I spent the afternoon taking temperature and pH readings at the lakes, some very interesting results. It was scorching hot with bright sunshine. I arrived at Keeper’s Bridge about 4:30pm and had already decided to fish upstream to Perryfields. I hadn’t fished that stretch for a long time and it would make a nice change. I walked past the Sandy Pool and found a large Alder tree to sit under. I could see a short stretch of river while I set up my rod. After selecting and tying on a Mayfly I discovered that I had missed a rod ring. Again. Despite great care. My eyesight must be failing.
I was enjoying the shade and the breeze when a fish rose just upstream under a tree branch. I watched it rise several times and then tried to cover it. I lost the fly in the Alder tree. The fish continued to rise until I managed to get a Mayfly over it. Then the trout disappeared. My casting was not at it’s best. The heat and midges were getting to me so I strolled upstream along the headlands of a large open water meadow. The breeze was stronger there. I heard a splash in the big wide pool about a hundred yards above the old riffle. I sat and watched for ten minutes and only saw a Moorhen. I was just about to continue upstream when the fish rose again. In midstream just below a sunken tree branch. I had lost a few flies on that branch last season. I cast a Neoprene Mayfly over the trout a few times but there was no response. I went upstream and chased a trout along a stretch of river. It kept moving up, it was probably a sea trout. When I reached Perryfields Barn a diesel engine was thumping away feeding the water sprinklers. It was too noisy so I went back to the trout by the sunken tree. As I approached the pool it rose several times. I checked the knots, degreased the tippet and put the fly in the perfect place second cast. The trout swirled and I lifted into it. I bent the rod and hauled the fish out of the branches. It took the fish by surprise. By the time it was on an even keel it was in open water. It ran deep and pulled hard but it kept away from the snags. In the net it looked very long, it was about 2lbs 4ozs. It had a curly dorsal fin, not a wild fish.
After returning the trout I went back for the fish under the Alder tree. It had gone. I returned to the Sandy Pool and watched the tail end. A fish rose under the old willow stumps but not for my Mayfly. Back at Keeper’s Bridge there were two fish rising, one under my favourite Alder branch and another under the near bank about twenty yards downstream. I tried the lower fish with a Mayfly gently lowered onto the water. It came up, looked at the fly, circled around and went back down again. It was not the presentation, the leader was not touching the water. It didn’t appreciate my fly tying skills. I tried it again with a different fly but the fish remained unimpressed. I moved up the pool to cover the fish sipping down flies under the branch. The cast was perfect, the fly landed gently, the fish head-and-tailed. It was hooked. It was about 1lb 8ozs and marked like a leopard. A cool pint at The Badgers was desperately needed. It was a perfect end to the evening.