The beautiful spring morning demanded a walk beside the river. My access to the Beat a few days earlier had been prevented by unfriendly signs but careful examination of the map revealed an alternative path. I wanted to explore the river but it wouldn’t do any harm to take a rod along for the walk, much like a dog except it wouldn’t chase pheasants.
The walk started badly. In my haste to reach the river bank a hundred feet below, I left the path and headed down through the woodland on the valley side. The steep slope became steeper and I lost my footing. I crashed through the trees and down onto the stone path having jettisoned my rod in mid tumble. I checked that my rod was unbroken before my arms and legs. Badly winded and bruised I thought about abandoning my expedition but the river beckoned. The first pool swept under my bank and would surely hold a trout.
I fitted the Hardy together, threaded the line through the rings and tied on a GRHE nymph. My shaky start ensured that the line and fly became tangled in the trees several times before getting wet. A pull from a trout would have steadied my nerves but it wasn’t to be.
I walked for about a mile, fishing the deep pools, until the hot sun and my bruises told me to turn back. I’d walked about half the Beat. I’d escaped serious injury and resolved to stick to the path in future.