Well what a bloody crap month, was really looking forward to the Christmas break and was ill for the entire period, oh well never mind. The day job has been keeping me really busy as well so getting to kick off the 2014 season off has been emotional, to say the least. Anyway, a meeting that I was supposed to attend was cancelled I was already booked out the office for the day so although it was very short notice it was on. I had called Robbie at home and he said it would be fine to turn up in the morning, he also reported that the river was in fine fettle. I also phoned my mucker Graham who is a professional guide I knew barring clients he would be available for a bit of fishing. He was, however, visiting family on the coast but was up for making the trip anyway. The day was of a similar ilk to the last day we had spent at Wherewell a cold start but the sun blazing over the horizon promised a bit of warmth later in the day.
Graham and I briefly reminisced about the last visit that saw us have some outstanding sport, with conditions similar we were both optimistic at the day's prospects. I suppose that’s when it all started going wrong! I use a cloakroom counter to keep track of the number of measurable fish that I have caught. It's handy and by the end of the day, you have an accurate record of the number of fish you have caught. So three hours in Graham come tootling up to me “how you getting on?” I look down at my counter and am dismayed to read 0000 yes nada, none, nothing. Graham retorts with one to measure and one undersize. We guessed the extra water had moved the fish to different areas perhaps the barometric pressure was affecting the behaviour of the fish, who knows all I know was it was bloody hard work. We toiled on both pulling out all the stops to try and get into some sport. I eventually caught one but it was only 13cm so not on the card, still, at least it was a start. My next fish had too many spots nice but wrong time of year.
We were reluctant to stop for lunch as we wanted to try and have a few under the belt, the fish started to come but it was painfully slow. One here one there not the consistent sport we had enjoyed the previous month. It was pleasing to take a few on the dry fly and when there was a rise on it is very evident that there are plenty of fish in the system. We eventually made it back to the car by 1500hrs. I had to be on my way by 1600hrs so a tuna butty stuffed down my throat and another half hour trying to increase my tally of seven for the day. I walked upstream for a bit and started fishing. It’s not an area I have much faith in but it was worth a go, first cast and a big Brown trout made off with my entire rig, bugger bugger bugger. It was at this point I was ready to jack when a hatch came on and the river came alive. I took a nice grayling which was returned safely but for some reason, I got into a leader malfunction, conscious of the time I hurriedly cut of the flies and endeavoured to sort my rod out. Next cast another Grayling hooray it’s come on, why is this rod not casting right? Because you missed out the tip ring you village idiot, I had run out of time so persevered in a fashion and did manage another one. So ten fish for the day just made double figures by the skin of my teeth.
The England Qualifier is coming up soon and I believe it is going to to be a busy one if it fishes anything like yesterday I fear people will get the wrong impression of Wherewell. It is a great river and usually produces much more. Perhaps the ladies are still suffering from a New Year hangover!