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The last Fly Fair? ...we hope not!
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The Bream Busters
We arrived at the hotel Postillon, which is the place where the tyers traditionally stay during the show. After having checked in, I proceeded to meet with Bart and Herman Schibli in the lobby. Our plan was to go fishing for bream in the river IJssel, which runs right by the Fly Fair. I had never caught a bream on a fly before, and wanted urgently to pursue the matter.
Things worked a bit against us, though - the traffic was hell and the gas station, where we were supposed to buy licenses was gone! Bart made a quick decision: we would poach! As we could probably only put in an hour or so we cordially agreed not to feel bad about the fact.
Bart had tied up a lot of the typical IJssel nymphs - heavy and colorful. He passed a handful to each of us and after having put on waders and readied the rods we headed for the water.
Bream and roach are fished along the banks of the large and murky IJssel. They come here to spawn, and play amongst the reeds in the shallow, slow flowing water. It is amazing that the fish can see a fly, as visibility is only a few centimeters. In spite of this you fish the flies fairly fast and on the bottom - the weight will see to that. The bottom is very soft and silty, and as soon as you stop moving the water will start rising - or rather you will sink in. The current is moderate although detectable.
The short trip was a clear success! The fishing was fun although casting the extremely heavy nymphs was somewhat a challenge. Herman and I each landed a couple of weighty bream and lost a few too. I saw bream jumping in the middle of the river - a sight I had never expected.
We returned to the hotel and joined the others for the traditional Eve of the Fly Fair - a banquet, where all the organizers and participants get together. Over drinks in the hotel bar we were baptized the Bream Brothers. Later someone converted that into the Bream Brothers and even later it was transformed to the Bream Busters - a title we accepted with honor!