It was a perfect Autumn day, overcast and cool with a gentle breeze from the north west. The leaves were turning brown at the edges and a few were dropping onto the roads. I had to go fishing, to remain at home was unthinkable.
The river level had dropped after the torrential rain at the weekend and I hoped the river would be deserted. There were two fish I had marked down last week and I had an appointment with each of them.
As I arrived at the river it started to rain. I told myself it was a only a shower and took a short cut across the stubble to the shelter of the trees. I tackled up near the bridge. The Beat had not been fished since my last visit and the fish had not been disturbed.
I had seen one fish in the shadow of a big Alder tree just above Taylor’s Bridge. It had risen for the midges that swarm under the trees. It had been impossible to present the fly from upstream as the line of Alder trees blocked the cast. Approaching the fish from downstream was difficult, my first cast had ‘lined’ the Trout and it had disappeared. I had seen the other fish under a bush below the bridge. A side cast, down and across, allowed the fly to drift under the leaves and I had caught one of the brace.
I stood on the bridge for a while, watching the water. Minnows were flipping about on the shallows and eventually the Trout rose in exactly the same place as last week. There must be a stone or some weed to give it shelter as the water there is quite shallow. I chose a black Neoprene Spider with a soft Partridge hackle and crept around the bed of stinging nettles into position. The first cast was short, I didn’t want to line the fish again. The next cast was perfect and I expected the fish to rise. Nothing. I changed the fly and tried again, no response. I thought I would rest the fish and go downstream for my next appointment.
The plan was to cast upstream of the overhanging bushes on the far bank and let the fly drift underneath. I put the fly down just past the rushes and let it swing round. The current was a little stronger than last week and the fly skated just as it reached the critical point. I flicked the fly out again, aiming to get a little closer to the far bank. It was too close and I snagged the fly on the bush. After tying on a new tippet and fly, I had a toffee to calm down.
I rested the fish and walked down to the Monster Pool, avoiding the Wasps’ nest. The rain made it difficult to see fish rising so I swapped to a nymph. I spent a while exploring the Monster Pool and the Long Pool but the fish were not interested. I wandered back to the Monster Pool and cast across under the big Oak tree. Just after the nymph had landed a Trout rose, inspected the fly and rolled away to safety. It clearly did not like the fly. I worked my way through the nymph box, convinced it was just a matter of time before I found something to it’s liking but the fish had seen enough.
I tried the two pools that I had rested but with no success. The rain was persistent, I was wet and cold. I had one last cast immediately below the bridge and caught a small Chub. I had an excellent Fish Casserole at The Badgers with a pint of Blonde, an excellent way to end the day.