Small river trout wait for the Mayfly.

May 22, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Still recovering from the winter floods, my local syndicate trout river failed to produce it’s spring bonus of hawthorn flies this year, despite the trees being heavily ladened with haw blossom, this big black air borne fly, usually getting the trout in the mood to rise to the mayfly later in the month.

Parking at the middle beat of the river, I made my way down to the water’s edge with anticipation. Was the river still running high, but clear and was there a hatch of mayfly in progress. It was no to all of these. The river was down six inches on my last visit, but with more than a tinge of colour, although the stones were just visible on the shallows. Following the line of the river downstream, the surface was untroubled by rising trout, although a few olives were making their way into the air. Another black mark. Tying on an olive bodied elk hair emerger, I made my way to an easily accessed pool with plenty of casting room, working my way upstream trying all the likely looking holding areas.

The buoyant emerger happily rode the ripples of a run along the opposite bank and disappeared in a splashy take, when an eight inch brown grabbed a meal, only find it’self battling my rod and the current. A frantic one sided fight followed, to end at the net minutes later.

Moving up the pool, covering water as I went, another splash and another fat wild brown was kiting all over the shallows, a heavily spotted trout.

While returning this fish, I heard the unmistakable “plop” of a rising trout in the pool above and watched a ring of water spreading from the nearside bank. Wading up slowly through overhanging trees, I kept my eye on the the bank and saw another casual rise.

With a tree at my back, but clear enough for a cast, I false cast enough line out and shot the cast to the spot. The emerger landed and was taken within six inches of travel. A firm strike and the best fish of the evening was diving back to the pool.

Again not a large fish, but a true wild trout, spawned and hatched without the aid of man, surviving against all the odds of pollution, mink, herons and the occasional perch and pike, our water being managed for the benefit of all species.

My progress downstream was brought to an abrupt halt at the sight of a herd of  bullocks in the shallows below me, this beat of the river passing through a working farm, where these beasts were free to roam the two meadows downstream, effectively blocking my path. These young bullocks can be quite frisky and I didn’t fancy being squashed between two of these half tonners. Downstream the river would be muddied from their wading in the river, so I turned tail and concentrated on another pool upstream. After searching the pool with the emerger to no avail, I tied my early season favourite Black Devil nymph on.

The nymph soon had a stabbing response and I struck into a five inch brown, that was released at my feet. Moving up to another pool, where the emerger had been untroubled, I cast along the bank on my side and watched the leader pull to one side, lifting on instinct to feel the resistance of another small trout, pleased that my hand tied creation could still catch fish.

This last brownie had been a bonus to end the 90 minute afternoon session, and gave a good fight, but I couldn’t help wondering how fat it would get in the following couple of weeks, when “Duffer’s Fortnight” will see rising fish across the river, as clouds of mayfly take to the air. The now invisible quality fish will also come out to feed and I hope river conditions will allow the chance to try for them.