12 October – Above Keeper’s Bridge

The river looked perfect. The current was normal and the water had a lovely olive green tint. The sun shone and the breeze was warm, the scene was set for a lovely afternoon stroll along the river bank. Hopefully the Trout would join me. I decided to visit the places that I could rely on to produce a fish, the bushes and weed beds that always hide a Trout. I started fishing by the broken gate, below the big Willow bush. I chose a weighted Black Nymph, it usually does the trick. After a few casts the leader stopped drifting and slowly dipped, a very delicate take. I lifted gently and the Trout shot off down the pool and into some dead rushes on the far bank. The Trout was about twenty yards away. It dashed back across the river into the rushes on my side. I eased the fish into midstream and carefully played it out, gradually bringing it upstream to the landing net. It was about 2lb and coloured like a Leopard. I nursed the fish in the net and eventually it swirled away into the weeds. I munched on some chocolate to celebrate while watching the river. No Trout revealed themselves, just the occasional Dace.


My next stop was the pool below the big Alder tree, I caught several fish there in the Summer. Everything went to plan. After several casts the leader moved slightly and another Trout fought hard to avoid the net. The second fish was smaller, about 1lb 8ozs, but was coloured like a Char. It revived quickly and dashed away from the landing net as I was trying to take it’s photo. I had only being fishing for an hour and had caught two good Trout. Two gentle takes had been converted into two fish, 100% success.


I thought the fast water in the run below the Sandy Pool would produce a fish but although I concentrated hard, I didn’t get a take. I left the Sandy Pool for later, with the sun behind me I would have created a shadow on the water. The pools by the gaps in the trees didn’t produce a fish. I only hooked the tree once. I tried the fast, deep water below the Old Riffle but as usual, there was no response from the Trout. I’ve spent hours at that pool this year. One day I’ll get a fish there. I walked beyond the riffle to the Wide Pool. I managed to tangle the fly line around a thorn bush and destroyed any chance of a take while untangling the green knitting. I had a token cast but I knew it was a waste of time, the Trout had long gone.


As I walked downstream I remembered that a fish usually hid under the tree in the fast water just above the lip of the Old Riffle. It was quite a long cast but just as I had hoped, the leader twitched and Trout number three was hooked. It was a small, wild fish but it fought hard and was immaculate, fin perfect. It was quite fat and beautifully coloured. Quite different to the previous fish. Three takes, three fish.


By the time I got back to the Sandy Pool the sun had disappeared. I worked the entire pool down and across, expecting a bang on the rod at any moment. It didn’t happen but just as I was reeling in the line to change pools, there was a rattle on the rod tip and I missed Trout number four. I walked downstream to the bridge and saw a fish rise next to a bush. I had a cast or two but left the fish for another member.

It had been a good afternoon. The colours on the different strains of Trout were amazing. It was comforting that I knew the regular lies of the Trout but it will all be different next season. The winter floods will rearrange the sandy river bed and rip out some of the weeds and bushes. It will all have to be learnt again.