6 April – River Plym

I was inspired by advice about tactics and tackle tips on swollen streams. Short leader, big flies and fire the casts low. I was happy with the latter because that’s my normal casting style. Thoughts on a short leader and big flies made me nervous.

As I drove over the bridge the height of the water thundering through the arches knocked my confidence a bit but at least it wasn’t raining. The car park was rammed with mini buses, climbing instructors and teenagers. No spaniels.

I fished the slack formed by the bridge cutwater. A heavy GRHE nymph worked well. Short line, cast, lift, repeat. I lost the nymph in a tree and moved downstream. Having lost the tippet, I attached the replacement fly direct to the leader making the business end shorter and stronger. The fast, white water would hide the heavier line.

The private woodland was quiet, the fallen oak and beech leaves deadened the sounds. I fished every back eddy, bankside slack and flat water. Some small pools has been created by the high water where I would normally crouch down to cast. The water was crystal clear and I hid behind trees and boulders to avoid throwing shadows, the morning sun was low and behind me.

I sat on the old seat which had survived the winter spates, it can’t last another winter. The fallen oak tree which normally bars my way, had been washed aside and lay, stripped of its boughs, close to the rock face.

I walked back through the woods watching the river. A woodcock flew across the river and disappeared. A kingfisher whizzed upstream with a single ‘peep’, it flew too fast for my eyes to adjust, it was just a blur.

It had been an interesting morning. My confidence gradually evaporated as each pool failed to yield a trout despite my best efforts and concentration. The season is nearly a month old and I have yet to catch a trout !