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As a part-time rodbuilder, I have to use a lot of time that I would otherwise spend with the family (or sleeping) to complete projects and meet deadlines. So, when the oppurtunity comes along to roll some fishing, bluelining, spending time with the family, and the search for possible rodbuilding materials all together, I jump at it!

Logan (back) and Jaden enjoying the icey cold water

You'll notice the pants are soaked - no problem in -1 degree weather!!


There is a little (actually tiny) tributary that flows into the Bell river on the farm, and I have always been quite keen to walk up it to see if there is any possibility of it holding and sustaining a population of wild trout. Sadly, the seasonal flows of this little line does not lend itself to that, but that is the way bluelining goes I guess. What was a major find however was the grove of Silver Birch trees that lined it's banks. I have been playing around with this for a little while, and having access to a steady supply of this material gives me a lot of freedom in experimenting with it.

A fallen Silver Birch can be seen above Logan's head

Wonderful Silver Birch Bark, ready to be harvested

I also had the great pleasure of meeting Agostino Gaglio in this trip. Snowy weather for the weekend was predicted, but on the Monday the morning was surprisingly warm, and also quite windless. We hit the road to Balloch, in search of wild brown trout
. The upper section of the Vlooikraalspruit (The Willowstream) is one of a few streams in the area that hold wild browns. There are others, but the going to get there is tough, and seeing a brown, nevermind hooking one is always sure to keep you humble. The Vlooikraalspruit was unaffected by the run-off from melting snow, and looked pretty much perfect as we stopped for the obligatory peek at the bridge before you turn into Balloch.

After a quick hello and permit-payment at the main house, we hit the stream. As always, one of Margie's dogs kept us company on the section below the waterfall, and at times got in the way a bit. But, Margie's dogs are woderful animals, and you can't stay too angry at them for long. I spotted a nice fish holding nervously in a slow glide. After creaping down to within casting distance (Ago taking pics) I spooked the brown, without the fly even touching the water. This was an indication of what was to follow the rest of the day ...

After a slightly nervous moment in Agostino's truck up the waterfall (or rather, attempt at going up the waterfall), we had a streamside lunch that you would be hard pressed to find in some fine restaurants! We pushed up to the falls, and the fishing was pretty much similar to what we experienced below ... TOUGH. Fish we spotted bolted as quick as you could raise a rod (remind me to experiment a little more with matt blanks and hardware), and the day proved fishless. It was still however an amazing day out on the water, with a wonderfully passionate fisherman, and a person I now consider my friend! Thank you very much Agostino - I hope saving your truck was a little bit of payback for the wonderul day with you on the stream!


Balloch, through the lense of Agostino G. Gaglio
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