5 October – Luffs

I returned from Somerset to find the river level dropping and an overnight storm dwindling into bright Autumn sunshine. The end of the season is only a few weeks away and I wanted to take every opportunity to fish the river. The north-west wind would be a problem but most of the streamer weed would have died and been washed away by the high water last weekend. As I drove slowly over Coultershaw Bridge I was surprised to see that the water was very coloured. I walked along the bank of the side stream below the Fish Pass. The stream was crystal clear and I saw a shoal of small Dace dash away from me. The streamer weed had all gone but the water was too swift and coloured to winkle out a Trout or a Chub. I visited Keeper’s Bridge but the shallows above the bridge were also unfishable and I decided to spend the afternoon at Luffs.


I sat in the sun on the bench at the top of Little Springs and watched the water, nothing moved. Similarly, Great Springs looked uninspiring. I had lunch at Luffs, a bacon and egg roll and a pint of beer. I looked out from under the trees, watching for rising Trout. I didn’t see any but I was confident that I would catch at least one fish. The wind was swirling around, mainly from the north-west but the mature trees funneled it down the lake. I stood downwind of the Willow tree and watched the wind put a nice curve in the line. It dragged my GRHE nymph slowly from left to right. After thirty minutes covering the water I felt the line start to drag and lifted into a fish. It was a Roach, the usual precursor to a take from a Trout. I expected a savage take at any moment and kept my concentration going by watching the tip of the line and checking my reel for loops. Nothing happened and I moved upwind of the tree. I worked hard but didn’t get a take. I sat on the bench by the sluice and tried a Partridge nymph. I saw a fish rise close to the bank on my right but I couldn’t tempt it.

The setting sun was golden and there were hundreds of young Pheasants pecking at acorns on the road. I packed up and went to Lower Figgs to see if the water level had dropped. The lake would be drained and dredged before the start of next season. Ironically, a good fish swirled close to the overflow.