25 May – Hot

I thought that the Mayfly would be hatching in swarms. The temperature and bright sunshine would surely encourage them to leave the water. I was wrong. It was much too hot and sunny. The hottest day of the year so far, 28 degrees. There were a few Mayfly hatching but not enough to coax the trout from under the streamer weed and tree roots.

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I decided to concentrate on the pools around Keeper’s Bridge because on Tuesday evening I had seen lots of trout greedily taking Mayfly. Tuesday was overcast. I sat on the mown grass below the bridge where I could see about two hundred yards of the river. I thought that I was going to wait a long time before a fish revealed itself. Not so, there was a rise just a short cast upstream. I had tied some delicate parachute Mayfly using white foam for the body and hackle post. They looked convincing. I flicked one at the trout which was rising alongside an overhanging bush. It stopped rising.

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I moved downstream and found a good fish rising in a completely inaccessible pool. I saw a group of fish in the pool immediately above the new riffle. Mark had a 3lb 8oz sea trout below the riffle on Tuesdayย evening and had seen several more. I flicked a black nymph towards the biggest fish. The cast was short. I flicked it out again and shot some line. The leader curled over and the fly landed close to the big one.ย  It took the fly and snapped the line with ease. I walked back to Keeper’s Bridge and visited the Land Rover for a drink and consolation banana.

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I settled down to wait by the Alder trees opposite the footpath through the woods. A fish rose and I covered it with a Mayfly. It responded but I was too quick with the strike. I rested the fish but it would not rise again.ย  I walked upstream to the Sandy Pool but there were no fish. I was hot, dehydrated and tired. Too tired for the pub.

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