After yesterday’s nice double it was inevitable that I should have another look at the river today. First glance however told me that unfortunately there was a bit of increased colour evident – not good news!
I have agreed to take several people fly-piking who have paid in auction to a cancer charity, and am therefore getting slightly desperate to get it done. The very last thing I want though is to bring them here and catch nothing – a distinct possibility if things aren’t right with the water.
As far as today was concerned, as I am slightly daft and, now retired, have nothing much else to do (plus Max HAS to have his walk), I decided to have a go anyway. Giving it some thought I elected to go to a fairly shallow stretch, where I figured that the fish stood a half decent chance of seeing the fly, and where I know from experience that there are always plenty of pike (good friend Tim and I once had 20 fish from 100 yards at this spot). The colour looked slightly worse than I had expected and I was in two minds whether or not to even try, but hope springs eternal and away we went. I was not confident, and even my casting seemed slightly below par, but I persevered regardless. After 60 or so yards, to my total surprise, I was suddenly into a fish; only six pounds but most welcome in the ‘circs’!
Releasing this one I carried on with slightly more enthusiasm, then was disappointed when a few casts later the fly stopped and I really thought I had hooked a snag. Even when it slowly kited out I still thought it must be a log, but soon realised that, against the odds, I had actually hooked a good fish. The fight was plodding and unspectacular – perhaps unsurprising in the sub-zero temperature – but eventually I was delighted to chin out a near 20 pounder. Somehow I always seem to know when they won’t quite make the magic ’20’ and, sure enough, the scales showed a very creditable 18lbs 4 oz. What a result in the conditions!
After a quick pic of the fish lying by the rod in the snow, I slipped her back, packed up and drove to another stretch where I now felt sure of a few more fish… You’ve guessed it already – not a single offer!
I know it’s true that you don’t catch if your fly’s not in the water but, despite this obvious truth, it just shows that things have to be right before you can expect a good catch, but they don’t have to be right to catch a good fish. Anyway, maybe in three or four days it will all come good? Watch this space!