Trout between the showers part 2

May 20, 2017 at 12:25 pm

A week after my last outing on the syndicate river, saw me checking the forecast and waiting for a prolonged downpour to finish before heading west into the promised three hours of sunshine. The black clouds were in retreat when I arrived, although the hoped for mayfly were absent. After a week of showers I had expected the river to be heavily coloured, but true to it’s chalkstream origins, it was pushing, but clear.

The unweighted Hares Ear nymph of last week was still attached to my made up rod, as I entered my first pool, managing to roll a nice trout casting along the edge. Moving downstream mayfly were suddenly breaking free of the surface and it wasn’t long before the sound of rising trout could be heard. Upstream I saw a nice fish rise and retraced my steps to the pool, getting down on my knees to approach the high bank. As if by magic the floating nymph sank into a ripple and I was playing a hard fighting trout that rushed round the pool. I had already extended my landing net, which was waiting for the fight to finish.

!8 inches of solid power, this overwintered stockie showed a few battle scars, but this river is fished from October on by coarse fishermen for chub, who complain about the trout getting in the way.

The mayfly were now coming thick and fast, encouraged by the warming sun on the river and the trout were mopping them up, seeing my next target rising under trees in fast water above a clump of roots. After a couple of sideways flicks of the line, the nymph dropped above it and vanished in a swirl. The shallows erupted with another good fish, that darted into the hole under the roots, then out again down into a run throwing up more spray. It was soon on it’s side in my net. Two good trout in ten minutes.

There were rises everywhere and a few measured casts to a fish rising at the tail of a pool saw a wild brownie in the net.

The wild trout in this river tend to be silvery on their flanks, this one of about ten inches was a welcome sight.

Continuing downstream a large trout was rising like clockwork and I circled round away from the bank to come up behind it. It was not interested in my floating nymph, chasing mayfly as they tried to take off. I tied on a tatty old Bodied Mayfly and cast it in with a plop. Gone. It went straight away. A zigzagging boil and the fish ran upstream, rolled and came off. Not to worry, I could hear more splashy rises behind me, seeing ripples spreading out among trees. Getting down behind a tree, the trout was just upstream of me and a short cast saw a vicious attack that hooked itself on the tight line. Boiling on the surface, the pound plus trout churned round in a circle and came off, my fly springing up into the tree. Using the landing net, I reached up and retrieved my old faithful mayfly.

It had started raining and looking back upstream, the sky was black with falling rain. Fish were still rising and on my way back to the van was tempted to try again for the fish that I had rolled at the start. Splashy rises were still coming up along the brambles and the old fly did it’s work, hooking, not the stockie that I’d lost earlier, but another silvery wild trout, netting it as the heavens opened.

Water on the lens blurred this pic, but it is good to see that the river is still capable of supporting these fish. With my top half soaked through, the van was waiting to give refuge from the storm, while I extracted myself from clinging chest waders. The session had lasted not much more than an hour. Must try to get out again before the mayfly finish.