It’s not a part of the world that I know very well, although I’ve worked in nearby Yeovil. Apart from some country walks in glorious early autumn weather, I wanted to go to Chesil Beach to check whether it really is all it’s cracked up to be as a beach fishing venue. It is! Here we are at Abbotsbury, with a stiff southwesterly breeze, looking eastwards.
So a winter beach fishing trip definitely needs to be scheduled.
This is Hardy country, and Jean is a fan of the great novelist. So when, on our travels, we spotted a sign to the Hardy monument, we detoured to see it. As, no doubt, thousands of others have before us, we didn’t realise until we got there that it was a memorial to a different Thomas Hardy; not the author but the chap to whom Nelson allegedly addressed his dying words, “Kiss me, Hardy”. We couldn’t climb to the top because it’s closed for repairs, but even from the car park the view along the south coast is spectacular.
I took advantage of our location to get some elementary tuition in fly casting. I’m a rank beginner, so the picture will amuse experienced game fishermen. But with guidance, I eventually managed to get a fly somewhere near my target area.
And, most important for my morale, I actually caught a trout. OK, it was a stockie, and of modest size, but I couldn’t have been more pleased if I’d broken a world record.
I let him go, of course. I couldn’t eat my first gallant opponent.