Freemasons’ Hall Ashbourne 

Fly Fishers' Lodge No 9347

A BRIEF HISTORY

Men enjoy the company of those of like mind and interest. The Founders of this lodge, all Flyfishermen, know well that there exists among Flyfishermen a spirit of fraternity peculiarly compatible with and, indeed, similar to that which exists among Freemasons. Hence the inspiration to combine the Angle with the Square.

There are precedents for forming lodges by Brethren who have in common their profession; their interests; their old school etc. The Founders of this lodge are Brethren of the Angle (to quote Izaak Walton) and Brothers on the Square.

The modern reader does find Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative Man’s Recreation sometimes at variance with the Art as now practiced but the philosophy he propounds with his advice and instruction appeals to Freemasons today as it has appealed to Anglers for 300 years, both finding therein moral truths and philosophical comfort particularly compatible with the teachings of Freemasonry.

The Founders of Flyfishers’ Lodge believe it to be appropriate to combine the teachings of Freemasonry with the philosophy of Izaak Walton and to make of it a recreation amid the pleasures of our dining table attended by men of like mind.

As the gentle art of catching a trout from the river Dove features prominently in The Compleat Angler, it is appropriate that Flyfishers’ Lodge should be a Derbyshire Lodge; it is hoped that a feature will be a membership drawn from fly fishing Freemasons universally.

(An extract from the first annual essay of Flyfishers’ Lodge dated 9th December 1989)

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*Please note: For all enquiries relating to Fly Fishers Lodge, please in the first instance Email their Secretary at jhfs@btinternet.com 

Admin Contact:

Bro Simon Meredith

Mob: 07801 282 036

Email: admin@ashbournemasons.org.uk

Fly Fishers' LODGE - EVENTS 2023-4

Fri 22 Sep 23 – 5.30 pm Lodge meeting

Sat 23 Mar 24 – 4.30 pm  Installation

Fri 14 Jun 24 – 5.30 pm Lodge meeting

Lodge News

Brethren

I thought it about time to give an update on the events, held as part of our programme of fishing so far this season:

David Carter’s Annual Charity Fishing Day at the Eyebrook Reservoir took place on Saturday 15th April and a total of sixteen anglers, including seven from the Flyfishers’ Lodge took part.  On arrival the weather conditions were the exact opposite of  the Met Office forecast but fairly quickly became the predicted fine sunny day with a moderate southwesterly breeze. There was huge buzzer hatch going on most of the day  and the fish were taking maximum advantage of the opportunity. It gave us what was undoubtedly the best day buzzer fishing I’ve had in years and most of us had a very productive and enjoyable day fishing set as it was in the  very picturesque backdrop of the Eyebrook in early Spring. I’m pleased to be able to report that the traditional post event buffet tea went well and combined with the raffle the event made a a total of £217 for David Carter’s chosen Cancer Research Charity. Many thanks to all those who took part. 

 

Our visit to Spring Lakes took place on Saturday 29th April, courtesy of John Davison and David Newton who hosted us there and John along with his wife and son , were there to greet us on arrival. In attendance were John Smith, Colin Dimond, Peter Maguire and myself  and we were  joined later in the morning by David Newton. The weather on the day remained overcast but apart from a few drops around lunchtime, the forecast rain held off until we were all well on our way home. From the  time we arrived until the time of our departure in the late afternoon, fish seemed to be rising everywhere in the gin clear water of all four lakes. However, the fish were very picky and rejected many of our early offerings until the Davison’s showed us how it was done on Black Buzzers ( if I remember correctly?). At lunchtime, the Davison’s treated us all to a super BBQ accompanied by a few beers and then cake and cheese for afters. Although we all caught on a variety of patterns in the morning, most successful on the day and particularly so in the afternoon were dry patterns such as Griffith’s Gnats ( with which the Dr Smith’s dogged perseverance eventually paid dividends for him!) , Palamino  CDC Midges, Kate McLaren  Hoppers and something resembling a Hawthorn Fly (tied and put to good use by our Master of Wine,  Colin Dimond! ) . Peter Maguire got  smashed twice by a couple of huge fish on the topmost lake but enjoyed considerable success thereafter. My final fish of the day came late in the afternoon, in the form of a small but beautifully marked  Brown Trout that succumbed to a black nymph fished on a long leader and slow sink and draw retrieve. It turned out to be a most enjoyable day for us all  and special thanks must go to John Davison and his family who worked so hard to make sure it was so.

 

The St Oswald’s Plate competition, organised by Tony Higton, took place on a very windy and at times challenging Carsington Water, on Thursday 4th May. The event was well attended so the contesting  teams were fairly evenly matched, with a total of nine Flyfishers’ Lodge brethren taking part in conjunction with brethren from St Oswald’s Lodge and elsewhere. Right up until a few days before, conditions at Carsington had been nigh on  perfect and, sparked by our recent success at Eyebrook,  Andrew Rorison and myself had been looking forward to some excellent buzzer fishing on long drifts along the Tower Bank but it was not to be. Some competitors did persevere with buzzer and nymphing tactics in the lee areas of shelter to be found in the easterly bays  but success favoured the brave ( or more desperate?) amongst us in the open and deeper water areas around the main basin. Fast sinking lines and short leaders allied to lure and booby patterns of all descriptions seemed to be most successful. Bernie Maher and David Marriott realised that the fish were holding at about 16ft down which favoured sinking line tactics on fast drifts. However, staying out in the open areas meant getting battered by rolling waves with white tips the whole time we were out there. Regardless of the windy easterly weather,  it  was an enjoyable day and after fishing had ended and the weigh in had taken place,  a dozen or so of us made our way to the Nags Head hostelry at Hulland Ward  for a most enjoyable meal and well deserved beverage.  If you’ve not yet read Tony’s synopsis of the day, I’m pleased to be able to report that the Flyfishers’ Lodge won the St Oswald’s Plate once again and the David Bowen Memorial Plate for the biggest fish of the day ( nudging 4lbs) was won by Darren Dolman. Thanks once again to Tony Higton  for organising the event with his characteristic 100%+ commitment to the task of doing so. 

 

I look forward to seeing at least some of you again at our MTSFC Disabled and Disadvantaged Childrens Fishing Day at Yeaveley next Monday 15th May followed then by our first visit of the year to Thorpe Malsor Fishery on Wednesday 31st May,  joining details and instructions for which will be issued the week before. 

 

As I have to finalise numbers with Thorpe Malsor Fishery proprietor Chris Butcher sometime during the next week or so, it would be a great help to me if you could please inform me, by  simple reply  to this email, of your intentions whether or not you will be attending.

 

Finally, our visit to Gifford in the province of East Lothian and Berwickshire, Scotland , for the WM’s Fishing Away Weekend is just under four weeks away now. Presently there are  twelve of us confirmed as attending but should anyone else wish to join in,  you will be most welcome to do so. Both the Tweedale Arms and adjacent  Goblin Hotel still have accommodation available.

 

Many thanks and kind regards

 

David

D. M. Thelwall

WM and Acting Master of Fishing 

Flyfishers’ Lodge No. 9347

Freemasons’ Hall Ashbourne
Cokayne Ave,
Ashbourne,
Derbyshire

DE6 1EJ

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