The afternoon I had was cut short by a vicious thunder storm; although I did catch a handful of fish, including a rainbow that I caught twice in the space of an hour barely twenty-five yards apart.
|One of only about half a dozen trout caught on a dry mayfly this year|
The first days fishing arrived and I had a plan. A newly acquired Hends Camou leader was rigged up onto a full spool of backing on my new Ari'T Hart reel; that's right, a spool just for a French leader. The new reel had a couple of immediate benefits, the spare spool being a major one, but also the extra weight the Ari had over my Lamson made holding a 10ft rod on a stretched arm much more comfortable.
I decided to fish the urban stretch of the river; this was because I had a forum member coming to join me at lunchtime to fish with me in the afternoon. I walked down to what would be considered the bottom of the urban stretch. A reasonable sized weir was my starting point, it is open and had the necessary flow I felt needed in the given conditions. I have caught fish here before, nothing substantial or a great number, but certainly worth a try.
With it being my first time fishing with a French leader I opted to use flies that held a bit of weight. Having fished a few times with the leader I now have no doubt that small, light flies can be cast, but at that time I wanted to be certain the leader would turn over. Of course fly choice was simple, what else but a couple of size 12, cream bodied JP pupa with 2mm copper tungsten beads.
|JP caddis pupa, size 12 with a 2mm copper tungsten bead with a cream body,|
by far my most successful fly at the moment
Working my way upstream I tried a small run under some trees, I fished this by casting above the trees and letting the flies run underneath. I caught a roach and grayling before moving on.
Finally I reached the pool I wanted to fish. I fished this pool in April using the duo method and caught a surprising number of fish of all sizes. This time it was much the, I caught quickly and up the full length of the pool. The fish ranged from 4" to 14", it was great to see such a wide size range of trout showing there is reasonable recruitment of fish.
|Plenty of these smaller fish showing reasonable recruitment|
I reached the top of the pool which starts as a low weir and concentrated in the main flow of current down the left-hand side. It wasn't long before I hooked something solid, I knew instantly this fish was special; it stayed deep and in the fast water. It soon tore down the pool and back again, it took a long time to get the fish in, it was immensely strong; on one powerful run the fish swam up the weir into the next run above. Eventually I got the fish in the net which it filled fully. As I wanted to get a good picture of this fish, I took it up onto a grassy bank, it measured just over 18" but was a very plump, certainly over three pounds. I nursed the fish back, having fought so hard, it took five minutes before it swam off; I will remember this fish for a long time.
|This trout was in perfect condition|
|I took a picture with the net so I could roughly work out the length|
Soon after I met up with Tom Cull who had driven up from Cambridge after an invitation to fish my club water. We drove much further downstream to a beat I hadn't fished yet. Starting downstream of a small weir we worked upstream in shallow water towards the pool. Tom missed a small fish that rose to a mohican mayfly - we were a little optimistic hoping to catch on dry mayflies - once we reached the pool we changed over to the duo. After the fantastic morning I was focused on Tom having a good afternoon, Tom searched the pool and quickly caught a trout of around 8", as the fish was caught low down I was certain another could be caught in the pool despite the small size. Very quickly Tom hooked a much bigger fish, this turned out to be a belting trout of around 16", a stunning fish. After Tom released his second fish I had a go and a quick couple of casts to an area that hadn't been fished saw me land a plump fish of about 10". We moved on after that, it was a great start to the afternoon.
|Tom's belting trout|
|A close up, an absolutely gorgeous trout|
|My little'un from the same pool|
|My Daiwa hooped round on a good fish|
|One of the many fish caught, this was the average size|