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I had already been thrashing the water for a couple of years when I first visited Chatsworth angling fair with my childhood fishing buddy who being a few years older, was educating me in the world of fly fishing.
After watching the famous “maggot vs. fly” on the river (maggot won) we sauntered back down the A6 in the blistering summer heat. I was clutching a small fly rod which I had bought at the wonderful second-hand tent which was always a source of joy at the fair.
There are many tiny brooks and streams around this area and being local we knew them all. Arriving at one of my favorites, we slowly leaned over the bank motionless like herons for 5 minutes, sure enough, after a few minutes, a few small shadows emerged from under the bank. We inched our way back away from the stream and my friend took the end section of my fly rod and tied on about three feet of leader to the tip ring. I can’t remember what fly he tied on but I think it was a small black gnat which was dunked in the water to make it sink. Then like army sniper’s we slid along the floor on our bellies and slowly peered back out over the stream.
With a tiny flick, my friend maneuvered the fly in front of one of the shadows which lurched instantly to the side as it took our offering. With no reel and only a few feet of leader, we hoisted our prize from the tiny brook. It was a Perch. I can only guess how a Perch came to reside in this fast little brook, I reckon some of the locals children who had a habit of bringing coarse fish home in buckets had released them after becoming bored with their new pets. I have never seen a perch there since.