It was a warm, overcast day with a strong East wind. It’s unusual for an East wind to be warm but at least it would be blowing upstream. The river level had dropped significantly (0.051m at Halfway Bridge) and the chances of finding a Monster were good. The river is stocked with Trout in early May and the large number of stocked fish would make it impossible to target a Monster.
The water looked coloured as I drove over Coultershaw Bridge but flowing gently. I stopped at Keeper’s Bridge to have a look at the river, it looked barren and uninviting so I drove on to Taylor’s Bridge and the top beats. It’s a long way up the old railway track. By the time I had tackled up the sun was out and everything looked lovely. The bluebells were at their finest.
I wandered down stream, Beat B, examining all the likely pools but not stopping until I got to the Oak Tree pool, the home of Monsters. I thought that I would start in the broad glide above the pool and gradually work my way down into the deepest part of the pool under the Oak. I used a black chenille nymph with a lead shot head. It would be easy to cast and it would sink quickly. After a few casts the end of the fly line dived away and I lifted the rod expecting the savage wrench of a Monster. It was a wild brownie about 6oz but in great condition. I released it and set about the rest of the pool feeling very confident.
After about thirty minutes I moved downstream and at the end of the Oak Tree pool a fish splashed in mid stream. It wouldn’t take. I went downstream to the Willow Tree pool which looked very good but couldn’t find a fish.
The sun was hot and the pub was calling. I celebrated my first 2016 Trout from the river with a pint of ‘Doom Bar ‘and Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday with a pint of ‘Blonde Bird’ from the Greyhound Brewery.
Happy 90th Birthday your Majesty.