18 June – Keepers Bridge

The river looked lovely. The caramel brown colour of the water, caused by fine sediment from run off, had been replaced with a green tinge. The streamer weed was just visible but was not fully developed, it’s growth had been suppressed by the cold Spring and muddy water. There were good channels between the immature weed beds which I wanted to explore with a nymph. I only had a couple of hours before a meeting at Great Springs and I therefore decided to focus my attention on the stretch above Keepers Bridge. Just as I arrived at the waters edge I saw a fish rise in midstream under the Alder tree. It was the type of rise that gives me confidence, not the splashy rise of a Sea Trout. It was a little swirl with a soft pop as the Trout took a fly. The fish did not rise again but I resolved to stay at the pool until I caught it, there was no point in moving.

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I used a lightly weighted Black Spider as I felt that the fish would be fairly deep. I worked the fly down and across, covering the water methodically. After half an hour I was starting to lose confidence so I shuffled along the bank a couple of yards and started another pattern of casting, covering water slightly further downstream. The take was very positive, the fish was strong and it was quite a while before I could draw it over the net. It was hooked in the scissors and weighed 2lb, a plump well conditioned Trout.

I ran the fly down the channels in the streamer weed growing on the shallows opposite the footpath. There is always a fish there and I was surprised not to get a take. The position of the sun was awkward, over my left shoulder. The blustery wind was downstream which didn’t help but at least the ripples hid the leader. I explored the shadows under several trees but the Trout were not interested. I was content with one fish and left the river to attend the Committee meeting. It was a short session but rewarding, the river was in good shape and had been kind to me.

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