Today was a bit of a where shall I go moments after the beautiful day yesterday I was thinking of a few places but looking at the water levels everywhere was really low so decided that today was going to be a bit of a scouting trip to search out the deeper holes and runs on a stretch which would be easier with the river so low. So threw the gear in the car and off we went.
On route some folk might recognise the old ruins and know which direction I was heading.
Arrived just before 10am to be greeted by the old farmer where I park the car, typical Dales farmer, pair of wellies, an old suit jacket tied in the middle with bailing string and a flatcap, nice as pie and will talk the hind legs off a donkey. I walked down the river to where I wanted to start and sat on an old log watching to see if any fish were moving when out the corner of my eye I seen something move on the far bank, a weasel darting in & out of the tree roots on the hunt.
With no fish moving decided to fish a team of spiders and on the very first cast a fish, a lovely small wild brown trout.
We were off to a good start and cast again and 2nd cast, 2nd fish, again another small wild brown trout.
It was turning out to be the start of a good day the sun was poking its head threw the clouds, the fish were on the feed & the wildlife was out in abundance, from weasels to chaffinches, curlew's, geese, dippers and pied wagtails the place had a real feel that spring had most definitely arrived.
Even the wild flowers were shining in all their colour & glory.
There were still no fish showing on the surface even although the sun had came out & hatch of Olives had started so watching vigorously to see if any rises were taking place in the runs I continued to fish the spiders.
I was into fish in nearly every run that I fished, nothing of any great size but I didn't expect that as its safe to say that almost every fish up in this stretch is a wild brown trout and I would gladly take a wild fish to a stockie any-day of the week.
It was turning into one of those days when everything falls into place and you cannot put a step wrong, I even invested in a new pair of felt soled wading boots to try & beat the river break dance that I do every time I'm up here with the slippery rocks and even that was paying off as the slips and slides of the dance were down to a bare minimum.
The fish continued to take the spider, even although the river was literally on its bare bones.
Small fish but almost perfect in every way and tremendous sport
Hard fighting fight wild trout, what could be better.
There were a few fish starting to rise in the deeper pools upstream so I sat and watched for a while, apart from the odd RAF Tornado that flew over now and again, I suspect on low level training there was nothing but the sounds of nature and the sights & I have to say am thankful & privileged to be able to see it all, It was great to see a mallard hen and her 4 ducklings sitting by the river, the first ducklings I've seen this year. The swifts were busy feeding on the fly life that had now erupted from the river.
I just caught the glimpse of a nice fish rising at the top of a run so moved up to within casting distance of it and what I seen next was sheer enjoyment.
I cast to what I thought was a rising trout only to find that the trout was a Grayling as it came up in the water in what seemed like slow motion and sipped the fly down from the surface, a sheer delight to watch.
The trout although small continued to take the spider patterns
I decided to move to a part of the river I hadn't fished before and after a few casts in some likely looking places I hooked into a fish which I can only describe as the Japanese Bullet Train, This fish went, and it took line straight from the reel at lighting speed & it wasn't coming back, it leaped once and I estimate the fish to be around the 3lbs mark and it was gone, tippet and all.
On fishing back downstream to my car I got amongst the smaller trout again and managed a couple of slightly larger trout than the average smaller ones.
Today was one of those days in a lifetime when everything falls into place and goes right, If the Japanese Bullet train had been slowed, I think this day would have been a 100% perfect day, full of wild trout and stunning scenery and nature at its best, A day I wont forget in a hurry and hope to have a few more in my time.
The final tally for the day was 27 Trout / Par landed, a few released at long range and 1 grayling.
Definitely a happy man!