I arrived at the river about 5:30pm and planned to stay until dark. There were a few Mayfly hatching but not enough to coax the trout to the surface. The sea trout smolts were splashing on the surface.
I started at Keeper’s Bridge and caught a small sea trout within thirty minutes. As the sun dipped lower the fish started to rise. Not for Mayfly but for midges, there were millions buzzing about near the surface. I saw a small fish leap out of the water in an attempt to grab an airborne fly. A fish was rising just above the bend but a careless cast put it down. I rested the fish and it started to rise again a bit further downstream. It refused several flies and I walked away in search of an easier target. I couldn’t find another trout so I returned to the spooky fish and cast a spent Mayfly imitation. The trout rose confidently and took the fly. It was a small wild fish which I quickly returned.
I wanted to explore the stretch of river between Keeper’s Bridge and the old riffle, it had been kind to me last season. I walked slowly upstream looking for any signs of trout. I reached the riffle without seeing anything except ducks and swans. The sun was low and the air temperature was dropping. Dew was forming on the short grass beside the river. I sat beside the Sandy Pool waiting for a rise. A trout took a midge at the end of the pool near the far bank. I waited for it to show again and cast down and across. The cast was clumsy and I put the fish down. Another trout rose downstream from the pool, at the top of the long straight beside a bush. I crept down and flicked a Mayfly into the rings of a rise. I did that several times. The trout took the fly just as I lifted it slowly off the water at the end of a cast. I didn’t scare the fish which kept rising under my rod tip. A few minutes later I lowered the fly onto the surface and a good fish rose and gulped it down. I’m not sure it was the same fish. With such a short line the fight was frantic, Ian appeared and netted the fish for me. It was nearly 2lb and nicely marked. I left about 9:15pm, a good fish was rising at the top of the Sandy Pool close to the bank. I marked it down for next time. The evening was very productive.