Easter weekend 15th – 17thApril

Another double header report today as I manage to get a couple of trips in over Easter weekend, having done my Bank Holiday home decorating Duties on Friday, I was looking at a Saturday / Monday “COMBO”

Saturday I met with Malcolm at Winlaton Mill and we had already decided to have a walk up past the viaduct, we did   mention that the wind was strengthening on the way  up, there wasn’t a lot to be seen rising as we walked alongside the river.

I wish I had glad tiding about Friday but with a very gusty downstream wind casting at times was nigh on impossible and we never saw a sniff of a fish as we worked our way down to the viaduct, tangles and casting frustration were the order of the day.

As we got down to dog walk casting was considerably easier though as we were now fishing off the right hand bank. I went through dog walk first and spotted a riser.. despite a good thrashing in and about his general location he wasn’t interested in my offerings only getting the gentlest of takes, Malcolm had more luck though and hooked into a fish.

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Out we climbed and down to the stone bridge, I jumped in upstream Malcolm just downstream, there was a fish rising right under the bridge and after a slash at my flies I hooked into a small trout.. most welcome he was too after about  2½ very challenging hours without much action. A paltry fish by pretty much anyone’s standard coming in around 7” and taken on the stripey spider!

That was that for the day though, hard hard work and I was done in when I was finished, not a good day but I guess they make the decent days all the sweeter.

Monday was a different proposition all together though, Winlaton was packed…and I mean packed with day trippers so I headed a couple of miles up the road to Rowlands Gill arriving about 12.30, my first trip up here this year… and as is often the case it fished really well….. It was pretty busy up there too , a dry day and a bank holiday meant the place was swarming. As a consequence I decided to just jump in past the BBQ stretch, kitted up with a Greenwell’s spider on the point and a stripey spider on the dropper, off I set.

Oh the job about 15 minutes in and a tangle….so new leader went on and I worked my way downstream, no action in the funnel pool but I did spy a fish rising right on the exit of this pool on the left hand side and I got a very strong take off him as I swung by with my flies but he didn’t stick, felt like a good fish too, stood at the “opening” to the next pool there was a few fish starting to show now, one at an acute angle on the far bank, a tricky short cast but I managed to land the flies somewhere near and had a take.. fish on, a short fight ensued before he came to hand; a decent enough start a nice 9” wild fish taken on the stripey spider at around 1.15pm. This was followed in the next riffly run by a small out of season grayling taken on the same fly some twenty minutes later, then another .. brownie this time , from the same run… same fly.

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Now into the slower water just before 2pm and there was more than a few fish taking flies from the surface now, as I worked my was down, I spied an occasional riser.. looked a good fish just sitting next to a low lying tree… slowly slowly I approached, first cast nothing, but second time, watching the end of the fly line..and off it went under the water and I lift into a decent fish, the rod bent and game on! He was trying to get to the tree roots at the far bank but I stopped him, obviously unhappy he made a couple of splashy jumps before sliding into my waiting net. A good fish …wild fish, around 15” taken right on 2pm on the stripey spider.

Just on the bend of the river now and still time for a couple of fish, the first another nice wild fish of  around 10” taken on the brown spider and last but not least past the bend smaller fish of about 8” on the brown spider again.  

It’s lovely on the river this time of year, a lot of the trees are starting to come into leaf, some cherry blossom about and a few flies starting to hatch on the river.

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