After a very hectic few weeks at work and the not so seasonable weather, I really wanted to get out but with a mixture of the rivers being closed and the Bream, Tench and Carp months not started yet I decided to grab a fly rod and go in search of Brown Trout in what had to have been the best weather we've seen in 6 months, so not to waste a good opportunity I headed out very light with a small selection of flies, hoping to wet a net for the first time in a month.
The day got off to a slow start with a number of good swims worked and spotting a few Trout amongst the ranunculus but no takes on the fly, my main choices for the fly were, pheasant tail nymph, blue flash damsel and the black buzzer which have all in the past done good things, so today I stuck to what I know best and but the wind had other ideas, for the entire session it blew and I found it very hard sometimes to muster a cast without a dreaded bird's nest or the fly or line ending up in the bankside vegetation, not to be disheartened by the constant bombardment I picked swims where I had the wind either behind me or blowing downstream.
The river looked in immaculate condition with it looking probably the best I've ever seen it and a couple of other fly anglers said the same thing as we had a conversation about the local riff raff still fishing the river for the coarse species with feeder rods and pellet rigs, between us 3 guys who were fishing the correct method, we saw another 4 that weren't and flouting the law, but where are the powers that be to put a stop to it??
It took nearly an hour to register my first interest from a Trout which fell to the pheasant tail almost as it hit the surface a nice swirl was created as a brownie just under a 2lb nailed the fly.
Just what the doctor ordered after a baron spell of a month, a fine scrap I will add as well, giving me about 5 huge leaps into the air one of which must have been 3ft or more, Olympian trout indeed. Note the wind blew off me hair as well!!! it was that strong.
Next swim and I managed to stumble on to two brownies both of which were under a pound, so not to waste time I got about 15ft above them and cast the fly out and let it pass over them and on the retrieve the rear one of the two nabbed it giving me again a good account of itself.
Number two home safe, as they all do, catch and release strictly.
Two for the Pheasant tail now in as many casts, all of a sudden the fish wanted to feed, for an hour before these two I had done the same thing and only got the occasional follow but I guess that's fishing eh?, when I fly fish even if I know there is more fish in the swim I'll leave them and move on to another swim not to piss them off too much, but after that second fish the session went quite again and it was probably another hour before I saw another fish, there was obviously more upstream than the lower part of the beat.
I was to be greeted though by quiet a chunky Trout when I noticed a couple of Chub sat on a gravel run a short and fat spotty came up stream and very delicately took my fly off the surface barely breaking it, as soon as I saw my fly disappear into the fishes gob I struck then all hell broke loose, on a 7ft 3/4 weight fly rod and 4lb tippet I feared the worst and when it took off, it did so quickly that it spun the reel too fast and I couldn't control thus putting me in a massive tangle which wouldn't allow the fly-line through the next eye of the rod or back onto the reel so I just gained on the fish the old fashioned way and paying out line when it charged off when it got close to the net.
A lovely 2lb 11oz Brown Trout, back to fight another day.
Just after I put that cracker back the heavens opened and in the attire I had decided to go with today, it all of a sudden didn't seem a great idea but thankfully it wasn't substantial, just another April shower, it had been a good day and seriously thought about calling it a day, I had plenty of enjoyment even if the wind was making life very hard, but I thought I'd have a cast or two on my way down to the end of the beat and I'm glad I did, a couple of blind casts and on the third retrieve an almighty bow wave came up behind my blue flash damsel and smashed it with some serious power, as soon I saw how powerful the brownie took it, I thought seriously whether my tackle would cope with such a battle but I've had bigger on this gear so I rolled with it and after a battle of about 4 minutes I slipped my net under what was the biggest of the day by quite a distance.
A true Brutus, 3lb 13ozs and what a fish too.
After the pictures, she was returned to her watery home, great sport.
Once I had revived that big spotty I packed up and headed home but on route the child in me was curious about what life lurked in the margins so with a couple of scoops with my net I captured a nice fat Frog and an energetic Newt. I'd love to come back and do a part two, weather depending!.