A day on a new stretch of water always brings with it a little excitement and anticipation, the weather was really overcast and looked to be seriously threatening to rain, with a temperature of about 15°c, I was joining Daz who was showing me around the “Hartford stretch” of water today, he kindly chaperoned me around from MSD showing me the place to park right by the river… I was already kitted up with my “ginger spider” on the point and coachman on the dropper, walking through on to the river you immediately come to a sizeable weir, with a slow inviting pool on the top side and a nice riffly run on the bottom.
While Daz stuck a couple of flies on to try on the slower water , I got stuck in on the faster looking run just below the weir and after a couple of minutes had a nice 6” brownie to hand taken on the little ginger spider, a decent start to the day.
Working downstream towards the famed garden pool, there are some really belting looking pools that run a steady pace with some fishy looking spots, I think I took another couple of small brownies, then about half way towards the garden pool there is a really slow run with overhanging trees on the far bank, some seriously large fish were showing in the slow current on the far run, whilst Daz busied himself with these, I spotted a fish in the next slow pool.
The water was pretty shallow but deepened slightly at the far bank, I had a gold hear GRHE on the point by now that I didn’t really fancy truth be known, I had taken one small trout earlier on it but I wasn’t totally convinced if I being honest.. anyway.. first cast in to this pool and nothing, second cast .. a swirl but he didn’t connect.. third time was a charm a thump and a solid hit as the line tightened and he was off down stream then fast towards me stripping line I kept pace and now he was off for the far bank and deep water… I turned him at the last minute and he was spent….. slipping my net under him , a nice stockie for tea.. in the pocket he went. However on picking up my rod and pulling at the leader.. albeit pretty gently the top 4” broke off my new (less than 6 month old) sonik SK3 snapped.. to say I was gutted was an understatement, a firm letter has been sent to Sonik and Yorkshire Game Angling to see what they have to say about it!
However as it was “only” the top 4” of the rod I managed to fish on … down to the garden pool… or thereabouts, just above this pool there is a very fishy looking riffle only about 10-12’ across but I liked the look of it, dropping my flies in the far run I had an instant hit and .. miss.. next cast he took and fish on! oddly I am not sure he knew he was hooked until mid stream when he started fighting, a relatively short fight this time and a fin perfect wild brown of around 10-11” was to hand.. very nice, I slipped him back to fatten up a bit!
So, on to the garden pool, a beautiful slow deep pool that seems top go on for 50-60 yards at least, it has many different features , some tricky casting but seemingly teeming with fish.. not that I could get any out of it.. it was odd, I seemed to be getting amongst them early doors then I stopped catching and Daz was getting in to them, I think he took 2 very nice stock fish on a gold head pheasant tale from this pool, it does look very fishy indeed and one I will be getting to again soon.. taking care of the monster ledges there that go from ankle depth to what I am guessing is at least chest deep in one step!
Walking down towards the pipe that crosses the river there are a good few nice looking runs and I managed to take another couple of small brownies in the 6-7” range … they were very welcome though! I was now officially done in, we started heading back to the cars, fishing the odd pool here and there with I think one more small fish for my efforts. Stopping at that nice slow deep run, I think Daz had another couple of nice stockies out on the Mayfly one of which was a very nice fish. He then gave me a Mayfly (and ginked it – what service!) for my VERY FIRST attempt with a dry….oh my God.. I think I am converted, just how exciting IS IT!! no fish were taken but the fact that I got a rise to “my” fly was enough for me and that was me going home happy to my bottle of red.
So another nice day on the Blyth, maybe my dry fly inability hindered me as the day progressed .. when Daz prospered… but an excellent day all the same, the rain kept off us all day, I had 6-7 fish or so to hand. I am now an expert dry fly fisherman lol.. well starting.. ordered me some cock capes and bought some gink so I can give it a good go when a rise is on.