Small river brown trout begin to take the fly.

April 18, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Each new season brings out the optimism in flyfishermen, who rely on many natural factors coming together to provide their sport. With a flood free winter, fingers are firmly crossed on my little syndicate chalk stream, for the warm weather to continue, awakening the trout, ready to feed on the nymphs as they rise from their gravel beds to hatch.

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This is a favourite stretch of  the river, where a cattle drink had created fishless shallows, but working alongside the farmer with fencing and the planting of a willow hedge by members, has resulted in a sharp turn, that runs deep along the willow. Having said all that, I have yet to catch a decent fish here, being the case again this week, when an hour spent wading, searching out the deeper pockets and runs with the Black Devil, resulted in a couple of  dace and a 5 inch trout, with no rising fish seen.  It is early days yet, the larger trout are yet to move out of their holes, down onto the gravel runs. Hope springs eternal!

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 No excuses for another view of the river in early spring.

I retraced my steps, crossing the road down to the farm bridge, where a long deep pool always holds promise and I had caught rising dace the previous week.

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Peering into the pool as I passed, fish were dimpling the surface and climbed down into the water for a wade up to the tail. I couldn’t see what the fish were taking, they were even nudging the bubbles drifting down and with the Black Devil still attached, greased the leader close to the hook, to fish it near the surface, swirling and hooking a decent sized dace.

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Another dace and a few tweeks of the leader later, a better fish rose close to the bridge and I changed to a woolly nymph, that floats in the film like an emerger, and disappointingly, hooked another dace straight away. Making a longer cast to fall just under the opening, a fish torpedoed up to the surface and took the fly, exploding into action, dashing about the pool, leaping clear, even into the undergrowth at the edges, but eventually into my net.

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Not a monster, but 9 inches of wild beauty, this fish another example of the blue-silver strain of trout in the river. Returned, this brown swam away strongly with the minimum of revival time.

False casting to dry off the nymph, it started to rain, getting heavier by the minute, something not forecast, wearing only a shirt under my waistcoat.

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Preparing to go, there was a dimpling rise to the right of the bridge and and I made a cast ahead of it, a pair of bubbles indicating, where the nymph had been sucked down, lifting into a solid fish that dived deep under the bridge. The fight continued around the pool, twisting and turning, back to the shallows at the tail, where still splashing, I raised it’s head for the net, to be surprised to see the white mouth of a chub, that had fought as hard as any trout of it’s size.

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Fat with spawn, this chub showed evidence of a painful past, having encountered a heron, mink, or a pike and recovered. The rain persisted, stopping play, cutting short, what was turning into an interesting session.