8 October – Taylors Bridge

After my last frantic fish catching visit to the river, I thought a more leisurely afternoon was appropriate. The river season would end in three weeks and I wanted to see the wilder stretch of river above Taylors Bridge before then. The weather was unusual, a warm wind from the south-west with a threatening overcast. The jet stream was drawing warm air up from Africa and the forecast was for 23 degrees mid-week. Summer in September.

I signed in about 2:30pm and wandered upstream towards Ladymead. The pool looked good, there was a mixture of leaves decorating the sandy margin and the water had an attractive bottle green tint. I searched the pool with a weighted black and silver spider for longer than necessary, convinced that a Trout would grab the fly. The pools upstream of Ladymead were devoid of streamer weed and I explored a few, losing only one fly in a tree. As the depth of water reduced so did my expectations of finding a Trout. On an impulse I turned and walked downstream towards the bridge.

The deep stretch by the cricket-bat Willows failed to produce a take. So did the deep hole just above the Shallow Pool. I hid behind the dying rushes at the top of the new cattle drink and worked the fly across the pool. A small wild fish grabbed the fly and despite its aerobatics didn’t shake the hook. The silvery little fish wriggled back through the weeds and dashed into deeper water. Having caught a fish I felt relaxed. The pressure was off.


The deep water on the long bend swirled around and folded into seams. The wind drew cats paws across the surface and I was confident that a Trout was hiding down among the rotting streamer weed. I cast, let the line swing round and took a step along the bank. Just like Salmon fishing. It took half an hour to cover the entire pool and by then I had lost concentration.


I walked back and spent a few minutes searching the patches of sand above the bridge for any signs of a Trout. There were none. Below the bridge the water was grey, shaded by the Alder tree. I thought about having a few casts but decided to leave.


The afternoon had been more relaxing than I had planned. I had caught a lovely wild Trout but I had not convinced one of the shy monsters to visit me on the bank. I had seen the wilder side of the river and I was content.