The morning was grey and chilly, not British Summer Time. I went to Rotherbridge to meet Andrew and we discussed the previous week’s catch returns. I was then treated to a guided tour of the river below Coultershaw Bridge. It looked great but it was obviously hard fished. Later in the morning I parked my Land Rover at Keeper’s Bridge and walked slowly upstream looking for trout and noting the subtle changes to the river. The streamer weed was starting to grow and the water had a nice greenish tint. The catkins were emerging on the willow and alder trees. The sun was high in a blue sky and it was hot, about 60 degrees. I walked downstream to the new riffle. I saw a trout rise just on the bend below Keeper’s Bridge and another in the middle of the riffle. It’s only a week until the opening day on the river.
I had lunch at the lodge next to Great Springs and a long chat with another member. I decided to go back to Luffs, it looked lovely in the spring sunshine. I stood on the grass, looking at the lake, watching for rising fish. I was directly under the National Grid cables. I noticed my left hand, holding my carbon fibre rod, was tingling. It felt like mild ‘pins-and-needles’. I was alarmed but reassured by my rubber Wellingtons. I touched the rod tip on the grass to earth it and the tingling stopped. When I raised the rod off the ground the tingling started. Static was building up in my rod. I decided to fish from the other side of the lake.
I sat on the bench near the willow tree and started fishing with a GRHE nymph. I had a couple of knocks on the fly but didn’t connect. I changed to an amber nymph but the fish had moved away. They are quite spooky. I met a new member and chatted while I fished. I moved around to the sluice and fished the amber nymph deep, casting into the wind. I had a solid take and the trout charged off up the lake, jumping as it went. It was a small fish, pulling well above it’s weight. The trout was foul hooked in the side and eventually came adrift. I walked back to Great Springs and after another cup of tea, fished a Neoprene Buzzer from the point. I hooked a good trout which took me through several weed beds before escaping. Probably another foul hooked fish. Soon after losing the fish I hooked another and bullied it away from the weeds into the net. It had been a long day so I signed out and headed for home.