of the afternoon great sport was enjoyed by all with everybody catching and learning new casting & boat handling skills. The final tally of fish to the net was a very creditable nine. This really was a great testament to the tuition & guidance provided by both Jobe and Lee who were pleased to have proudly watched the guys cast & fish successfully for those critically important first catches.
After the success of the day Jobe and Lee now eagerly anticipate the next tuition day, this time from Eyebrook’s banks on Saturday 8th September to book a please click here.
Guiding & Tuition Manager