Friday, 21 June 2013

Wasn't expecting to pull that out of the river!

I didn't start work until 13:30 today which gave me ample time to put in a few hours on the river this morning. I arrived at just after nine and found the river slightly coloured due to recent rain; luckily it was clear enough to fish.

I started at the same place as last time; the smooth glide above the weir. The trout pictured in my last post was in pretty much exactly the same place. I settled in my usual spot on the side of the weir. Whilst I slowly set my tackle up I saw a few small upwings hatching, possibly small dark olives. I noted the positions of a few fish that were rising regularly. I tied on a size 20 Phd (Peter Hayes dun) on a dropper and a size 20 PTN on the point to cover both options. My target fish failed to rise once and although I covered it several times I couldn't tempt it. I turned my attention to a fish rising further across the river. After a couple of casts I could see the trout follow the dry, hovering below, inspecting it. As the fish failed to take the dry it turned back and took the nymph; I'd like to say I saw it but I didn't, I just saw the dry sail under. A quick lift and it was on. The fish tore up the pool, and soon after I released a plump 10"  trout. Unfortunately it put all the other fish on edge and I couldn't muster another taker.

I then moved down river. I went to a spot that usually has a couple of very sizeable trout in residence that are difficult to tempt. This area is just below a wooden footbridge but the banks are made from concrete edges rising up to a couple of feet above the water level. The main reason this area is difficult is that access is from upstream, it is hard to sneak past the trout to get below them and fishing downstream rarely works. I spied a good-sized fish from the foot bridge and proceeded to make my way underneath and along the concrete edge. I crept beyond the spot where the fish had been stationed and sat in a spot hidden behind some tall grass growing from a crack.

I sat for a while as I had disturbed the intended target but was quite happy to relax and watch the water flow past me. As I sat there I heard an almighty crashing sound, as if someone had dropped a load of things. Immediately after I could hear someone crying for help. After half a minute or so of hearing this is I decided I ought to go and have a look. As I walked back along the bank I could still hear someone calling out but I couldn't see anything. I thought it may have come from one of the gardens that back on to the river and a women with a buggy joined me, she had also heard the calls for help. Neither of us could see anyone and I was about to cross the river as one of the gardens had a tall fence along its boundary and I thought I could be from there.

I tracked back from where I had just walked; it was then that I saw an old man in a mobility scooter in the river. Somehow he had ended up going in backwards and was hanging over the side of the seat dangling above the river. I dumped my tackle and dived down the bank. I got in the water and managed to move the chap back into an upright position. The women with me had been joined by a couple of other people and quickly phoned the emergency services. The bank was steep and covered in nettles; a big concrete block stopped the scooter from going completely in the river. I'd hate to think what could have happened had that not been there, he could have very easily ended up underneath the scooter in the water.

Another fella joined me down the bank side and it turned out he ran a mobility centre; the old chap had only been testing it. Between us we managed to manoeuvre the old man off the scooter and on to the bank. The emergency services were on their way and we were advised not to move him anymore. A couple of Police Officers soon turned up on foot as they had been close by. I explained the situation to them and they summoned for the fire and rescue service. A fire engine arrived and they took over from myself and the scooter owner. Thankfully the old fella wasn't injured and it was relatively easy for the fire crew to haul him up the bank. Once on firm flat ground he was able to get on his feet and people helped him walk to the Paramedics vehicle. Even the air ambulance showed up. 

The whole incident was around forty-five minutes in length. The emergency services thanked me for my quick and prompt actions. I had my details taken by one of the Police Officers as he wanted to pass them on the his Chief Inspector as he felt my actions were worth mentioning.

After it was all dealt with I had about an hour left before I had to leave. I found a few fish rising in a narrow streamy section. My rod is eight and a half feet and was a good foot too long. This part of the river has vertical concrete sides and has a lot of overhanging trees and bushes. I tried to tempt a few fish but the rod length was a major disadvantage; I kept continually hooking vegetation and eventually just disturbed the fish. I gave up; although I wasn't completely defeated as I managed to catch one trout, I had run out of time.

I made my way back to the car and stopped to check on my buddy. He was back on his station. I had a killers bug tied on and had a plan. On my side of the bank is a good-sized sycamore tree, this combined with tall bank side vegetation allowed me to creep down the bank opposite the fish. I pulled off some extra line, extended my arm and lined up for a catapult cast. Plop went the fly about two feet above the trout. It rushed forward and without hesitation took the killer bug. It fought well and probably weighed about a pound and a quarter. I regret not taking a picture and I guess you'll have to take my word for it, but wow what an interesting morning.

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