For a very good reason, today is not the best day. I feel a sadness and sense of relief in equal measure.
I want to spend a little time by myself and head to the river, not sure if I will fish. It’s a warm late afternoon, the river looks perfect and the first thing I see is a solitary Yellow May Dun fighting the gentle breeze.
Close to where I park the car, I sit on the bank and watch the river. It’s shallow on my side, shelving away to a faster ripple. The middle of a typical pool and sure to hold a trout.
I didn’t come here to catch a fish, but after about ten minutes I see a small rise just upstream and slightly off the food seam. I watch the fish rise again and decide to make a cast. I land the fly upstream of the rise and at the same time I’m telling myself I’m a foot short, the fly disappears in a swirl. I lift and tighten gently.
The brown trout jumps once and pulls strongly to get downstream. I manage to hold him on a fairly light tippet and guide him into the net.
The twelve inch brownie punches above his weight and as I unhook him, I’m aware that I release the first smile of the day. Today, there are only a few things that can lift my mood and this is one of them. I feel no compulsion to look for another fish.
When I start the engine it’s exactly thirty minutes since I parked up. I drive home better prepared and in a better frame of mind. A few days ago I was catching trout and laughing, today the same activity is giving me a different type of energy. This is a wonderful thing that we do.