2 June – At last

The weather forecast was 60 F and strong NE winds. How could that be true?  Crazy weather. The river would have had a few visitors over the Bank Holiday weekend. The  heavy rain on Tuesday had slightly raised the level at Halfway Bridge. It might be too coloured. I was prepared for the worst. As I crossed Coultershaw Bridge I glanced at the river and was relieved to see it wasn’t coloured.

I parked on the edge of the wood at Keepers Bridge and looked at the signing in book, nobody had fished the beat since Sunday. I walked through the wood and had a look at the river, Mayfly were coming off and a fish rose. Excellent, I hurried back to the Land Rover and tackled up making sure not to miss any rings on the rod.

I sat behind a bunch of stinging nettles and watched the Alder pool, fish were rising but the wind was very strong. Lots of Mayfly were being blown onto the water and were struggling to release themselves. Their struggles made the surface film ‘buzz’ around them. It would be difficult to present a fly, luckily the wind was upstream. I started with a short, stiff hackled Mayfly but the trout were not fooled. After an hour I’d not had a take, a change was needed. I tried a nymph fished shallow, close to the edge. A small wild trout took the nymph. While I was returning the trout another fish rose for a Mayfly. Cheeky. I tried a large bushy French Partridge Hackle Mayfly. It was ignored.

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I chose a plastic winged Mayfly that I tied last year, they are hopeless to cast as they twist the line badly. I didn’t need to cast, I just lifted the rod and the wind did the rest. It caught the wings and blew the fly into midstream. The fly drifted over a feeding fish which rocketed to the surface and smashed into the fly. Each time I found a rising fish and drifted the Mayfly over it, the response was immediate and violent. One fish leapt out of the water as it took. They seemed to like the silhouette of the plastic wings in the surface film. I caught four good fish before the rise ended. It was good to catch something from the river at last.

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