April 24th 2015
Ohhh how much difference a week makes, after demolishing an asbestos garage and jack hammering the floor all week and 2 15 hour shifts at the weekend to look forward to i took some 'me' time and went on the Irwell at the bend i was last. Unfortunatly the hogweed is growing and the japanese knotweed so i know very very soon i will not be able to get this way, need to ask the farmer soon. Anyways, went further down and equipped my sinking line reel as nothing was showing, decided to fish towards a fallen tree, with some good casting going on as i now knew the roll cast (i'd been double hauling since day 1 oops) and that was working brilliantly. 20yard or so roll casts. moved upstream to a riffle i was above 3/4 across the irwell on a higher bit dropping it into a pool behind some riffles. again nothing showing. so went back the the spot i saw a trout jump last time. switched reels to my floating line and put on a fly with a foam ball back. just as i was finishing tying the hook a fish jumped. literally on the rock causing the riffles. so i crept on down, i was above 25 yards away, and could only get about 1/2 way across at this point as it was majorly deep and very slippy on the river bed. i was having to cast across the current and give line out to get to the riffle. the fish jumped again. i edged closer almost falling several times. i got about another 5-10 yards (felt like a mile when you slip on every rock when your waist deep and you can't swim) did a roll cast on to the riffle, it went over the rock the line dragged across the current and the fish jumped at my fly. just missed! i pointed the rod down, pulled the line taught, and roll casted on to the riffle, it skipped along, then i saw it, wasn't a massive take just a peck off the surface, and seeing my line shoot across to the far side of the river i struck up, i felt the fish, nothing big, but it was my first trout i'd hooked. i'd stalked it and hooked it. now stuck waist deep, without a net (as i snapped it wading down the river) i was stuck in 2 minds. do i go to shore or do i fight it here. it didn't matter, i felt the line go slack. i laughed, the adrenaline was pumping even though i'd lost the fish. It didn't matter i'd actually done well enough to hook it from spotting it. i reeled the line and then it hit me. the blood knot i'd put on the hook had come loose. i must of hurried it when i seen the fish jump first. that was a kick in the ballsack. knowing my own mistake not the equipment had cost me the fish. i waded back to shore and put on another floating fly. added some floating liquid on it to help it and tried the same spot. nothing showing, nothing moving it had gone. it had started to rain at this point but i said to myself 5 more minutes. i moved back to the pool and had a few casts, nothing, then seeing some farm girls near the river with the horses in the distance i contemplating asking about passage through the farm to the river, then a fish jumped 10 yards away, i cast (a very low double haul) under a tree, the fly wasn't good enough for this fish after 20 minutes or so. i decided to pack up and go back, the 500m wade up a deep river with hogweed on the sides was tough, but determined not to get stranded should the river level rise i made it back quite quickly. after climbing the hill and over the wall of the horse bridge, i sat for a moment and laughed. this was the start of something, i'll learn from my mistakes and make sure every knot is perfect (and to be fair i did pull on the hook to test it and it held) so next time who knows, 3 times i have been to that spot and 3 times fish have been there, no wonder, without farmers permission the chances of fishing there again are very very slim.