Sunday 1st June, high water

After 2 weeks without any fishing (to speak of) it was fair to say I was chomping at the bit to get back out on the river. It was a race against time almost watching the level drop on Fishpal, my expectations weren’t raised overly by a ride up to Lintzford, some of the pools up there look unbelievably “fishy” but the water was still high and I wasn’t overly hopeful that the level would drop enough for me to get out on Sunday.

Sunday morning came around though and it was a clear sky and humid , temperature must have been around 16°C but fishpal was still showing the water at something like +5” not good. No photographs this time as the camera remained in the living room !

Unperturbed, I set off at about 8.30 and decided to fish the Rowlands Gil stretch today. The water was indeed still pretty high although not totally coloured , I walked up to and over the bridge and fished the weir pool with my red collared GRHE on the point and a small red spider on the dropper, with the water being higher it made casting on this side even more difficult, I did manage to get my flies into some likely looking spots but the water was running very fast so I moved on, also changing my dropper to a Greenwells spider at this point.

I fished the split in the river but the nearside this time as the water on the far side was fair gunning through, it is a fishy looking swim on the nearside ….but I have yet to catch out of it, and that record continued this time.

Coming out of the bottom of the split and into the usually good looking run under the tree it was running faster today and to be honest I just cast and was ambling along the bank as my flies drift though…I would like to tell you it was skill … when the line tightened and what felt like a good fish was on .. but it was pretty much blind luck as my rod bent hard, he stayed really deep in the current not giving an inch as I tried to bully him to hand , he was having none of it though and made for midstream still not seen him as he stayed low, I did wonder if he was a Grayling such was the fight, which lasted a good couple of minutes before I eventually wore him down, a very nice stockfish of about 14” and 1lb, this one went back, just reward for being the hardest fighting fish I had seen this year!

Excitement over and blank off I moved down to the nice runs on the far bank but there was nothing doing, I hadn’t seen a rise all morning but there was plenty of flies about, I did hook into and managed a “distance release” of a couple of smaller fish but there was nothing showing at all on the surface until I got just about adjacent to the caravan park , I was fishing the far bank as I worked downstream when I noticed a splash rise right next to the near bank and about 50 yards in front of me.. I marked the spot and he rose again.

Working down towards him and first cast.. line tightened as he nipped at the flies but not a confident take.. next cast another pull but still wouldn’t stick, third time was a charm landing the flies right on his nose he pulled .. a gentle take just saw the end of the line move and tightened up .. and he was on.. another really good scrap he headed off into the main current in midstream and took a little while to get him to the net, another very nice stockfish of 12” and maybe 3/4lb decided to take this one for the pot.

That was me for this visit, a surprisingly productive 3 hours or so given the condition of the water, the fish weren’t confined to the really slack water as I was expecting maybe because the water was dropping and they were returning to their usual feeding slots? Anywhoo still nice to get back out on the water and a bonus to get amongst some nice fish , hope to do it all again on Saturday afternoon.