Friday, 6 June 2014

Near Perfect Conditions

I had planned today would be a day up the Dale as the water would be in near perfect conditions after the rain we had 2 days ago, after completing some phone calls and emails I threw the gear into the car and headed out for the day up the Dale. Sure enough when I arrived at just after 10am the river looked perfect all be it with a bit of colour still in it.

I made my way downstream and sat where I could observe the water both upstream and downstream watching out to see if any fish would take the abundance of fly life that was hatching out onto the water.

I sat for almost 40 minutes scanning both upstream and downstream and never seen a single fish break the surface, something I found very strange with the abundance of fly life on the water. With nothing showing at all I made my way downstream and decided to see if Martin's minnow could entice any fish.

As I sat on a log tying up the cast I removed one of the minnows from the box and thought I placed it on my knee, a kingfisher distracted me as I seen him dive into the water after a minnow and shoot off downstream with the minnow clenched in its beak, I looked down at my knee to tie the fly on nothing, I looked on the sand, nothing, I searched all my pockets, nothing, I pulled all the bank-side vegetation around me apart and still nothing, this minnow had gone M.I.A, I could not find it anywhere and getting myself frustrated I had to walk away and sit down and try and think what I had done with it, senile dementia sprung to mind so went back 5 minutes later and yet again looked everywhere, could I find it....Nope so I had to walk away and tie on my last of the minnows martin had sent me. This will always bug me when I pass this log now and curiosity will always make me look to see if I find it.

Moving downstream, casting and moving I never touched a single fish for the rest of the morning, near perfect conditions was turning out to be a non perfect catching day, as I never had a single pluck or seen a fish move since arriving....Time for a brew

A nice cup of coffee made fresh on the bank, from a strategically hidden Kelly Kettle always helps, and gives you time to put things into perspective, I might not be catching but what a cracking day to be out in such beautiful countryside.

I decided to try some water I hadn't fished through in a while  so dropped way downstream to a lot of broken water trying the minnow as I went, without much success, not a single pluck or movement.

It was time to turn and head back upstream and back towards the car, just as I was passing through a small shaded path at the side of the river, I stumbled across this old style in the dyke and wondered when that was last used, its well off the beaten track and virtually in the middle of a wood running parallel to the river.

 As I continued along through the undergrowth I got the fright of my life a hen mallard lifted from the undergrowth about 2ft in front of me and was making some racket literally feet away, and this is why....

Her brood were all hiding in the shade.

6 ducklings in total sitting totally motionless at various points along the wall, after a quick picture I left them be and moved on some way before looking back and seeing all the ducklings on the water with the hen.

After the long walk back up through the meadows where the rabbits and wild flowers were all out in the afternoon sun.

I arrived back where I had started the day and the difference from earlier to what I was seeing now was dramatic, there was fish rising in nearly every run as I looked up and down the river, so swapping the set-up over to dry fly I picked out my first target which was rising constant below some overhanging branches.

 A few casts over and up it came, not a big fish but a very welcome 1st fish of the day at almost 4pm 

Eyeing up my 2nd target I manoeuvred into position to cover him efficiently and almost as soon as the fly hit the water up he came and took the fly.

a few misses ensued after these two as small fish were intercepting the flies on the run down to where the larger fish were sitting below the trees, but before long another was safely in the net.

3 fish in the space of 30 minutes when the past 6 hours had provided nothing yet the conditions were almost perfect, that's nature for you, I continued on as the rises started to fade out and it was only occasionally I would see a fish rise, seemed the short lived rise was coming to an end.

another fish obliged 20 minutes or so later followed closely by another soon after where I called it a day as I had made arrangements to meet the wife.

5 fish in the last hour or so with a few jagged, certainly gave me sport after what seemed would be a perfect day from the start, just goes to show nature doesn't always do as we think it will, never the less another great day on the river with lots of nature, lovely sights and great weather.


  1. George, looks like the day was a nice one, slightly slow start with a wonderful ending.
    Beautiful river, beautiful scenery and some nice trout.
    And what a perfect place to make coffee.


  2. Thanks Jan, I have to agree even though the fish didn't play ball till late on it did not detract from my day it was great to be out, hope all is well with you & your getting some fishing time in. Best regards George


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