28 July – Keeper’s Bridge

In the hunt for a Sea Trout I had explored many of the likely pools and only caught the non-migratory variety. The numbers didn’t stack up. The numbers of wild fish and stocked Trout far outweighed the Sea Trout. These shy, wild fish probably move up river in the dead of night and hide deep under the tree roots during the day. In my favour, they occasionally jump clear of the water and their bright silver colour makes it easy to distinguish them from the normal brownies. Several members had reported sightings, mainly in the middle beats; that’s where they mainly fish !

The weather had changed, a West wind and overcast skies would make the Sea Trout more inclined to move upstream. I arrived at Coultershaw Bridge about 5:30pm and parked near the weir.  The stretch of water below the fish ladder must hold Sea Trout. They would wait in the deep runs until a spate gave them the depth of water they needed to clear the weir. Access to the river was very difficult. The high banks were overgrown with Willow, Alder and Himalayan Balsam.  It was a sheer drop into the pools about ten feet below me, if I hooked a fish it would be impossible to get it out of the water.


I drove to Keeper’s Bridge and signed in. When I got to the river it looked perfect, the current was steady and there was a slight green tinge to the water. The streamer weed swayed in the margins and provided good cover for the Trout. I started with a GRHE nymph under the Alder trees and after about thirty minutes a fish rolled just behind the fly as it crossed the middle of the river. I flicked the fly back to the same place a couple of times and the fish eventually grabbed it. After a few seconds the fly came adrift.


Then followed an hour of minor problems; flies in trees, tangles, erratic casting, frequent fly changes. It was time for a change of scene. I walked up to the Sandy Pool and fished it down systematically. I had a fish swirl around the fly a couple of times and eventually a nice fish took the fly confidently. It was a very yellow fish, it almost looked like a wild Trout but it had a slight kink in its dorsal fin.

As I left the river a few fish were starting to rise. I popped into the Badgers and had a pint of Cornish Orchards cider on the way back, it was a reward for my efforts. No Sea Trout had been caught but it had been a pleasant evening.