May 12th 2015Thursday night i had agreed to go kick sampling with Mike again, despite being in very much the learning process i am enjoying it alot. Bumped into a guy named Ian, who had fly fished for a couple of years but mainly on lakes and asked to tag along. The kick sample showed how the water life changes, some invertabrate that were prominant last time were almost non existant at this time with a new one bringing up big numbers. The results showed alot of nymphs.
We did only a little bit of fishing afterwards, probably 20 minutes total, seeing fish rise under a tree we made our way down to that spot, at this point i had the depth charge and an olive on, but as i got to the waters edge i noticed a shoal of minnows, so i swapped to an olive and a prince with gold rib, basically trying to cover the nymph life and imitate a small fish chasing, second cast i was in, the area was nice and open so playing it was fairly straight forward, it happily slid into the net and had taken the prince. a good fly change after all.
Friday morning 9.30am. Never really get the chance to fish at this time and was pleased to see the sun hadn't shown above the trees on my back yet. Starting with an olive and the prince, i worked the first section, nothing, i expected at least a take here, but thats why i use it as my 'testing' area. If nothing takes the flies wrong as the stretch is good water for trout. I changed to a hares ear and amber Czech nymph and a midge buzzer. Moving my way up the next run a few small trout jumped but after missing one they soon disappeared. I finally reached the pool were i caught the 15'' Brownie a couple of days before.
Working every channel i reached the top side of the pool which undercuts the bank under some trees, i felt a take and struck, the rod height was limited to striking was tricky, i felt the fish, i saw the trout come up with the strike but it wasnt hooked and it sunk back down into the murky depths, it was a decent size and i was undeterred. Casting in the same channel the same happened again, had that put the trout off taking it a 3rd time? unfortunately when the hook pinged out it flew into to the tree. Arghh! pulling the branch towards me it was just out of reach, i didn't want to step into the pool so i hooked my rod round the branch to pull it closer and i managed to rip the end leaves off freeing my hook.After untangling i cast, cast and a cast again.
As i pulled up to cast again i felt a weight, and movement, the fish must of took it as moved with it, and the direction of the rod at this point allowed a full strike. I suspected it was the same fish but i hadn't seen it yet, it dove to the bottom of the pool, fighting hard, but it had a nasty trick up it's sleeve as i sensed it's direction to the tree roots in the undercut. Pulling hard back across i steered it towards me, pulling the line in my left hand to shorten the leader i brought the fish up to the surface and i quickly grabbed my net on my belt and glided it in. A nice 11' or so trout. First fish of the day again.
Now i caught 9 trout (including this one) and 2 minnows this day. some of the 'average' size ones had a decent girth on them and put up a decent fight. Lost only 2 as they neared the net and about half a dozen came off just after striking. But there was one other fish that eluded me this day and whether a fishermans tale or true i leave you to decide.
I was around half way round my stretch which is about the 7th section that is easily fishable, i had caught my first here on the wednesday. After catching a small trout in the pool at the end of the riffle i worked it a couple of times with some hits but no true takes. Then i had a take and my rod keeled over like a small tree with wayne rooney climbing it. Shudder, shudder, shudder my rod bounced up and down as the fish i had fought like crazy at the deep of the pool against the current. I tried to force the fish up early but my rod height was limited to around 6 feet high as i was fishing under heavy tree coverage. Everytime i fought back the rod tip would bend almost to the surface, kneeling down in the water so it was only my upper half showing i tried to fight the fish but it was playing me instead. back and forth, so deep down threatening to race off downstream, i gave it some line as my rod bent yet again, scared of the hook just pinging out with the elastic forces at play. it went around another 10 feet downstream and i followed it, it had swum behind a big rock so i leant out so the line wasn't scrapping the rock but thankfully it wasn't sitting around long. After what felt like an eternity, probably around 5 minutes i started to make line back and could see the colour under the water as it started to tire. Finally it was there, body flat on the surface and i tried to guide it in, which was difficult as i couldn't raise my rod, i had my net ready when i realised the darn thing wouldn't fit in, well unless i brought it in headfirst (if that makes sense) it was probably 20' or so.
The trout neared the net when it then decided it was no longer tired, and it took off again like a steam train, this time it was in surface dancing mode, every shake of the head as it reached the length of the line, dragging it off the reel, i was flapping at this point, i had seen the size of it, and i was in the 'fuck fuck fuck' phase. it dragged another 10-20 feet i don't know but i knew it wasn't giving up, this carried on as the line shortened it would jump around. I don't know how long but it must of now started to tire as i brought it closer. Now came the predicament, with all the flapping in my head i was unsure how to 'net' it, as the trees stopped me bringing my rod up, several hundred methods, 99% stupid, came into my head on how to bring this fish close enough to net it, hand line it or drag it sideways and net it as it came across even though i really needed it's head. I chose sideways, as i dragged it across the hook pinged out. Fuck. i spoke outloud i know that. It was a surreal moment to be fair, as the trout had tired at this point. so as the hook came out, it sat there, for a couple of seconds. long enough for me to contemplate jumping on it, though my net is elasticated and clipped to my belt, and it slowly melted down back into the bottom of the run. I had several emotions, angry, confused but proud as well, i must of done something right to fool a fish of that age. With another person with me to net it it would of been a doddle but a sole fly fisherman in the wilderness has everything against him.
Till next time Mr Brown. Till next time.