The day started off cloud and calm, good weather really but to the west ominous clouds loomed. It wasn't long till the rain began to rise. After checking the weather channel which stated it would start raining at 2. It was 10am and heavy drizzle was intensifying. I monitored the weather radar and came to the conclussion the heaviest would soon pass and it would ease off.
It was around dinner when i arrived at the river and the rain had all but eased off. This weather of late seems perfect for hogweed as the amount it has come up already in 2 weeks is unreal. Some are over 2-3 feet already. The river was in good condition, slightly coloured and raised a little but easily fishable. I popped on a duo with heavy beads to offset the water speed and made my way up river. It was slow progress, and for a couple of hours not much happened other than a change of flies.
I came to a long section which last season was relatively calm but the current runs further down it allowing flies to drift. The weight i had kn was too much which i knew but i stuck at it as i knee here had a lot of large boulders so the flies would be ip and down tumbling.
Half way up the channel and i got my first take, it was a good weight from the initial strike and it was off. This was a jumpy trout which made me a little tense considering it was withing grabbing distance. It was a good fish and with all the jumping on a barbless hook it is nerve racking especially when you haven't landed one yet. He came close a couple of times to the net but i wasn't rushing him and got him. I let out a little cheer due to it breaking a blank and being a nice fish.
After releasing i caught the tree behind and i messed around for a minute removing them. About 10m upstream i got another take. This one felt bigger as ot cruised off downstream and ping the hook popped out. A little gutting but i'd already had a good fish.
I continued upstream and started nymphing a pool when i saw a rise. A quick change of set up and i was chasing browns on the dry. This particular spot was awkward, the rises were under tree cover (6 feet gap between) and the area i was stood led into a fast ripple meaning the line eas accelerating quickly causing drag. I added a 'reach' into my cast which Mike taught me and i had 4 misses on the dry. I saw one and it was about 6-8oz but they seemed very snatchy.
I moved on and came to my final bend. I was fishing the seem which pushed against the far bank when i saw a tiny rise . 3rd cast and it took it and it was a good old friend. After a tough fight with my #6 bending right over and 2 failed netting attempts (i need a bigger net?) i had it. Again. Patterns told me it was the same fish from 2 weeks ago and boy had it been feeding well. Ironically caught on the same fly in the same spot.
Now that doesn't disappoint me as it shows catch & release is rewarding! It gave me a brilliant fight both times. One bad point was while unhooking a woman watching who had asked me if i kill them?? Her dog ran down and tangled in my line almost dragging my rod in and almost ripping the hook through the fished mouth, luckily as i was unhooking i managed to snap the line before it could tighten.
Barry, as i've named him, will probably be there alot, seems to own that eddy. However he isn't alone as i found out. I witnessed strange behavior which i'm hoping someone can explain. I kept hearing a fish rise with a plop, then i saw it, across a large riffle that lend into the bend was a small patch of still water and something was rising high up against the bottom of the bank. As i tried to catch it as it was constantly rising i caught on some debris only feet away from the rises. Practically crawling i retrieved my hook and continued to attempt to woo the trout?
Then. I saw the unmistakable shape of a trout and i popped my polaroids on. There it was a 2lb or so trout cruising out of the corner (downstream) so i backed up very slowly. I kept dropping a dry on its head and it gradually got closer and closer to the point it was inside my rods reach. Then a second one came along side it and they both swam off downstream. a truly strange moment to have witnesses up so amazing. Having kept very motionless other than my casting arm i'd been able to see trout enjoying themselves in their natural habitat. My initial thoughts was it was grabbing bugs from the roots of the banking and possible mating or fighting for position.
So with the way the year has started i can only
Hope that this isn't the best and that theres plenty still to come.