May 8th 2015
So decided to try to fit a couple of hours of fishing in before the rain came, went down to the little spot on Irwell that Mike France and Tony had spotted the day before while Kick Sampling and started down stream. After going up stream about 150m i came to a small pool and had a good feeling about it. Allowing the fly to bounce down rocks i saw my line move suspiciously, a strike, a slight pull but nothing, probably a snag, bare in mind this is snag city and i'd already been waist deep with my head almost in the water reaching down to unsnag the hook. I cast again, the fly bobbling over the rocks and then a knock, i struck, a fish! these trout don't have fight despite it's size, got it out of the main current and up, safe enough to wet my hands and reach the fish. Only small but it was my first Irwell trout! Releasing it a little further down stream i watched it swim away and take cover behind a rock. A few more casts and a few knocks and i hit a snag again, having to go in to the stretch i decided to move on up as i had probably disturbed the swim. The next spot was alot rougher, with even bigger snags, but with a nice calm spot on the far side i aimed on the edges of the current and was constantly missing small takes (didn't miss the snags though) so brought a few sticks a shore. Cast again, a hit and a fish, little bugger came off the hook just as it got half way across about the same size as the previous. A couple of casts later and another good hit, i struck and i caught another trout very similar in size to the first. Releasing it in the small run off stream behind i cast. The hook straight into a rock. I tried all i could to reach it, too deep too fast. so i made the decision to snap off and rerigged with a copper john and a caddis duo. Moving upstream as again trying to get my fly i had disturbed the swim. I found a nice slow bend with a overhanging tree. I cast. damn straight into the tree and the copper john was lost. It had started to rain at this point, and just as i contemplated setting another duo up, a trout rose, then another and another. at least a dozen trout were rising. Now when i course fished i always fished very close to the top of the water and cast beautifully under the tree with the trout jumping all around. Not knowing a guy was watching me on the hill opposite i finally got a hit. Oh boy it was solid! I tried to pull it across from the current but it decided to jump, the hook came out... FUCKK! i shouted. Hearing a laugh i looked up an apologised to the guy watching, i checked the fly and cast again, it drifted slowly along, plop, it was gone, striking up i felt the fish, and again it was nice, probably similar to the one i'd just lost. It was fighting it's way down to the far bank deeper and deeper and i was pulling it across. it tried to jump but my line was tight enough to bring it about 6ft towards me and in reach distance. (i am netless till my net arrives) reaching into the water my hand clasped around it and i practically crawled out the water. I had got it, a hattrick and fish on both dry and wet. This fish was a very decent fish and put a bigger smile on my face despite the heavy rain now. The fish had moved on from the ferocity of the fight. So i decided to go home and bathe in my own glory. Much thanks to Tony and Mike who had given me so much advice the day prior and to Liam Mcdougall who helped me realise i better weighted rod in terms of balance.