It was a horrible cold, grey day. A strong wind from the north-east. Not good weather for fly fishing. If I fished the river I could shelter from the rain in The Badgers. Alternatively, at the lakes I could shelter in the clubhouse with a cup of tea and chocolate biscuits. I visited all of the lakes, they were deserted. Fish were rising in the shallows at Little Springs but the other lakes looked lifeless. I decided on the river.
I went to the river and signed in at the fish pass. I walked to the shallow section of river below the fish pass and saw a good fish holding station above a large flat stone. It saw me and turned downstream, it looked like a sea trout. A week ago I found, hooked and lost a big trout along the straight above the fish pass. It was hiding alongside a small bed of weed in mid stream and had snagged me there when I thought I had it beaten.
I sat on the grass just above the weeds and cast well upstream, I didn’t want to spook the fish with the first cast. I gradually cast closer to the weeds, using the current and the downstream wind to move the GRHE nymph across and down. When the fly reached the critical point the fish swirled and I lifted into it. It tore off upstream, well away from the weeds. I thought it was foul hooked but when I got it close to the landing net I saw the nymph in it’s jaw. When the trout saw the net it dashed off downstream and took a lot of line. After several attempts I got it in the net. I was surprised by it’s size, it was bigger than I had thought. Ironically, the fish had taken the same GRHE nymph as last week. Not just the same pattern, the very fly ! It was about 2lb 8ozs and marked like a leopard.
I walked upstream and saw a fish rise. I sat and watched the water while I had a toffee. Andrew arrived in his Land Rover and I showed him the photo of the big trout, he said it was an over-wintered fish. While we were chatting the fish rose again. It took about an hour before I could convince the trout to take my fly. It was about 1lb 8ozs, a recently stocked fish.
I fished every pool on the way back to the fish pass but I couldn’t find a trout. I started at the top of the weir pool and had a take first cast. It was a sea trout smolt and came off just as I was about to bring it to the net. The trout were following the fly but turning away. I changed the fly and had a take, it was about 1lb 8ozs and I returned it to the pool. My arm was painful and I decided to leave. Just as I snipped the nymph off the tippet a good fish took a fly off the surface in mid-stream. I worked a dry fly over the fish for ten minutes to no avail. It had been another good day, I looked forward to a glass of wine to celebrate.