I had some tedious chores in the morning, the car had been booked in for it’s MOT. It failed. On the bright side, Postman Pat delivered a vintage Barbour jacket that I found on eBay for only £22. After I had re-waxed it and sewn up a small tear, it looked almost new.
The weather was odd. The North wind was quite warm. The clouds moved across the sky with a purpose. The outlook alternated between sunshine and rain. I got to Keeper’s Bridge and tackled up. While I was filling my pockets with fly boxes and toffees, a large bough fell off a tree in the woods. It crashed down on the path. Without any warning. It was a little worrying and I made a mental note to use the farm track in future. Last week I promised some friends a brace of Trout for their dinner. However, none of the fish I had caught were suitable and the pressure was mounting.
I walked down the farm track and stood on the bend waiting for a fish to show itself. I heard a splash from under the Alder tree but dismissed it as falling debris. The wind was quite strong. I heard another splash but I was looking upstream and couldn’t tell what had caused it. I concentrated my gaze on that pool. A fish swirled right under the tree. I walked down to the pool and just as I got there, the fish rose again a bit further upstream. I tied on a Black Nymph and cast upstream of the rise. The fish took the fly on about the third cast. It was a good fish and battled up and down the pool, diving into the weeds a couple of times. It weighed 2lb 4oz and was suitable for a meal.
I rested the pool for twenty minutes as I had seen another fish. The splashing and jumping about had scared the other fish away and I walked upstream to the Sandy Pool. Last Monday I had seen a Trout under an Alder tree below the Sandy Pool. I wondered if it was still there. Brown Trout are quite territorial. I worked the fly towards the tree, extending the line a little on each cast. There was a big swirl, I lifted the rod and a spooked fish leapt out of the water into the tree branches. It crashed back into the water and I assumed that was the end of the matter.
I walked upstream and half-heartedly flicked the fly around a couple of pools. I wanted to get back to the spooked fish but I knew better than to rush it. After a while my patience ran out and I crept behind the rushes opposite the tree. The first cast was a fluke. The leader curled under the low hanging branches and the fly landed near the opposite bank. The fish swirled at the fly and then hung in the current just underneath it. The fly drifted downstream, I lifted off and repeated the cast. The Trout took, crashed around under the tree and then dashed up the river. As usual my landing net had run away and hidden in the grass. I was lucky to land the fish. It made a nice brace, dinner for two.
The barbless hook had taken a good hold in the Trout’s jaw. I don’t think a barbed hook would have penetrated that well. The hook pattern that I have chosen for this season’s flies is the best that I have ever used. The hooks are made from fine wire and are strong. They have a matt black finish and are very sharp.
I walked downstream, past the bridge, towards another favourite tree. I worked hard to entice a third fish but the wind had grown stronger and it was getting cold. My casting was mechanical and I was losing concentration. Time for the pub. I dropped off the two fish on my way home.