Thursday 5 April
The end of the week loomed and it was time to go fishing at lunch! The temperature had dropped hugely from my previous trip with morning frost and snow on the hills. Last week people were sunbathing on the beach! The river had a nice quick pace about it, injected with extra volume from some heavy showers of late, but still running clear.
I walked downstream to see if any fish were rising in a place they often do at lunchtime at this time of year. The run was dead. I kept going a little further and decided to give a deep pool a try with a gold head nymph fished downstream from a crawling position amongst wild garlic on the bank. I gave up after 10 minutes and one missed take. To hell with it I thought, I will fish upstream on dry and leave it at that.
I started upstream into the previously dead run.
There was a small fish rising at the tail of the run in no more than a foot of water. I gave it a go. The fish rose straight away, but he was beaten to it by a leviathan…. I struck and I was into a massive trout for our stream, over two pounds. He surged passed me like a possessed beast. I checked his run lest he enter the deep pool beyond where I wouldn’t be able to wade. He headed for a tangle of roots and other snags. But I steered him away again, abusing the top half of the rod by ploughing it through the overhead branches to keep contact and I was showered with early buds of spring.
No net again. How proverbial. I decided not to hesitate, drew the line close and hauled in the trout. What a beauty he was with a large leopard spots all down his flank and a thick body and massive head. I grabbed hold of him…but he thrashed again and was gone. I didn’t mind. What a great fish, and on a dry fly. A rare event for the Alyn.
That looked to be my lot for the day. But when I started to fish upstream again, I saw one, then another, then a dozen rises. A raft of large dark olives was on the river’s horizon and a feeding frenzy was on.
Every single cast after that produced a fish. Here are a sample of fish that came to hand as I worked upstream.
But so far no decent fish. Then came a nice trout.
Then came a few more smaller fish and then a salmon smolt!
More fish came to hand as I worked up to the head of the pool and that was it. That was some 40 minutes fishing! I was knackered. Looking downstream lots more fish were still rising but it was time to go.
I waded upstream for a gap in the trees to get to the road. This was a broad shallow run of ripples over stones only a few inches underneath. Nonetheless I kept casting upstream as I proceeded. You never know, it was one of those days! And then a rise behind a large semi-submerged rock! And another decent trout!