16 May – A Hard Day

I was determined to fish the river, the lakes were off limits. The flash floods had subsided. The gauge at Halfway Bridge read 0.048m and the river level was dropping. That wasn’t ideal but hopefully the water wouldn’t be too coloured.

riverlevel (2)

Rain was forecast for Wednesday and the river would rise again. This trip needed maximum effort, I might have to wait a week for my next opportunity.


I was disappointed, the water was still coloured. As I looked downstream a fish rose just by the bridge and that spurred me on. I made base camp at Keeper’s Bridge, had lunch and resolved to concentrate on that beat. I had seen a fish and another member had caught a decent fish below the bridge the previous week. It made sense to stay there. The short stretch of river by the bridge always inspires me. Probably because I have had some great sport there. It was sunny, 57 Fahrenheit, with a gentle North West breeze. No excuses for sloppy presentation in those conditions.

I watched the water for about an hour and saw another fish rise just above the Alder trees. I crossed to the North bank. With the sun in my face and a gentle breeze, I quietly covered every inch of the pool with a nymph. Nothing. I crept back to the bridge and worked the water where I had seen the fish. After about twenty minutes I had a gentle take but missed it. It felt like a small, wild Trout. I lengthened the cast and a few minutes later a decent fish flashed at the fly. I couldn’t tease it into taking. Shortly after that I had a follow, close to the near bank, from a small Trout. I rested  the pool. First cast I had a good take. The fish turned sharply and threw the hook. The pool was trashed so I crossed the bridge and went to the Sandy Pool.


I searched every inch of the pool but there was no sign of life. I thought the pool above the bridge might be worth another try but after another hour I gave up and went to The Badgers.


The pub was empty, I had a nice quiet pint and read Country Life. After five hours in the sun, working hard to catch a Trout, I needed a beer.