5 October 2014 – Rotherbridge

It was 4:00pm and the sun was low over the South Downs behind me. It had been a warm afternoon but as the sun was sinking there was a chill in the air. Not chilly enough for a coat. The pool immediately above Rotherbridge is long and wide with thick streamer weed along the South bank. The North side of the pool is a private garden but there are a couple of overhanging trees that are just within casting range.

The bottom of this pool is uneven, there are several holes where the trout hang out. There are also a few clumps of streamer weed dotted around the pool. At the tail of the pool, where it runs under the span of the big iron bridge, the pool shallows up and both banks are heavily wooded with Alder and Blackthorn. It’s difficult to get a fly under the bridge but not impossible.

The deeper holes and clumps of streamer weed usually hold fish and I started by running a Gold Ribbed Hears Ear (GRHE) nymph over the holes and along the side of the weed beds. Half way down the pool, under a tree on the North bank, I had a thumping take and a good fish immediately jumped and then dashed off downstream. The little Hardy reel screamed in protest. The fish jumped a few times and it was a problem netting it, I need a landing net with a longer handle.

The fish weighed about 2lbs and looked different to the usual colourful browns. Very silver, big eyes. I wondered if it might be a sea trout. It could have been in the river for a few weeks and lost that fresh run look. I was undecided.