The blog is back online, but little else on the line.

April 29, 2016 at 4:59 pm

A major problem for the hosts of this blog, saw the data from 1.7 million site owners wiped out over night, when a software script supposed to update the system went into delete mode instead. A 24/7 recovery program was put in place, which saw this blog back online in 14 days. Others are still waiting.

To celebrate, I gathered up my flyfishing gear and headed out to my local trout stream in search of a blog. I was not too optimistic, as the weather of late has been very cold with unseasonal snow showers sweeping across the country, my fears were confirmed looking up at a troubled sky, as I entered the fishery gate.

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With a new 7 ft 4 WT rod, reel and line to test out, conditions were not ideal, a gusting, icy wind ruffling the surface of the river, which despite the heavy rains was running fast, but clear. Ignoring the first half a mile of bank, I set off toward a deep pool at the head for an S bend, only to find the downstream wind made casting up into it difficult, while dragging the line back at twice the speed of the current.

On the way to the pool it was evident that the farmer had been busy over the winter months, erecting new fences and more importantly for me, carving out a new track through what had been an impenetrable blackthorn copse, opening up  new pastures bounded by the river.

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A hundred yards down from the copse, the bank was clear, ideal for casting the fly, this deep pool being one of several now available to fish, thanks to the new track. The potential for this part of the fishery is obvious, although it is not stocked, some decent trout populate the river naturally and I look forward to returning, when the mayfly are on the wing. My size 18 goldhead GRHE was ignored on this occasion, but the calling of a cuckoo and the sight of a group of rare nuthatches made up for the lack of fish. Fresh from Africa, swallows and martins flitted across the meadow in the chill wind seeking out the sparse fly life.

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Cutting across the meadow, I walked as far as a new boundary, where the way was barred by another thicket of blackthorn, then picked my way back up the river, drifting the nymph unmolested through a variety of tree lined pools. Out of the trees the river took a right turn, running deep beneath the bank and I worked my way upstream, allowing the nymph to fall back into the slacker water. This looked perfect for fish, but not until in the crease of a back eddy did the line dive against the flow and I lifted into a gold flanked brown, that cartwheeled over the surface to fall back and swim free seconds later. Elation turned to disbelief and I checked the tiny hook, but it was sharp enough.

Spurred on, I continued my way back along the bank, searching out the pools without success, until the clouds darkened and I was forced to take cover beneath an old willow, while sleet and hail rattled through the branches. Crunching through frozen hail on my way back to the van, it was hard to believe that Sunday is the 1st of May.