Tapered leaders had been glued, rods waggled and fly lines cleaned. I was ready for the start of the trout season in Devon. The myriad choice of rivers was confusing. I walked my favourite Beat on the River Plym yesterday. The water looked beautiful but the litter annoyed me. I collected three big bin liners full of beer cans and bottles from between the bridge and the first pool, it filled the Defender.
I planned to fish a new Beat but unsure of the access, I was confronted with signs threatening dire consequences if I entered the woodland. I will return in a few days with a map. Plan B unwound as I trundled along the lanes not concentrating on navigation. I eventually found the river and left the Defender on a slippery rock outcrop.
The water level had dropped but the riffles crested white and I could hear the occasional clunk as a boulder shifted in the current. Blue Winged Olives were hatching in good numbers and the choice of fly was obvious, the usual small GRHE nymph.
My first few casts were amateurish and I had to retrieve the fly from various twigs and brambles. A comfortable routine soon established itself and muscle memory returned, I was in the groove and focused on the likely fishing holding places. A deep channel in midstream with a pale rock base looked promising and I was surprised not to get a take.
A Dipper flew downstream and a couple of Buzzards were using the thermals over the far side of the valley, their mewing was a welcome distraction.
I fished the deep water under the trees until I reached the end of the Beat. The bright sunshine and clear water were a hinderance. I need to tie some nymphs with a few extra turns of lead wire. I had enjoyed the walk and was only slightly disappointed not to have caught a trout.