For once it didn’t rain and the drive westwards was quite enjoyable. The river at the bottom of the garden was honey coloured in the evening but had cleared overnight and the fat little Trout were rising for midges. Until they saw me, then they melted away, they disappeared in six inches of crystal clear water. Amazing.
The humidity and uniform grey overcast were tiresome but perfect for fishing. Not on the moor, the weather would be nasty up there. A lush green river valley devoid of people and spaniels would be ideal.
I started with a black spider and although I experimented with other patterns, I kept returning to that fly, I had confidence in the colour, weight and size. The scenery was spectacular. The gnarled old Oaks covered in bright green lichen and the granite boulders combined to create a primordial landscape. The cold, clear water smashed it’s way through crevices and poured over bed rock forming long, fast riffles. Water that looked shallow threatened the top of my wellies, some of the pools were over four feet deep.
While leaning against a tree I noticed a Golden Ringed dragon fly, the UK’s biggest, emerging from the larval shuck. It dried it’s wings, growled at me and thankfully zoomed off to kill something else.
I dropped a fly over a boulder the size of a mini and a double-tap signalled the presence of a brownie. I walked downstream for three hours, exploring every pool and riffle. A couple of Trout attacked the fly but I failed to make contact. I was more interested in the landscape than the fish. I think the valley is the most beautiful I have ever fished. The pictures tell the story.