Saturday, 31 May 2014

A taste of things to come?

I decided that despite avoiding a bit of hard work the time had finally come for me to get round to clearing some of the long grass and nettles etc that make access to some of our pools a tad tricky.

I turned up mid morning with strimmer in one hand a rod in the other. I thought a fair bit of strumming should be rewarded with a couple of hours fishing. The first area for attention was a peninsula with a lovely looking pool that had, apparently, until recently, been aggressively defended by an angry swan.

'Swan pool'
After about 3 minutes of strimming I realised that I had made a bit of a blunder. Assuming that there was plenty of strimming cable was clearly my downfall. With the strimming over I accepted that I'd have to do some fishing so I waded into the shallows just below 'Swan pool' and started to cast upstream across the pool tail. On my third cast there was a savage take as the fish rocketed across the pool and into the deep water. After a good fight the strong fish started to tire and was played out in the shallows before being netted and released. The fish was about 10lb and nice and clean. unfortunately I'd left my camera in the field with the strimmer. I continued to fish the rest of beat which for the first time I'd fished it, was relatively clear. This gave me the opportunity to see how the winter floods had effected it. As I got to the top run a decent fish turned and snapped at the spinner but did not make contact. I sat down for 5 minutes to let the fish settle back in it's lie before casting again but sadly it did not come a second time. Once I got to the very top I changed my setup and put on a green and yellow floating Devon Minnow on a paternoster. This is not a method I fish very often but it gave me the opportunity to explore the contours of the river bed. I was amazed at the depth of some of the runs and a couple of pools were a good ten feet deep or so.

I left the river happy that I had had 2 fish in 2 trips totalling about 4hrs fishing. Unfortunately the strimming still needed doing so I vowed to return the following day.

Whilst walking the dog in the evening I got a message from Tony, he had a lovely, solid fish at the bottom of the beat. This fish put up a good struggle and by the sounds of it, he was relieved to finally land it.
Tony's fish
A great start to his season and a total of 3 fish in four days totalling about 7 hrs fishing between us - not a bad return!

I did manage to get back to the river the following morning to clear some more grass and nettles. Unfortunately the heavy rain from the night before had brought the river up by several inches, and was colouring up fast.

Dirty water flowing into the main river from the brook
I had a few casts but the visibility was practically zero below the brook and about 2 feet above it. The river has dropped right back now and with the high tides I would expect a decent run of salmon and a good number of sea trout. Fishing should be excellent over the next week or so.

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