March 21st 2018It had been a long time coming, and for me somewhat delayed. With a bad back delaying my first trip back on the river after 5 1/2 month it was almost delayed again, but come 2pm i was fed up of been a cripple and decided to just hack it out and get out there.
By 3pm i was on the river and set up. Within minutes i was into my first fish of the year, i was fishing with 2 nymphs, a dark brown Bendle Bug with black dubbing, and a white Bendle Bug without dubbing. The first fish had taken the point fly, the Brown one, it was a soft take and i thought i had snagged the bottom for a split second. It fought hard and pulled my rod tip to the surface of the water a few times, it wasn't a big trout but it had fight in it. jumping 3 times it was an enjoyable start to the season. The trout was quite marked, showing it had survived cormorant attacks in its life, no wonder it fought so well!
Within a couple more casts i was in again, this was smaller but fought well for it's size once again, opting to stay deep this time it allowed me to change the drag settings on my nymphing reel, i have had several nymphing reels and i had another one break on me back when i was out with Mike. So i replaced it with a Maxcatch reel. Felt ok, nothing like my wychwood reel i use for dry fly but it doesn't need to be fancy for nymphing. The trout was very pale and washed out, but was in perfect condition. A sparrow hawk was circling above during the fight which was a nice sight to see.
The 3rd and final trout came 3 casts after the release of that, and i knew straight away it was the biggest so far. It fought hard and fast, jumped half a dozen times and made me think i was hooking into september fish based on just how hard they were fighting. It took 2 attempts to net as it spooked the first time when the net came close but i was pleased with myself that i was no longer losing jumping fish, remembering to dip my rod each time they jumped. 18in it measured at the net. The sparrow hawk landed in a tree opposite as i removed the hook and took a quick picture.
I noticed the temperature had significantly dropped in this short period of time as i was now cold, i had come out in just a jacket and light t-shirt and felt ok until that point. It would be a bad omen too as the next 2/3 hours would go by without another touch of a fish. I could of easily called it a day earlier but i was determined to get more and get used to fishing again, it still didnt feel natural and it was good to get some air and give my back some moderate exercise.