After completing a very quick meeting at the nearby Headquarters it was with great pleasure that I accepted Ian Pinders invitation to join him on the river Avon. My first visit to the river this season, the Loch Style match calendar as well as the biblical amount of rain we have had has kept me away. Ian did warn me off as he had spent the previous day fishing a high and chocolate coloured river. Undeterred I decided to give it a go, when I arrived at the river though I was thinking bugger!
It was in a sorry state and there were more showers forecast. Ian decided that we would be best to start higher up the river where it might be a little clearer so we got in the cars and moved up to 'B' crossing. As we approached the crossing point it was like a scene from Apocalypse Now there were soldiers in full camo and armoured vehicles everywhere and every helicopter in service buzzing about. I didn’t think we had that many helicopters left, anyway I digress. Ian was already tackled up so proceeded straight to the river. As I was tackling up I could see Ian playing several fish perhaps the river had cleared up at this end? No not so much and Ian had gotten into a shoal of Grayling.
As I made my way up the river picking at the edges and cursing the weather as I went my spool dropped out of my reel. I am sure the deep sigh could be heard from the Chinook loadmaster as they flew overhead. I had initially thought I had just not locked it in properly but after another three or four instances it dawned on me that the reel was knackered. Despite this I persevered and managed to get into some lovely wild Brown trout. They are stunning little fish and beautifully marked. If they would just stop stocking the river these fish would thrive and grow into something a little more considerable.
Despite the high coloured water the Grayling were ravenous and becoming quite a nuisance, well they don’t know they are out of season! We had worked our way all the way up to the top of the beat and arrived at the limit of fishing. There is a stunning house here with a working watermill on the side. I was quickly apprehended by the river keeper on the opposite bank and informed there was no wading from my side. I looked at the two feet that I was away from the bank, standing in water that didn’t reach my bootlaces but bit my tongue I was a guest after all. The keeper explained that they had recently opened a new syndicate water and he told me the costs. I quickly got out of the water and made my way back downstream chuckling as I went, oh to be rich!
Ian was still being plagued by Grayling but had managed a small wild Brownie. We made our way back towards the cars where Ben Worely was going to join us for an hour. The river did seem to be clearing up a little and we were optimistic that a hatch may come. We moved locations and the river did seem to be a little clearer that’s when the hail storm came, yes its not a typo hailstones you couldn’t make it up! Ben quickly returned to his car shouting *uc* that for a game of soldiers. It was torrential but it wouldn’t last, I hoped.
"Ben quickly returned to his car shouting *UC* that for a game of soldiers"
After the torrent, the sun came out again and often you find this is when the hatches come but not on this occasion there was no fly life bar the odd sedge. I did think I heard a fish rise but in hindsight it was probably wishful thinking. We had moved upstream of the farm yard and despite it not being a great fishing day the banter between Ian and myself was outstanding. As we wandered downstream I said to Ian I fancy a little dibble here. He smugly said well I will watch the master in action….lol. I was doubtful of catching anything I had only managed six trout all day. First cast and the rod buckled over into one of last years stocked fish. There you go I have shown you how it’s done your turn! We had a good laugh and proceeded to carry on not catching much. Ian and I kept trying despite the conditions but the going was tough. We decided to move to Sawyer's stretch for the last hour and as our day ended the colour did seem to be dropping out of the river.
No more trout to add to our total but it was always going to be like ice skating up hill. Many thanks to Ian for his good company and kind invitation, I am undeterred and can’t wait to get back on the river. I hope that the rain stays away and the weather finally settles down to give the fly life and the anglers a chance.