I planned to fish the evening rise more this season. Last year I generally fished late morning and early afternoon before visiting The Badgers. The weather looked good, dull and damp after the weekend heat. The river level was down and everything seemed to be in my favour. However, when I arrived at Keeper’s Bridge there were two cars under the trees. This is unheard of. I kept going to the top beat, it was a long drive up the old railway but there were no cars there, I had the river to myself.
As the engine died the first drops of rain splattered on the windscreen. I had to laugh. I set the rod up and signed the beat book. Upstream or down? I heard a chain saw quite close by, the fallen Oak by Ladymead was the target. Too much noise, downstream it would have to be. As I crossed the bridge I was pleased to see that the water had cleared a bit. I could just make out the weed and gravel in mid stream. The gravel is dark stone, probably washed down from the artificial redds by the winter floods.
I started on the North bank above The Oak pool. A little wild Trout chased the nymph just as I was lifting off at the end of the first cast. That was promising and made me concentrate as I fished the entire pool. The rain got heavier and I took shelter under an Alder tree while scanning the water for rises. There were none.
I fished the Long Pool thoroughly from top to bottom, it looked a very good place for Sea Trout. I wandered down to the Island Pool and had a look at the Willow that has fallen across the entire width of the river. It’s very good cover for the Trout but completely unfishable. I lost my nymph in the Willow and decided to visit the pub. On the way I stopped at Keeper’s Bridge to look at the beat book. A member had caught a nice fish on a nymph just below the bridge. Rats. The pub was crowded and noisy, it’s nicer mid-afternoon.