It was a grey day with very high winds. Not steady, gale force winds but blustery winds that would make casting difficult. Sometimes the gusts were accompanied by brief showers. Heavy rain was forecast for 3:00pm. I visited all the lakes and every beat on the river to collect the catch returns. After delivering them I drove to Rotherbridge. That was probably a mistake. Some of the smaller lakes were sheltered and I had seen a large trout in the shallows at Lower Figgs. I saw the same fish last Thursday browsing the lake bed, it looked like a blue trout about 4lb.
I drove to Rotherbridge and walked straight to the new riffle. I worked a black nymph down the runs to the tail of the pool without any response. It was difficult to cover the water accurately as the line was uncontrollable. I moved down to the long straight but couldn’t find a trout. I lost a couple of flies in the bushes and occasionally the wind lifted the fly line off the water. The combination of the current and wind made it impossible to continue at the riffle.
I walked to the pool with the overhanging Alder branch and as I arrived a good fish splashed at the top of the pool alongside the tree. Normally a side cast and a flick of the rod tip puts the fly well up the pool. The wind was downstream and I couldn’t reach the fish, the line was blown back towards me. I gave up after twenty minutes. I moved down to the next pool and lost a couple more flies in the bushes. At 3:00pm as predicted, the rain started to arrive, big black clouds were gathering over the Downs behind me. It was time to retire to The Badgers for a pint and a piece of chocolate cake. I should have gone to Lower Figgs.