20 April – Ladymead

Thick cloud and a south-westerly wind were ideal conditions for catching a trout from the river. Or a sea trout. On my last visit, although I used a weighted Black Nymph, it hadn’t reached the bottom of the deepest pools. I decided to fish on the top beat as it is lightly fished and it  contains a lot of wild fish. I would need something heavy to get to the bottom of the pool at Ladymead,  about the equivalent of a number 6 shot.

When I got to Taylor’s Bridge and signed in, I saw from the sheet that nothing had been caught over the last few days. That was good news, the fish had not been traumatised. I walked up to Ladymead and watched the pool while I set up my rod. As there was nothing rising I tied on a heavy Black Nymph and worked it down the deeper runs. After about twenty minutes I saw a big brownie cruise up the centre of the pool and take several flies. It looked about 3-4lb. It head-and-tailed up the pool snapping it’s jaws at tiny flies. It was feeding confidently, it looked like it was taking buzzers although I couldn’t see anything hatching. I tried a GRHE just under the surface and although I presented the fly gently, just ahead of the fish, it ignored the nymph. It wanted a dry fly. I returned to the car for my dry fly box and rested the pool. When I got back the big fish was still cruising around.  A chub of about 2lb was also swimming aimlessly around. As it came close to me, it was wobbling a bit and I could see cormorant scars on it’s flanks.

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I decided to wait quietly until the big trout came within easy casting range. I stood in the shallow water watching the trout patrol around the pool. It was a very dark brown colour with a big head. Probably an over-wintered fish. A couple of small trout were rising under the far bank at the tail of the pool and although they took my dry buzzer,  I missed both takes. I waited patiently for the big brownie but a group of young lads turned up on the far bank and jumped in the pool for a swim. Rats.

I walked downstream to the shallow pool and drifted a GRHE nymph down and across. At the usual place a big bow wave built up behind my nymph. I paused the drift and then drew the fly upstream. The fish took the fly but wriggled off after a couple of seconds. There must be a rock or depression in the sand at that position. There is always a fish in that lie. I was tired. I walked back to the car and had a relaxing drive home. I will return to Ladymead mid week when the campers have gone back to school.

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