I was impatient to get back to the top beat of the river to check on the monster trout I had seen last week. I was amazed at how much the landscape had changed in such a short time. Potatoes had been planted everywhere !
The record book for the beat revealed that nobody had fished it since my last trip, the monster fish would still be there. I went straight to the pool and peeped over the edge, there was no sign of the fish.
I sat down on a sandy patch, surrounded by stinging nettle shoots and watched the pool for a few minutes. The water level was the same as last week and there were a few flies hatching. I kept peeping over the edge but although I could see shrimps buzzing around on the sand bank, there was no trout. Had it moved to another pool ? I thought that it would still be there as the pool was full of food, was deep and had plenty of cover. Why should the trout move ?
I checked the leader and tippet for any imperfections and knotted the fly on carefully, 5lb fluorocarbon is tricky to tighten without crushing it. I started covering the water under my bank with a shrimp imitation. I gradually covered all the water on my side only losing one fly on a tree root. After about an hour I was losing concentration so I had a rest and browsed through the fly box. I don’t know why I changed my fly, it was a daft thing to do as I knew any trout in the pool would be feeding on shrimps. After about ten minutes I changed back to a shrimp pattern and vowed to use it for the rest of the day.
After about an hour the monster trout appeared on the sandbank under my rod tip. I kept still and watched it pick up a few shrimps and glide back into the pool. It had stirred up quite a bit of sand.
I waited a few minutes and it came back. I twitched my shrimp past the fish and it swam away again. It didn’t come back for about 20 minutes. Eventually it appeared on my left, cruised along the sand, picked up a few shrimps and drifted away to my right, towards deeper water. I watched it patrol for several circuits and then decided to flick my shrimp at it. The fly landed just ahead of the fish and I drew the line to induce a take. To my delight there was a flash of white as it opened it’s mouth followed by a savage wrench on the rod. I only had about 2 yards of fly line outside the rod tip and I just let the fish run back down into the pool under the Oak tree.
It was a long, spectacular fight. I had brought a long handled landing net with me but it took ages to get the fish in the net. At one point it jumped out of the net just as I lifted it and I thought the fish was going to get off.
The fish was very long and quite plump. The hook came out easily and I rested it in my net for 15 minutes before it swam out of the mesh and back into the pool. The trout was much longer, broader and heavier than my last fish and I estimated its weight at 6lb which I think was conservative.
I was relieved to be able to return the fish. I was in a daze so I sat on the bank, had lunch and admired the scenery. I didn’t want to fish any more so I went to the pub for a celebration 🙂