Evening trout river small rewards

August 15, 2016 at 10:43 am

Following a busy day finally getting round to completing a variety of small “must fix that someday” tasks around the house and garden, I was still restless and the thought of watching the Olympics all evening did not appeal. My local syndicate trout river has been hard work this season, but scores higher than a gold medal in my books, so with a fishing pass from my wife, I was on my way towards the setting sun.

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The full flush of spring is now long gone and with no rain for a couple of weeks, the river was low and clear, allowing me to wade in safety. Studying the surface, no rises were evident and opted to fish a compromise method, a Black Devil nymph fished under a  heavily greased leader, that suspended it a foot beneath the surface.

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In seasons gone by, I would have expected to have seen fish rising all along this stretch, but today I was happy to go through the motions, as I waded upstream, casting the nymph to all the likely holding areas as I went. Casting to the outside of a bend, the nymph had barely begun to sink, when the line straightened and I was playing a tail-walking juvenile brownie, that dashed across the surface towards me, as I set the hook. Being the first wild brown trout I’ve hooked from this end of the water this year, I was relieved, when it dived to fight at my feet, putting a decent bend in the rod, as I reeled back my surplus line. The net was in the reeds behind me, but soon under the fin perfect, brown.

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Spurred on by my success, I waded up under the trees, where a bed of exposed gravel caused the river to rattle over the stones into a fast run. In ones and twos, fish were rising in the disturbed water and I cast the Black Devil to drift back down among them. After a few short stabbing missed takes, the nymph was ignored. It was obviously dace, but decided anything was better than nothing and tied on a size 16 Deer Hair Sedge. I couldn’t see what they were taking, but the sedge is a good allrounder at this time of year and rubbed in with floatant, it would ride the rough water. Casting almost onto the stones, the fly spun round in an eddy and was gone in a splash; a flick of the wrist and a silver dace was hooked and swung to hand. Another 5 inch dace followed and I dropped the sedge short into the slower water to be met with solid resistance as I lifted off. The surface foamed, then the hook flew free. Another trout, or a large dace? My chance of a better fish from this pool was gone and I moved on.

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Working my way upstream, the sedge was cast blind in the hope of inducing a take, the only rise coming from a chublet that raised my hopes briefly of something better. Where are the small trout that used to plague this stream? With the sedge waterlogged, I tied on a gold head Hares Ear for a last throw of the dice, it being down to chance, as the nymph bumped along the bottom, a once productive pool finally coming up trumps with a positive take and a bend in the rod from a small perch.

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Try as I might, I could not persuade any of this little chap’s brothers to take and with a last minute hatch of flies failing to bring anything to the surface, made my way back to the van. Not a spectacular result, but a pleasure to be out on a warm evening in high summer.