Given the awful wet winter followed by enforced late start to the season, like many, I’m unsure how the fly fishing will unfold. So far, I’m pleasantly surprised by the quality and quantity of trout.
There has now been several days of rain, flushing the river and providing a much needed top up. In the early afternoon sunshine the river looks magnificent and ready for us.
A friend and I are looking forward to a day picking up trout on dry flies and spending time on the river in beautiful countryside. The river is at a perfect height with just enough colour to help us stay hidden. We could do with a little more cloud cover, but none the less, we are both surprised by how quiet the river is – the fish just aren’t playing ball.
With very few rises to cover, we prospect the many likely runs, back eddies and overhangs where trout like to hang out.
A few trout make some half hearted attempts, but this is one of those day’s when nothing sticks. A couple of smaller fish and one decent brown take a pheasant tail in some of the deeper pockets but the dry fly fails us. I don’t think I’ve peered so intensely at the river, searching for the faintest sign.
A cold beer lifts the mood and we set about enjoying the river. Perhaps a shift to another beat will bring more fortune and an evening rise.
A short drive, more searching…same outcome.
In the fading light, watching a gorgeous pool, I spot just a few bubbles directly in front of me, a few inches from the far bank. The fish (if it’s a fish) is in a small gap between two overhanging branches. A roll cast and shooting some line might work, together with a slice of luck. The fly bounces off a leaf and lands perfectly and for a few seconds is still, in the absence of a current.
The trout does not rise so much as suck the fly under with hardly a sound. I tighten and the pool erupts. Despite my best effort to knock him off with the net, eventually I have him. A lovely wild brown at 16″.
Memories are made from days like this.
A lovely afternoon on the river, friendship and good conversation, plus a cast that I probably couldn’t make again if I practiced every hour of every day. When people ask what it is about fly fishing I love, these days I can only manage a smile.