The weather forecast was bad for the latter part of the week so I decided on an evening session before the rain arrived. Andrew had seen a big Sea Trout and I thought a late session on some of the deeper pools would be a good idea.
I had modified my little Hardy Marquis reel to make the drag mechanism quieter. A few minutes with a Dremmel polishing disc had reduced the edge of the pawl so that it only just made contact. No more embarrassing tangles and just a faint purr as I strip line from the reel.
The bright, sunny morning had given way to a warm overcast afternoon with a brisk south-westerly wind. When I got to Keeper’s Bridge two cars were parked under the trees so I continued to the Top Beat. I signed in and stood on the bridge for a while looking for fish. Strangely the water had a greenish tinge and had risen quite a bit. Either there had been a lot of overnight rain higher up the river or the new riffle at Rotherbridge had backed the water up further than I’d imagined.
I saw a fish rise just under the bank and tried it with a Black Neoprene Spider. There was no response, I think the fish had taken refuge under a nearby bush. I walked all the way down to the gate at the bottom of the beat, fishing most pools. It was a long walk in waders. Crouching, crawling and creeping to avoid scaring the fish. I had a hard take at the Shallow Pool but didn’t connect. On the way back up the beat I fished the pools I had leap-frogged. I walked on past the bridge, up to Ladymead. I waded out gingerly onto the sand bank in the middle of the pool avoiding the springs. The water was about a foot deeper than normal, previously I had fished there in wellies. I worked the fly across the current on the far side and then up the near bank under the trees. I had a double tap but again I failed to connect with the fish. It felt like a small wild Trout.
I was tired from walking in waders and thirsty so I adjourned to the Badgers just as the light was going. It had been an interesting evening, I was convinced I would get a fish but I’d messed up the only two opportunities.