17 August – Keeper’s Bridge

The river had risen a little since my last visit but I was keen to fish so I went anyway. When I got to Keeper’s Bridge and saw the river, I was relieved to see that it was just fishable. The green tint had disappeared and the water had a distinct muddy colour but it was not thick with sediment.Β  The current was pushing through and the wind was downstream, not the best of conditions. I walked slowly upstream looking for signs of Trout. There were none.

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I started at the pool below the big Alder tree and felt that it was just a matter of time before I got a take. Although I was confident there were fish in the pool, the nymph was ignored.

I moved upstream to the Sandy Pool and decided to start at the top and search the pool with a nymph. I chose a loosely dressed GRHE nymph because the pale colour of the dubbing would be visible to the fish.Β  I covered the entire pool, casting down and across but I didn’t get a take. I was surprised not to have caught a fish in that pool, it looked so fishy.

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I moved up to the long straight above the bend and saw a fish splash near the top end. It came up about every fifteen minutes but it was not feeding. I tried several different nymphs and a dry fly but they were all ignored. I didn’t think the fish could see the flies. I moved up to the first gap in the trees, the gap where I normally lose several flies. The shallow water increased the speed of the current so I cast slightly upstream and allowed the leaded Black Nymph to sweep round towards the bush on my right. After a couple of casts a good fish rolled over, grabbed the fly and was hooked. For about five seconds. I tried a few more casts but the pool was trashed.

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I moved up to the next gap in the trees and repeated the process. On the first cast a Trout swirled at the fly but missed. I quickly flicked the fly back into the ripples and the fish had a second attempt but I lifted too soon and the fly ended up in the trees.

I heard splashing upstream and I went to the pool below the Old Riffle to investigate. While I was knelt on the tree stump a big fish jumped clear of the water in the centre of the pool, in the fast water. It was difficult to work the fly under the tree into the wind and I think I lined the fish.

I went back to the straight where the fish was still splashing in it’s earlier position. It jumped regularly but wasn’t feeding. I spent a while trying to tempt the fish with different nymphs. It looked a very pale coloured fish and may have been a Sea Trout.Β  The river seemed to be rising and the only sensible option was a pint at The Badgers.

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