Friday 22nd April, mainly Winlaton mill

You cannot beat a cheeky Friday holiday to spend on the river… certainly beats work that’s for sure. The whole week had been very bright and warm at about 15-16°C.



So .. it was little or no shock when I checked the weather on Thursday that temperatures were due to plummet to 8°C and chance of snow!! As it turned out the weather wasn’t quite that bad, for all it was certainly chillier the skies were clear and pretty much remained that way all day. Fishpal had the river at +2” but it looked normal to me.



I set off towards the river about 11am and had decided to have a look up to Rowlands Gill , I started off at the weir pool, but it has to be said I wasn’t really “feeling it” up there today so I fished rather quickly down past the BBQ run then decided to climb out … empty handed .. and jump in the car to Winlaton Mill.


Plenty of empty car parking spots awaited me and I landed here about 12.30. I had taken off the gold head hares ear as I was snagging the bottom quite a bit , so on went a couple of brown spider type of things.


I walked up past high dam and started fishing just past “dog walk run” This is a really nice run.. very “popply” and fishy looking. Right on queue after about 20 minutes I saw a fish rise.. YAY.. as I approached and managed to remain calm, I swung the flies through his station and a slashing rise to the dropper!!



A decent fight ensued and I quickly got him to hand, taken on a Greenwell’s spider.. or my version of it!  a nice fish of around 8” maybe slightly bigger. Brilliant, blank off.


I was then joined by a galloping black Labrador running straight through my pool and if I hadn’t pulled my line out he would have been entangled….following behind was the owner who now saw me and decided against either apologising or even acknowledging, now I understand that the river is to be shared with all manner of folk and I don’t mind whatsoever but a bit of common decency goes a long way in my opinion. However onwards to the next pool



I worked through the next inviting run similar to the last if slightly shallower. Nothing doing here, so I fished to the tree that now lies across the river, this has created a “mini pool” just above the tree. Casting is tricky, with tree branches on the far bank really restricting casting.  I did manage to get my flies into a decent position and had an almost instant take, a smaller fish this time..though still very very welcome. He was quickly brought to hand and returned, again taken on the dropper and again on the Greenwell’s spider.. this fly seems to do really well early season when Olives are about.



I fished through the slower run the other side of this fallen tree , I suspect there will be some bigger fish to be had here when the season gets into full swing. the water looks nice and deep and has a slow eddying current.. but not today.


I got out and walked back towards the stone bridge crossing just upstream of this so I could fish through the bridge. Nothing doing here OR at the run at the other side. However to “bend pool” always delivers!  and so it proved again as a smaller fish came to hand, around 6” taken on the Brown spider and again on the dropper.. as all three fish were today, odd that.



There was a regular riser who I bothered for a good half an hour, even switching to the dry fly..I did get a rise out of him but he pulled up just short… OR I missed him, let’s go with the former eh!



That was about me for the day today. A decent or certainly improving day on the river. three fish, a missed rise, and a few flies about is a lot better than I have done so far this season. With the missus away this weekend I should hopefully get a couple of days out on the river


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