Truth be known I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the river today , I was feeling more than a little ropey and for once it was not drink induced.. shock horror..
However I managed to get the grass cut and do a bit of weeding before setting of towards the river, I did have to stop at the fabulous farm shop for some eggs.. but … eventually I landed on the river at Rowlands Gill at around 11.45.
It was a decent enough day broken cloud cover and plenty warm at around 14°c not bad at all , although the river does look ever so slightly low, something that will likely be rectified this week if the forecast is correct!
And it was considerably quieter than the Bank Holiday mayhem I endured last time around, I crossed the river towards the weir pool kitted up with a red collar GRHE and a Greenwell’s spider on the dropper.
I concentrated on the slacker water this time towards the back of this run as I think that is where the larger fish sit off the strong current , just picking of morsels as the drift by them.. well that’s how I see it in my head, however not today it wasn’t no takes were forthcoming so after about twenty minutes buggering about in this run I mooched down to the split in the river fishing down the left bank , no flies were about and no fish rising, I had one gentle take here but nothing substantial enough to get a strike in to .
Just where the river joins back up though I took my first fish of the day right under the tree a nice grayling from the fast flow, just over 8” and taken on the red collar GRHE a beautiful small bar of silver.. which was quickly returned.
Now the next run is a beauty, nice deep sheltered under trees and a bit of flow, I know there are a couple of big fish in the middle of this run and I was quickly into another fish he looked smaller maybe 5-6” as he jumped he slipped the hook and was on his way, still pleased I was on the right track I fished on and managed to hook another fish , this time a wild brown trout, around the same size as the grayling. I had a couple of more takes and another humane release at distance in this run.
I walked down and had a chat to another angler who was braving it without wader…bit cold still for that malarkey like.. however he was a returnee to the sport and hadn’t had any luck. I offered him some advice. Don’t laugh.. and one of my red collar GRHE and wandered down to the “blue pipe” pool again another two hook ups and another two fish off.. making me check the sharpness of my flies, they were both sharp enough alright.
This riffly run slows down and deepens to about 4-5 foot on the left bank and there is a big fish at the tail of this pool , making a couple of deep sounding splashy big rises, I drifted my flies right over him, or so I thought, but on this occasion he wouldn’t play.
Next pool was a different story though , there is a large boulder mid-stream that creates two differing runs, firstly on the left bank there is a deep slow run that sort of flows into and under a bush , right hand bank is a little shallower but still prone to large fish sitting there.. as I was broken off by one last season.. see cotton thread style nylon..
Anywhoo I would love to tell you that my superb entomology , river craft, stealth and casting skill all counted towards my next conquest… however that would be a bit of a stretch.
Casting just at the edge of the eddying water created by the boulder, giving the flies a little tweak , I was daydream.. as I do too often.. and was just about to re cast when BANG..
A thump of a take and a strike, fish on! I lifted my rod high and furiously tried to get my loose line back on the reel , I managed just as he made a run towards the left bank I could feel him shaking his head as I applied side strain, he was no off to the right bank now and almost under my feet, he was just about done though and I unhooked my net from its magnet and gently slipped it under him. Job done a nice stock fish of around 14-15 inch and just over a pound.
I now climbed out and walked down to where the effluent pipe creates some eddying water that peters out into a great long deep run, loads of tree cover and plenty of debris around the left bank create a great habitat for trout. I had a small fish .. on .. and off in the riffly shallow water before I had a very strong pull from the far bank.
It was at this point I spotted a persistent riser on the far bank just off from the bank about 20 yards downstream, I marked his spot before I tried to remain calm as I approached him.
Now within reach, first cast…right on the money , nothing… hmmm second cast though and a solid tightening of the line, I just love that moment when everything tightens up, he again stayed low and pulled my rod hard as I got line back on the reel he stayed deep on the left hand bank but I quickly got him to the awaiting net, another nice stock fish again around the same size. This one was taken on a Greenwell’s I think .. I think because it actually came out in the net.. a close call
There are some very nice runs in this section of the river , this particular run goes on for 80-100 yards with plenty of likely looking spots for a monster trout. However they will have to wait for another day as after about three hours I was done , a nice couple of wild fish and a nice couple of stockies and more than a handful dropped at close range.
It was a belting session really , no rain, plenty of action in takes.. dropped fish.. big fish , nice day all-round.