Waters & words

My Space

I don’t know if all us fly-fishermen are afflicted with this thing, but I suspect most of us are. Just take a look at our fly vests. A myriad of pockets, zips, buckles and zingers. And if we fish with a backpack, you can be sure it will have hidden pouches, rain cover, waterproof key pocket, secreted expansion zip and the like. Fly boxes: row upon row of little compartments that clip open. And then there is the fly tying desk!

This thing is a haven of compartments that slide open, snap closed, zip shut, and slide away. Well mine is anyway. My brother is a master carpenter you see. Added to that, my father loves a project, and my wife is a compassionate woman. So between the them they conspired and arranged , having secret meetings and phone calls, for months on end it turns out. Then one day there was a particular enthusiasm for tea out at my brother’s place, and I went with the flow, oblivious to the impending pinnacle of their devious dealings.

Let’s just say I had a silly grin on my face as I stood there in his workshop, and that sheet was pulled away to reveal this work of art. ‘* A grin that, in an inner sense has not departed, and which broadened when the desk was permitted pole position in the corner of the lounge.

It is made of Mahogany. It has a dozen draws of differing sizes, and ten compartments of different configurations. There is a tool caddy, a spool tray, little plastic drawers for beads , sliding trays for plastic boxes. When the main working surface is lifted and locked away, it reveals a wooden inlay of a leaping Trout, done in a variety of rare woods.

I polish it a lot. I can’t help myself.

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The desk is of course just part of this nook into which I escape to draw maps, tie flies, read books, and make up leaders. The room centres around a rough brick fireplace, the mantle-piece of which is piled high with books, that long ago overflowed from the various bookshelves. Two stuffed Trout adorn the walls, and hey, I know that’s not PC anymore, but I like them. A Rainbow and a Brown. The artwork on the walls is all Trout water of course, and my grandfather’s cane rod and wicker creel are on display.

This place is my escape on a rainy day or a cold evening.

The kids call it “the fish lounge”.

‘* Brother says NO, he won’t make you one too.

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