A new river season in a couple hours beckons with an early start in search of Roach, for the last few seasons I've almost always gone out for Barbel but this year I'm going to head out in search a specimen redfin, but with that all planned out I still had a day to go and with a mornings errands all sorted I decided to go for one last escapade with the fly rod for a Brown Trout, when I left the rain had held off for a while but the wind was still blustering at times to about 30mph, not ideal fly fishing conditions but I still went ahead with it.
Before I did that I arranged to meet Stu at our local tackle shop to stock up on coarse gear for the coming weeks and had a chinwag whilst I did my shopping and ordered a new Wychwood carry case for my fly rod and a load of other little bits, we parted company as Stu was off to get his gear all prepared for midnight and I headed off to the river to do some fluff chucking.
On my way up river I was greeted by a rain and hail shower that lasted 20 minutes or so, luckily enough I found a dense enough canopy to hide under whilst it passed, was like watching paint dry waiting for it to go, so close to fishing but I wouldn't dare step out into it. After the deluge I headed off up again and started to just cast on the long straights hoping to pick a Brownie off when I saw a small riser about 15 yrds downstream so on the next cast I aimed for where the fish rose and when my fly reached roughly the same area a pair of rubbery lips opened and my daddy long legs fly vanished, seeing that I struck instantly and the rod slammed over and hooked into a strong fish which by looking at the lips it definitely was no Trout, I tried to apply pressure to whatever it was but on a 4lb leader, I didn't stand a good chance in banking it when all of a sudden the fight turned into a glide upstream and straight towards me, it turned out to be a Carp, the fly munching culprit was within seconds sat nestled in my landing net and reviving.
A chunky, extremely powerful little bundle of fun, 6lb 14oz Mirror Carp, it was nearly as wide across the back as it was deep, river Carp mostly remind me of rugby balls. After a mile or so walk I was approaching my usual fly fishing beats, but I wanted to head up further and just fish a couple of spots rather than every swim like I normally do.
I've always liked fishing this spot as the Trout sit just down stream and I cast down to them but unfortunately nothing rose here so I moved just 10 meters upstream, when the most surrealist thing happened and as I'm writing this I'm still counting my blessings, as I left the swim that I took the picture above in I walked about 10 paces away from that swim when this happened.....
........ A sharp gust whipped up as I was walking away from that tree and a loud crack followed by more cracking and then an almighty crunch as it hit the deck!, just a matter of seconds and this post may never have gone up or I would have been seriously injured, on the second picture notice the tree in the swim pic 2 above this one, someone today was watching over me, no doubt about it. As I took these pictures a old fella came sprinting over to see if I was okay and said he had seen it all from his kitchen window whilst he waited for his kettle to boil, understandably rattled from what just happened I composed myself and had a quick chat with the man, who was donning a dressing gown and slippers about the certain purchase of some lottery tickets as whilst my luck was in I should take advantage of such good fortune, far too close for comfort.
Very bloody lucky indeed, if I had hooked a Trout or had a rise I would have stayed in that swim and would have been wearing a 2 tonne tree as a hat, but my luck was in, so I headed upstream away from the trees and went upstream to carry on looking for a Trout to cast at, it wasn't long until I did find one and on my second cast I hooked and landed a nice 2.10 Brownie, as I got it in the net the fly fell out in the net ( I can't say I haven't my fair share of luck already, I must have been I credit for some reason with someone upstairs, hope I haven't used my seasons allowance before it's even started), a decent fish and a good fight too as usual and it's what I've come to expect every time I catch one. Bottom picture is the brownie back in it's watery home sulking.
Again it was time to move and I had decided to just have a go in a couple more swims and call it a day, but in one of those I did have a bit of joy and was re-united with an old friend from a few weeks ago, about 100meters downstream of where I caught the last time and also looking a little thin from when I last caught him, but I didn't weigh it and one quick picture and straight back in the river.
The battle commencing.
Such good fun the Brown Trout but now it is time for me to pursue the other river species and leave the Trout to feed and rest up ready for December and January next year for the spawning months and populate even more on top of what is now becoming quite a decent head of fish, it's a shame the other the species aren't doing aswell in regards to their populations in this neck of the woods.
I did have one last piece of action and unfortunately ended up with me hooking a Trout and a decent one at that based on the power of the take and it bust me up by biting through my tippet and robbing my fly :( .
That lost Trout was my last action of the afternoon and I spent the rest of the afternoon spotting different quarry down river, a range of Barbel, Chub and Roach were what I was looking for but only saw a shoal of Barbel that were of any quality.
I see them and they can't see me and that's how I like it but what I've found with Barbel is that they are quite tolerant of seeing you as I have had many Barbel whilst standing not right out in the open but they know I'm there for sure, but if I can sneak up on them, then great, a certain tactic is in mind for this swim and it looks good, with the largest fish around the 8lb mark but I believe there were larger tucked under the weed, in the famous words of Arnie....... I'll be back.