Back at the car we discussed our options it was a little early for lunch so we opted to walk downstream a bit to some pocket water. This involved crossing the river, for those that know the Tees the wading is challenging! After making our way gingerly across and walking down a little more we reached some pretty amazing looking pocket water. We shook out and began to cover the water, around 50m or so apart. It was not what I would describe as a ‘Beano’ but by persevering I managed to tempt a few fish to the net berating myself every time I missed a chance. The fish were going to be tough again and I wanted to make the most of every chance.
After moving down a little further we reached a section all be it much shorter that was akin to the Devils Stones in the Czech Republic. The wading became even more precarious here and Del was the first to fall foul of one of the round slippery rocks. He ended up having a wee sit down in the river but was none the worse for wear. Shortly after I was trying to get into a position to cast in behind one of the big rocks I went down hard on my left knee. I thought I had really damaged it but after a short time the pain passed and I was able to carry on. I was rewarded for my efforts with a couple of fish. Down stream of me I could see Graham playing a good fish and stopped fishing to go and get a snap of his prize. We were going to carry on but time was wearing on and we were all ready for our lunch.
After an adventure walk through some thick ferns, brambles and nettles Graham brought us back to the car. Lunch was a little subdued we had barely managed double figures between us despite the fact conditions could not have been better. After lunch we returned to the long flat guides we had walked past in the morning. There seemed to be a good hatch on the go and Del was making hay as they say, getting into some sport. Graham and I were not far behind I had re-rigged my Superb with a floating line and a dry fly. I managed several offers and dropped a couple of fish but had failed to add to my mornings tally. Del and Graham both managed a few fish but it had been another tough old day. It was a weary gang that made its way back to the digs for the evening!
We enjoyed a fantastic meal at the Langdon Beck that seemed to boost morale and it was back to the digs to finish off the whisky and swing the lamp on some old fishing tales. Despite the late night we were up handy and on the river where we had started at Denton bank the morning was a poor show Del had dropped a fish and I had managed a small Grayling to save my blushes. We had moved up to a large natural weir that looked just the ticket but produced nothing. Near the very bottom of the run Graham was giving a dry fly master class and every time I looked around he seemed to be playing a fish. Del and I were not doing as well and other than a few refusals or pricked fish there was nothing else to tell. Time for lunch and as Dell made his way slowly back from the other bank, I saw him cast to a rising fish. All hell broke loose and Del was fighting a good Grayling, the fish gave a great account of itself but Del soon brought it to the net.
After lunch we moved upstream from the Denton bank and all switched to dry fly tactics. It was not because there was a huge hatch on but we did spot a few fish showing and thought it was worth a go. I wouldn’t describe it as fast and furious but we did start to grind out a few fish between us. Graham had moved further downstream and shortly after Del and I wandered down to join him. We would dip in where we saw some activity and Del hooked into a great fish but was dismayed to see his tip section also give up the ghost and snap. Regardless he managed to land the fish but then had to re-rig his nymph rod to fish dries as I had done the previous day. Things had started to pick up a little and the fishing seemed to improve for us all. More fish were starting to show and they seemed a lot more willing to take a well presented dry fly.
We finished out our day casting across a large pool and being rewarded with some nice trout. So, it was not the most prolific fishing I have enjoyed this year but the Tees was kind enough that I am looking forward to the next time I visit. I sincerely hope that the River Masters gets of the ground next year. As I grow older its not so much about catching fish and more to where and who I am spending my time with. Its always a pleasure fishing with Del and Graham. They are both very talented and gifted anglers and I seldom come away from a trip with them without some new nugget of knowledge. Loving the rivers at the moment and while my life is more taxing than it has ever been I really look forward to my next time on the bank.