Saved by a Czech nymph.

April 12, 2013 at 11:50 am

A visit by my wife’s friend for afternoon tea, was the cue to make myself scarce and give the little trout stream another go today, although I wasn’t optimistic due to heavy overnight rain and was expecting coloured water. The morning rain had given way to a weak sun and occasional drizzle, so it was worth the short drive for a look-see. I parked and walked back to the bridge, where peering over, I could still see gravel beneath the boiling river, fishable, but with some difficulty.

Walking through the gate, the sun came out, warming my face, a contrast to the bitter blast from the North East wind last week, a good sign I hoped and I made my way downstream looking for some slack water, where a few trout may be sheltering. The river was up about six inches on last week and was rushing noisily along, but the pool below the farm looked calm.

I slipped into the river at the shallows below the pool, the force of the water pushing hard and over the knees of  my waders, as I made my way up into the deeper tail. At least my waders hadn’t sprung any leaks over the close season. I searched my flybox for some tungsten bead heads, but settled for a size 12 brass head hares ear, but this was being dragged back too fast by the fly line and without a touch, after fifteen minutes of trying, got out and tried further down.

The lack of success saw me at the pool where I’d caught last week, at least I knew there was a trout in there, but one look at the swirling eddies moving about across the surface, said no chance and ten minutes of trying proved the point. The hares ear was not getting down to the fish, before being swept away, that was my thinking, so opened up the flybox  and took out the heaviest thing I had, a Czech nymph. These were developed by Czech trout fishermen to cope with fast rocky streams, being cast into the stream and followed with the rod tip held high and the leader vertically down to the nymph. For this to work, the nymph is built up with lead before the dressing is put on. Takes are often just a side movement of the line,  a bump, or a straightening of the leader. Basically, lift into anything odd and there is often a fish on the end.

Still no luck, so decided on an orderly retreat back to the van, plopping the nymph in at likely looking spots as I went, a possible missed take and a stick, being my only reward for effort, until getting down into the river for one last try at the farm. Keeping the rod high and the fly line off the water, allowed the Czech nymph to fish deeper and almost at my feet, the arc in the leader straightened as a big fish took with confidence.

This sixteen inch brown was in perfect condition and rushed upstream with a water clearing leap, before storming round the pool trying to shake the size 12 barbless hook from it’s jaw. Unbeaten, it sped off past me downstream, my seven foot rod bent to the butt and the reel screaming and was just waiting for something to give as it boiled twenty yards away with the full force of the current. These little rods are amazing and not for the first time, it’s pressure told on this powerful brown trout, guiding it back upstream, where once again in the pool it made several runs, before making for the downstream exit and my gaping net. Phew! That was exiting . A quick photo and it was released, still full of enough energy to make several leaps, leaving me still shaking with adrenaline.