As the coarse fishing season on the river is fast approaching, my time that I've been putting in to the fly fishing sport will quickly disappear and be spent on other species, but whilst that time hasn't yet arrived my quest for these proper wild brownies is still on.
With some dodgy weather coming around today I fancied getting out early to try and miss it, the tactics that I have deployed over the last month or so have proved to be devastating with 16 Brown Trout to 4.9 caught in just five trips, so I chose to stick with what I know works.
Considering the water I have been concentrating my efforts on is very small but brilliantly intimate I feel the return for my hard work has been extremely rewarding and I have encountered some fantastic battles off some pristine and quality fish, also with the mandatory homework done and a couple of trips just scouting was to simply understand the waterway and how to best approach it, over the last 10 years I have done this every season and this is reason why I feel I have done so well, 10 years ago there was maybe six Trout every mile or so, now that figure maybe tripled and some I know are approaching the dizzy heights of 6lb + and I have heard rumours of bigger but the fisherman's tale will forever remain fact or fiction, but there's nothing to say why not.
My late morning/ early afternoon trip was a case of the missed takes, with the two being totally fluffed - both Trout I saw rise up for my Daddy long legs fly and take it with some serious tenacity but my line management hindered me in the early stages of the day whilst I accustomed myself to the ever changing swirly wind that plagued me all day and if it wasn't the failure to hook them it was the impossible positioning of the others.
This Brownie was anything between 3.8 to 4lbs and good sized fish but casting to it was definitely not going to happen as a tree line behind me prevented me from doing so, but on my travels downstream I came across a pukka looking swim that funnily enough I never fish as I always travel on the other side and it folks off so I never fish it but today I decided to travel the west bank for once and I'm very glad I did as I came to this quaint little weir which screamed Trout and on I think my third cast my reel screamed off with a Trout in tow, a very spirited scrap in the shallow weir pool, it took around two minutes to overcome it and she was soon resting up in my net but during that fight another Trout between 3 and 4lb chased my fish around until the net went in then it darted back into the weir.
Another proper Brownie at 1lb 10oz.
After reviving the scrapper I checked my tippet for any abrasions, with that all clear I cast back out and braced myself for a proper fight if I was to latch into that one I saw chasing the first one around the pool, I stuck with the same fly as well hoping that it would still chow down on my perfectly presented imitation, with in 15 seconds I saw the line shoot forward as the Trout took the fly, I immediately struck and as I expected, all hell broke loose as I had hooked the Trout I see just five minutes prior but I didn't see it for a minute or so as it just kept it's head down in the white water trying most things in the book to shake me off and even tail walked in the hope of busting me up, but I held firm and after a powerful fight he was mine, yes another male!.
3lb 7oz of brute strength and what a fish not my biggest this season but I think one of the best looking, no marks and the colour was superb, exactly what I came out for, always a good tonic for a long week ahead of work. Again that lovely specimen went back to carry on it's legacy and hopefully make some new additions, after that excitement it dried up fairly sharpish, I didn't see a Trout for over a mile if not close to two miles, they must have been on the move a lot recently, unfortunately I bumped into a couple of anglers again fishing with feeder tactics after Chub and no net!, I kindly reminded them of what they were doing was illegal but seemed to only have one thing on their mind and was to carry committing an offense with no care as to what they were doing and then the father turned to me and said "I don't understand how you can fly fish here there's no Trout or Salmon here", I thought to myself, "oh ignorance is bliss, isn't it just, only if he knew", my reply was that "at least I was fishing the correct method at the correct time of the year", If only the EA were just a little more pro-active at obscure times of the week they will nab so many more wrong do'ers.
My day didn't finish there though and I did have one more Trout and that came on one of my last casts of the afternoon, when I flicked a olive green and orange flash damsel downstream and drew it up through a small shoal of Chub a good spotty nailed it and in the very fast water I struggled to bank it so I teased the fish through the flow up above the inlet where the water was much calmer, another 2lb + Trout landed.
2lb 13oz the further downstream the Trout the more silvery they are.
I just released that fish and the rain started that heralded the end of the trip and just a shade over a month until the season for everything else starts, can't wait but it's gone very quickly I admit. Now it's 19 Brown Trout in 6 trips, with a majority over 2lb and at least half a dozen over 3lb and the solo 4lb.