|Clear water, gravel and ranunculus = trout|
Walking through woodland I headed downstream to start on a section that usually proves fruitful, the river here has frequent small pools interspersed by riffles, the faster pace provides many opportunities to find fish with the ruffled surface helping keep the angler concealed. Arriving by the waterside I sat on a half-submerged log, recent rains helping to elevate the height and flow to levels I haven’t seen for a long time and at times the push of the current took me by surprise when I found an increase in added depth. There’s something quite enjoyable about sitting and taking your time to set up while observing the surroundings, I never rush, the extra time allows the inhabitants to settle and this normally means you can catch very quickly, if you’re really lucky first cast.
|Larch cone buds|
|Copper bead pheasant tail nymph|
|Wiltshire's baetis nymph|
The beaded Wiltshire's baetis nymph is a new addition to my fly box and it came about because I had a selection of silver tungsten beads without an obvious pattern to use them on and thought the baetis nymph would suit either the silver or a black bead - I already have plans of which hook to use when tying some black bead versions. The plain baetis nymph has already served me well, I caught a two pound plus grayling on my trip to the Dorset Frome and a number of trout when I have used it. I saw no reason why the addition of a tungsten bead should change its effectiveness, but it does mean it can be fished much deeper.
As I was setting up, I caught a glimpse of a goshawk I had seen recently when walking around the woods before the season start, I have a fond interest in falconry so to see wild birds of prey does excite me, I've been fortunate to have watched the majority of easily seen birds of prey in my part of the country, but the goshawk is right up there, hopefully I will manage to get a worthwhile picture at some point.
Snagging a tree forced me to retie my tippet and I took the opportunity to change tactics. I had seen the occasional olive hatch off and although I hadn't yet seen a rise I was hoping as the day progressed they may start to look up. Although I hate that I use the klink and dink set up far too frequently, it is just such a devastating method on the small rivers I fish, if it was the only method I could use I wouldn't feel too restricted by it. As it happened my catch rate improved drastically, I can't really explain why, it could have been a combination of the nymph being presented at the right depth or that I had found an area that held more fish or that as the day advanced on they began feeding with more food items becoming active, but whatever the reason I caught over half a dozen fish from a pool located on a bend with an overhanging yew tree.
Carrying on upstream most of the productive areas where the deeper slower areas, the trout hadn't moved into the shallower riffles and faster runs and productivity was intermittent as I found areas and sections that held feeding fish; I missed a couple of takes to the klinkhammer as I was taken by surprise. I caught several sighted fish and some skillful angling led to a fish that took me under a fully submerged branch; I allowed the fish to run taken the fly line through the branches and thankfully it wedged itself in a thick clump of ranunculus, this gave me time to weave the rod tip under water releasing the line and I reconnected with the trout and safely landed it, not a big fish by any means but I do enjoy catching sighted fish no matter what the size.
|A well earned prize|