It has been over a week since I was last on the river.. that being the longest since that freezing cold day on 23rd March. Thankfully, it was slightly warmer today !! at about 17°C although the wind was sufficiently gust to disrupt casting from time to time.. and a fair bit of foliage had found it’s way onto the river just to make things interesting.
I landed around 1pm seemingly in the middle of a hatch, so I took the gold head olive nymph off the point and on went an Olive Klinkhamer, I left the small buzzer type nymph on the dropper , starting at the farm pool … there were a couple of fish showing which always raises hopes somewhat.
To the left of the large tree before the bigger pool there was a decent looking fish showing on the far bank.. tight in.. a couple of false casts and let the flies go.. falling slightly short of where I wanted but got a hook up on the nymph, not the fish I was after but a small fish of about 5” which was quickly released.
I gave the pool 5 minutes but the larger fish was back on the feed almost immediately another couple of casts this time into better spot about 2 yards upstream of him and I got a swirl to my Klink…. a quick strike and he was on … a short tussle midstream and he came to hand a very nice wild fish of about 9” well pleased, especially to get him on the dry.
A quick 10 minute break to polish off a nice apple and a very decent fish was showing in the slack water also on the far bank but on the other side of the large tree.
Noticing a few gigantic mayflies about I changed up to Daz’s magic mayfly pattern which he gave me about this time last season.. a fair beast of a fly.. the sort even I cannot miss in the water lol.
Anywhoo, one cast in perfect area.. nothing..hmmmm, second cast again what I thought was right on the money… nothing… he rose again… a 2 minute break , fly ginked back up then back to it. Another perfect cast (I know hard to believe!) this time a solid rise to the Mayfly and a strike.. he was on and seemed a decent fish. It was an odd fight that seemed to come and go in waves but after a minute or so he was in the net a nice looking fish of about 14” and he weighed in at just over 1¼lb, I was over the moon to get this especially being on a dry.
I did bump into another chap who was walking past the farm stretch on the far bank but he had no luck and was off home but hoping to return for a couple of hours to catch the evening rise.
All this action was in the first 30-40 minutes of arriving at the water.
I had a walk down past the farm but I only noticed one decent fish rise, he was in a well tricky position lying tight to the far bank under some branches that dipped in to the water, I did get a couple of really nice drifts past him but couldn’t get a take out of him so decided to climb out and head off upstream looking for rises as I went
I did get a couple of offers and swirls on the way upstream but nothing seemed to stick.. all smaller fish I think.
Arriving at the bush pool I stuck a cochybhondu on the point and partridge and orange on the dropper to try the wet fly heading back downstream, however despite my best efforts the feeding seemed to have stopped, there were still a few Mayflies about but the fish had gone right off and I didn’t get another take all the way back to the farm, only stopping in 3-4 pools on the way back though.
I had about 3 hours or so on the water , seemingly catching the back end of a good hatch of Mayflies and the fish were well on the feed for the first 30-40 minutes when I took 3 fish including one of the elusive stockies!
Things went very quiet after that.
The swirling wind did make casting very difficult, almost impossible; at times I found I was having to wait for it to die down before attempting a cast
I was well pleased to get some success on the dry fly, it is certainly a very exciting and visual technique , something I have only really started doing this year and today was the first time I have caught a larger fish on the dry, although the wild fish I took seemed of a bigger stamp too, it is definitely something that I am slowly gaining confidence in and feel it is another option I wouldn’t have considered a couple of years ago.
I am hoping to grab a couple of hours on the Hartford stretch one night this week.. Mrs Blood permitting of course