After a few painkillers and an early morning cup of coffee, just over 45 minutes later I was pulling into where I leave the car high up in the Dale. There was still a cold breeze blowing but the morning sun was starting to poke its head over the back of the Pennines.
As I sat at the bottom of the stretch looking to see if there was any fish moving I could hear the all to familiar grunts of deer in the wood across the other side, and within 2 or 3 minutes 6 deer emerged from the wood and came to the river to drink, not 50 metres from where I was now sat quite motionless so as not to disturb them. They spent about 5 minutes at the river before turning and heading back into the wood where they had came from, a real nice start to the day.
There were a few smaller fish moving to the sporadic fly life that was already coming downstream so I decided to start off on the dries and within 2 or 3 casts had the first fish on the bank.
I fished on in those runs for almost an hour with a few small trout coming to the net
small & wild but very welcome and great sport.
As I walked up the bank I counted a flock of Mallard Drakes 17 strong take off and head up the water in front of me and caught glimpse of some of the females with young in tow flapping their way up stream across the water.
The fly life was starting to become more frequent now the suns rays had hit most of the river surface now.
I chose a spot to have a cup of coffee and to soak up the atmosphere under some trees where the bluebells, wild Garlic and other meadow flowers were all in full bloom.
As I sat having a coffee, I managed to glimpse a trout rising to flies under the shade of an overhanging chestnut tree and it was continuing to rise frequently and looked a better than normal stamp of fish so after my coffee I gently waded into a position where I could comfortably cast a line to the fish without spooking it and first cast over it, up it came and took down my dry fly.
An absolute cracking fight ensued and finally I slipped the net under this gorgeous wild brown trout, which was firmly hooked in the scissors, a cracking fish for this high up the river where the average weight is 12 - 15oz, with the odd 1.5lbs fish. After a few pictures it was carefully released like all my fish are to give sport another time. The morning was defiantly turning out to be a good one.
It wasn't long till I had another grayling in the net as it sipped down my dry fly.
The water was crystal clear and I watched as it came up and took the fly off the surface almost as if in slow motion.
I released a couple of Grayling at range which didn't bother me as the sun was starting to get warm and the first sights of walkers were starting to appear so I decided another few casts and I would call it a morning and head home to relax & potter around the garden.
The final fish succumb to the dry fly and it was only after I got home and downloaded the images that the final fish summed my morning's fishing up with the way the light fell across it.