8th August 2015
Back on the water after my accident, my leg from my ankle to my knee a mix of purple and yellow bruising. Sore enough that the waters current hurt, and it wasn't a pain that you got used to. deeper water hurt more, and faster currents especially. None the less it was 6am. I'm on the river as a light mist hangs across the water. Klink & dink with a orange parachuted emerger and a BWO flymph on the point. 2 feet tippet. Now i'll cut this short. I fished my whole stretch in just under 2 hours. not a jiffy. not even a fish rising. I said to myself, "water temperature" with the trees surrounding the water it was hard for the sunlight to reach the water. 7.50am i was hanging round the end of the river when a fish rose, and another and another. Turns out there alarms are at 8am. 5 minutes later i had a fish on, taking the nymph just at the back of the pool. I played it back and forth in a bid to tire it out, it seemed really up for it. Probably a whole nights worth of energy built up! Netted in 1. A nice trout and i was on a high.
I moved into the riffles and the fly had barely been in the water a second when i was in, only a small trout but it was jumping around, jump jump jump rock. On colliding with the rock on the bottom of the riffle the hook came out. Silly fish, i thought, only wanted a picture! I changed my rules and fished downstream, as i didn't want to go all the way back to come back up again. I reached a pool where hogweed lined an undercut on the edge of a pool, i have not caught many here but have lost a few 'bigger' ones here, the fly drifted past the hogweed and bam i was in again. after a couple of twists it shot off upstream with a surge of pace giving the impression it was really big but it gave up pretty much after that and was happily having it's picture taken and off it went.
I was back to the beginning and still a bit disappointed i had only hit into 3 but the sun still wasn't on the water so i decided to explore! i knew a spot where it was a little more open but getting there was dangerous and with my recent accident you'd think 'don't bother' well you can't catch them if you don't go to them. Fighting through thornbushes with spikes easily 2 inches my net getting snagged up my body, arms and face too. don't even mention my rod! I made it to 'the edge' which is a 70' slope with no hard surfaces surrounded by... thorn bushes and the occasional hogweed. after tiptoeing down like i was attempting limbo in a bid to keep balance i reached the bank below. The shallows were filled with tiny fry, i even caught one in my hand there was that many!
I stood up and cast, my net was caught on my jacket so i was just untangling it when the klinkhammer twitched and then went under, i struck and was greeted by a large splash. It felt good and it fought well, jumping clear out of the water, after turning it back and forth to confuse it as these early morning trout were packed with fight i managed to steer it towards the net. But it wasn't ready and it turned away inches from the net. i had it near the surface now, it seemed tired and i pulled it towards the shallows but again it didn't want to be there and turned back but luckily towards my net, but with a last dash splash as it came towards it i held my nerve and netted all 11 inches of him. The fish was far beyond tired though, one picture and he was off with a crazed leap from my hand back into the murky waters. That's why i photograph over water.
I was walking down the same bank, casting as i explored as it was new territory when i was in again! Initially swimming downstream with a quick flick in the air it headed back upstream. Initially it was an easy fight, pulling him across into the shallows i was convinced his batteries weren't charged. But the seeing the net with a splash and a turn he shot off whence he came. I tried the same trick, back and forth changing direction, it felt like i was pulling him along yet he was pulling the whole time i was just changing his direction. on the 4th turn i'd got him back near the shallows and this time i was ready with the net and bagged him. A well hooked trout square in the middle of the top lip. A little blood from there which was a first for me, from over 100 trout caught since starting this was the first to bleed. He already had a large scar on his body but it looked well healed. Probably a heron.
It was a great day despite the slow start. At this point it was very warm as midday drew near. Definitely taking pruners to trim them hawthorns, will take a while but will save time and reduce risk of damage in the future.