It was my good wife’s birthday yesterday so after taking my family for the most expensive cuppa ever they were off into London to go and see Hamilton. I would rather poke myself in the eye with a fork! So, it was watch the world cup or hit the river for a few hours, a no-brainer really. It took about fifty minutes breaking every speed restriction this country has to offer and was rigged up by 1700hrs ready to go.
It had been a few weeks since I had been and it was strange that the crowds from the Mayfly hatches were conspicuous by their absence. I checked the book and it looked like only the bailiff had been on the water. I had the river to myself, like a kid in a sweet shop I was in two minds where to go. In the end, I plumped to go left upstream I had set the 9’ 6” Wychwood Drift up but had not bothered threading the line through the eyes. As I wandered up the bank looking into the margins I spotted a good trout glued to the bottom. I watched it for a bit and then sat on the bench to set up.
I had opted for a #16 sedge pattern that has proved to be effective in the past. The first couple of casts went a little astray the third one, however, was bang on the money. The trout did not even flinch and so began the laborious task of changing through. After half an hour with no success and much frustration at my inability to tempt the fish to even come and have a peek I moved on in search of more obliging quarry. I had reached the beginning of the wading section, I always approach this carefully keeping low as fish often hang around the stairs. Today was no exception and as I looked over the reeds I watched a nice trout up and feeding happy as Larry and oblivious to my presence.
"Today was no exception and as I looked over the reeds I watched a nice trout up and feeding happy as Larry and oblivious to my presence."
I moved back from the water’s edge and tied on the sedge I had started with making sure to degrease the leader with some mud. On my knees, I shuffled back up to the edge of the river and made my first cast. By some miracle it was perfect, the fish hardly had to swish its tail before it sucked down the fly. The water erupted and all my slack line was gone and I was onto the reel. Having gotten to my feet I waded into the water to continue the fight. I was on fairly light tippet but had checked the drag on my reel. The fish gave a good account of itself but in the end, it succumbed and ended up in the net. It was a stocked fish but in great condition.
A few Grayling had started to make an appearance and had ruined my chances with a few Brown trout by snaffling down my fly before the Trout could even see it. What was interesting was watching a shoal of reasonable perch chasing the hooked Grayling never seen that before, thankfully I got to the fish before the Perch. As I moved upstream I watched what I thought was a good Trout rising under some trees the cast was awkward but I made a half decent job of it and lifted in when the fish boiled under the fly. It looked very silver and I thought it was a Grayling. No, it was a Roach, never caught a Roach on a dry fly before, it was turning out to be quite an evening.
I moved across the field to fish the section that leads to the road bridge. It was not the easiest of stretches to fish being clogged up pretty badly with weed. I was a good way from the car though and the light was fading fast. I just had to make the best of it, wading was really difficult with trying to push through it was a real workout. As I pushed my way through I would plonk my dry fly in any space that would accommodate it. No trout on the go but there seemed to be plenty Grayling in the gaps. Despite the difficulty I really enjoyed it, challenging but rewarding. By the time I had gotten to the bridge I had hooked and landed a good half a dozen Grayling and it was time to head back to the car.
When I got to the car there was only a tiny bit of light left so ditching all my kit accept my rod and camera I decided to go and get a few photos of the Sunset. Arriving on the bridge I met two fellow members Bernard and Mahti they had been up for the day from London and arrived here late in the day. We chatted for a while about the club and the fishing, we are so lucky to have these rivers. All the time we were talking I watch a Trout coming up every now and then. We said our goodbyes and I jumped down to give the fish a view of my sedge. Only a couple of casts and I played a spritely wild Brown to hand and immediately slipped it back.
A couple of quick snaps on the bridge then back to the car and home, via McDonald's of course! I don’t fish the evenings enough and must make more of an effort to do so, it was so much fun only about four hours fishing but what a grand time, got to get back soon!