Easy Like a Sunday Morning – Orvis Alumni Event

Written by: Isobella Ash

Nature makes us happier, healthier and more creative. It’s a fact. Getting out of the hustle and bustle of the city, switching off from the endless noise, turning the phone off and simply appreciating being in the great outdoors should be a habit, not a treat.

Fly Fishing provides the perfect pathway to nature. Last Sunday, members of the Orvis Alumni and the 50 50 On the Water campaign gathered on the banks of the River Test on the Orvis Kimbridge beat for a day of fishing and friendship. The weather was perfect, the water was crystal clear and the trout could be tantalisingly seen under the surface so the anglers just needed to work out what fly would tempt them.

Rachael and Stuart, the guides for the day, had an impressive number of England caps between them ensuring that all the anglers were in good hands. There was a broad range of experience from complete novice to enthusiastic trout fishermen. No matter the experience they were provided with Orvis Rods, Orvis Reels, and sunglasses for the day, easing the transition to the water.

Stuart in mid-demonstration

The day started with coffee and pastries while Claire Zambuni and Rachael Brady, held the introductory talk explaining the day’s relaxed itinerary, describing the kit proved as well as some health and safety advice. The less experienced were then taken onto the riverbank for a casting workshop.

Experienced angler Kate Fensterstock started fishing from the bank immediately and took Claire Sadler with her to look for an early trout. While the novice anglers lined the bank and practised their new casting skills until they felt riverside ready.

The morning passed in the blink of an eye and before we knew it we were having a relaxed and delicious lunch on the bank provided by Kingfisher Hampers. They delivered a mouth-watering selection of sandwiches, pies, quiche, fruit kebabs and tiffin as the group talked tippet and flies.

There were plenty of fish caught. John, a coarse fisherman, had never been fly fishing before although it was definitely a case of beginner’s luck as he proceeded to catch 8 trout that day, catch and release naturally.

Dannielle Norman is the founder of women’s platform Get Out Girl who promotes mental wellbeing from getting into the outdoors caught her first ever fish. She was using an Orvis Helios 3 and needed to be as accurate as possible as the fish were being very finicky. However, she had success using a size 18 gold head hares ear in the top Ginger Beer Pool. Dannielle had recently taken up fly fishing and while she had caught the bug of being outside and the calming motion of fly fishing, catching a fish had eluded her. She is now most definitely a ‘flygirl’.

Dannielle Norman and our River Keeper Tom Skipsey

It was wonderful to see so many women on the bank. With the worrying statistic of only 3% of fishing licences being sold to women, Orvis are committed to getting more women on the river bank and actively making this happen. Being so absorbed in nature can only inspire and activate an interest in conservation making us all more environmentally aware.

If you are tempted to join us this season, we have a couple of rods left on our days so get in touch and email claire@zambuni.com

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