The day started the same as many of my fishing trips start, with a trip to the drive through coffee shop. With coffee in hand I headed off to a new stretch of the River Don that I had been told by the local tackle shop holds a lot of chub, perch, barbel and even carp along with silver fish.

My aim for this year is to catch as many new species of coarse fish on the fly rod as I can. The only course fish to date that I have specifically targeted is pike.

The aim of this trip was to try and mainly target perch and chub. I went equipped with my 9′ #5 rod and new OPST command head line. To the end of this I had attached a 8′ intermediate leader down to 6′ of 10lb fluorocarbon. The fly I chose to start was a fairly large woolly bugger.

I made my way up and down the river bank casting in all the likely “fishy” spots. I was finding that due to the OPST line being a shooting head style line it was allowing me to fish in some extremely tight locations where I would not be able to cast with a standard fly line.

I tried various flies and retrieve techniques with no success. Im not sure if this was due to weather, river conditions or my choice of flies.

I eventually found myself in a very tight spot trying to cast out fairly far to the other bank. I zig zagged the line onto the surface of the water to create an anchor for the cast. I then lifted the rod tip and hammered it forward to punch the line out across the river. Unfortunately perhaps due to poor technique or try to cast to much line I managed to snap my rod in half.

This brought an end to the day and a first blank of the year. I think the stretch I was fishing has great potential and will definitely be back there soon.

The quest for coarse fish on the fly continues…