The morning was damp and chilly, the south westerly wind and grey skies were ideal for fishing. It seemed as if Autumn had arrived in July. There was no point in waiting for the evening and the light to fade, the sky was dull enough at 9:00am. I arrived at Rotherbridge at 11:00am and decided to fish downstream, Beat E, but on the North bank. I had never fished that stretch from the Rotherbridge Farm side and it would be like fishing a new river.
I started by the bridge, got snagged in the trees a few times and decided to explore as far downstream as possible. I fished the shallow stretch below the bridge, working the nymph between the numerous clumps of rushes and streamer weed. I saw a couple of fish splash but had no takes. The fish were splashing and leaping, they weren’t feeding. I walked down to the first bend but there was no sign of Trout under the trees. I found a crystal clear spring with a good flow of water. It was a miniature chalk stream full of shrimps.
I went further downstream and worked a few likely looking pools but the sun had broken through the clouds and the fish had gone deep into the tree roots. I fished a few pools on the way back to the bridge but I had lost confidence in the Beat and my concentration. I hid beside the bushes near the bridge and looked for Trout, one was rising under the trees but it was an impossible cast. I hooked the trees a couple of times and decided to have a short break back at the Land Rover. After a bottle of Lucozade and a toffee I reorganised my pockets and went upstream.
I hid behind the rushes and carefully presented a nymph but the downstream wind was getting stronger. After twenty minutes I found a more sheltered pool and methodically searched it with a GRHE nymph. No response. Black clouds loomed over the horizon and I had to shelter under the trees at the edge of the field. While waiting for the rain to stop I tied on a representation of a freshwater shrimp. First cast by the landing stage a wild trout followed the shrimp but veered away at the critical moment.
I walked up to the New Riffle and thoroughly covered it with a large black fly. I had a couple of heart stopping moments but it was streamer weed I’d hooked not a monster Trout. On my way back to the bridge I stopped on the bend and cast my fly alongside a bush on the opposite bank. A very large Trout followed the fly but rolled away back into deeper water. It had probably been caught before and saw through the deception. The wind speed had increased and it was very difficult to control my #3 weight line so I decided to leave and save my energy for the Orvis event the following day.