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Arrow Head Bluewater 9′ 3″ Saltwater 8/9 wt

Arrow head Blue water 9’ 3” Saltwater 8/9#

For far too long  I have owned various saltwater fly rods that have done the trick, that trusty old saying “that will do”.

Well when fishing for Mahseer in southern India, I was trying at lunch time to get one on the fly, a friend of mine asked for a cast and I handed him the rod….the look on his face said it all, he handed it back, and from that moment on regarding all fishing tackle “that will do won’t do”.

I went in search of a new saltwater fly rod.

Purely by chance when chatting to Charles Dutton, on a completely different topic, I ended up taking possession of a new Arrow Head rod to test drive on a trip to the Florida Key’s.

First trip out, 30 miles off shore, 9wt floating line armed with a large baitfish pattern, our guide spotted some Dorado, the rod loaded fairly quickly, and through the rings, sailed the line effortlessly towards the fish…..strip strike….fish on, not a monster maybe 5 pounds, but what fun.

Then I took a moment to go over the rod’s performance and realised that I was seriously impressed, the action was crisp and responsive, cast an impressive tight loop, it even handled a clumsy 10 wt sinking line in breezy conditions, fantastic in a mixture of situations, more than comfortable to wade and fish with all day, and a pleasure to play a fish on!

The cosmetics were up to standard, ample sized twin stripping guides, comfortable handle, and I rate highly the matt finish on the blank, comes complete with a bag and a very strong travel tube.

I have to be honest; it’s going to be a while before I consider any other saltwater fly rod!

 John Aplin

Check out this site, You might even like to treat yourself to a new rod……..            http://www.rightanglefishing.co.uk/

Fun with an Arrow Head saltwater fly rod….

Netting

Firstly its great to be back and back out with the “Riverworks” gang and I am glad to say we are busy, very busy.

All of our chalk stream beats are looking stunning, and after the storm passed over Dorset last night I suspect for the first time since Easter the Frome could be carrying a little extra water, I will explore later!

The rivers need a serious top up, but despite this there has been steady sport, particulary on the DFC fishing, you can take a look at their latest news letter http://www.grhe.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/DFC-Newsletter-2010.pdf

Check out these willow islands we built late last year.

My role as vice chairman of the Frome, Piddle and West Dorset Fisheries Association involves visiting all sorts of watery sites, and this week Charles, Luke and I went out into Poole harbour with the nets man who is responsible for the Salmon and Sea trout tagging program, in partnership with the http://www.gwct.org.uk/salmon

As always in this line of work there is always something else to learn, we headed down the Frome into Poole harbour, passing where the Piddle comes in, the scenery was absolutly stunning, and the wild life was amasing, what a valuable ecosystem.

As we went about our work, we heard, and discussed in great detail the on going poaching problem in Poole harbour, and more disturbing than the poaching is the fact that NOTHING is being done to protect our dwindling Salmon stocks……………….

The window on each tide for netting is about 15 minuites, slightly longer on the neap tides, could the areas at risk of poaching be watched during these short spells of slack water, apparently not!

Please get on to www.riverfrome.com and have your say.

Summer

We all have our favorite memories of the summer, I love spending time with family and friends, and eating fresh fish……I took this picture a couple of hours ago….

Back on the Frome

Great to be back on the Frome, it was my first call as we drove back into Dorset last week, as the gang said “we do need some rain” despite this the river looked in good order.

The Riverfly group has had their training day, a big thank you to Sarah Williams from the Dorset Wildlife Trust for running this day, we will be in touch with everyone over this comming week as to the way forward.

Tomorrow evening I will be seeing for myself what can go on in terms of Salmon poaching in Poole harbour, hearing the truth, seeing the sites, this I am looking forward to !

Our Frome Salmon population is in a seriously poor shape, once they make it up the river they are fairly safe, but getting through the harbour without ending up in some ones freezer is the tricky part, and little if nothing is being done to prevent this poaching, can you believe this!

I would like you to e mail your comments on this serious matter to me or get in touch with www.riverfrome.com

On a cheery note, I know some one fly fishing at Ferry bridge rang Elliot, who told them to ring that EA emergency hot line number (the one on your rod licence) about a boat catching undersized Bass and before they knew it there was an enforcement boat on the scene and the people on board issued with a warning!

Final count down

Only a couple of days to go and I will be returning to the UK, to see my family and to join the “riverworks” gang once more………

This past month has been the adventure of a life time, I remember when Scott and I first visited “Fish the Dream” and met Rodney and Helen it must have been at least five years ago, and back then the fishing was nothing short of awesome, the learning curve was off the scale and its getting better, fishery management at its finest…….

After I don’t know how many trips, Rodney asked me if I would mind lending a hand on the odd occasion….Being asked to help out one of the finest sport fishing operations in the Florida Keys, Thank you Rodney!

I mentally divided the trip into four sections, firstly time with Rodney and the boat, I think five days boat re-cap, radar, navigation etc and of course a little fishing……and the running of “Fish the Dream” guest accommodation, tackle rigging and how to wash, hoover and run the whole operation…..electronics and engine maintenance………

Secondly Adrian and Neil arrived to test my guiding skills to the absolute limit, these guys fish to the extreme, as many hours as they could mentally fit in, and as the weather was on our side, that’s what we did, they returned to the UK as I said having never experienced fishing like they had just taken part in……and they bought a fine bottle of wine for our last supper!

The third part of this adventure, the arrival of a party of four, with one goal, to catch their first Tarpon…….

I was an engine down and a little stressed, Skype came to the rescue, laptop and web cam, and Rodney back in the UK was able to talk me through the repairs before their arrival…….

All went extremely well, they had a cracking time, and despite an increase in the wind speed making fishing conditions a little tricky, they had some cracking fishing and David and Colin were thrilled to release their first Tarpon to just over the magical 100lb mark as well as a number of Sharks up to about 200 pounds out in the Gulf, as they said “we will be back”……

And now the final count down, I have just spent two days cleaning down, the guests accomodation, ready for the next group, boat jet washed and spotless and in between I found time to catch a 4oz Pin fish on a mayfly nymph………Maybe a Bonefish on the flats before I fly home on Tuesday, oh a large G&T and some sleep………