I’m having a good afternoon. More than a dozen trout have been in the net including four of around 15 inches. Some are a beautiful golden colour and were fooled into rising for a small deer hair emerger and a danica mayfly. Hopefully years from now, days like this is will be dragged back as memories to smile for.
I’ve lost track of time a little and I’m surprised to see that it’s almost an hour later than I think. I decide to fish the slower glide in front of me before heading home and besides, I’ve spotted at least two risers.
One trout in particular is rising regularly, ahead and almost in the middle of the river. I edge very slowly to the left and decide that I can get almost level with the fish. The angle of the light has changed and will make keeping track of the fly that much more difficult. I’ve a long leader and the same emerger pattern that has taken ten trout today.
My first cast is good and the fly tracks right over him, so does the second. Nothing. Another rise.
So I haven’t put him down. Fly change time. On goes the mayfly, also successful today. Another two drifts and another two refusals. Perhaps I’m too close and he’s spotted me, but as I prepare to back off there is another rise, more prominent than before. I can’t see what he’s taking so I decide to go small.
A size twenty F fly tests my eyesight to the limit but I’ve developed a lot of confidence in the fly over the years. Unfortunately, I get the same result.
Another half a dozen casts with a small adams and a small wulff variant sees my frustration grow. Each time the trout rises as before sometimes with a splash and sometimes just a sip and each rise is within the same eighteen square inches. Perhaps my drift is not as good as I think, perhaps there is more drag than I can see, maybe I should have tried a terrestrial, who knows…
I decide to leave him to it and as I clamber up the bank I see him rise once more as if to rub it in. Today, one little trout definately got the better of me.
I resolve that there will be other days like this one to commit to memory and that I have some unfinished business on this small stretch of water. I will study harder, learn more and practice until I get luckier.
In the meantime, Scotland’s anthem comes to mind. The bit that goes “and sent him homeward, to think again”.