I decided after the funeral of Judith yesterday to grab a few hours "me" time to contemplate & reflect on life as you quite often do, and my way of doing this is getting away from everything & everyone and go fishing.
So this morning, I drove up the Dale and it was still covered in a quilt of thick fog, with visibility down to around a hundred metres or so, I was thinking all along the drive is it going to be a ladies day or will some trout raise their heads, I was hoping for the ladies myself.
I parked the car and walked the short distance to the river observing that the Curlews were still here but instead of the usual pair there was now 3 of them going around together, parents & 1 young, who knows but a great sight to see.
The river was a lot lower than on my recent visit and most of the colour had gone from it just leaving its normal tint. I sat and observed the river and did some thinking for almost an hour before entering the water to cast the first fly at a rising fish that had been rising for sometime now.
Within a few moments the fish came up and sucked down the small dry fly and the fish was on, a small brown trout which was long but very lean, there was no weight to it at all, which I found quite strange especially seeing the plumpness of the Par I had been catching recently. I spent around 30 minutes in this spot before being forced to move due to the abundance of Par which were taking the dries, well in excess of 20 small plump fish, every one of them totally wild and lovely to see.
Its lovely to see a river which is left to naturally populate as no clubs stock this far up and the river is left to get on with things making it healthier than any stocked part....who needs big stocked fish!!
It didn't take long till I seen the first signs of the ladies coming up for flies in the more turbulent fast water and a few casts and the first lady of the day was in the net.
There is no better sight that seeing a Grayling come from the depths and sip down a dry fly, and in that short moment you forget everything else.
There were a couple of other Grayling coming up and taking the flies but for the life of me I kept nipping them and before long the run went dead so time to move again.
It wasn't long till I found more ladies willing to rise from the depths to the surface and suck in the dry flies presented to them.
Again nothing of any size but great sport and plenty of them with 10 smallish Grayling all coming to the flies before another more substantial lady took the fly.
Another lady of average stamp from this stretch but after seeing what ladies lie in the depths of this particular stretch I was hoping they might show themselves, but I decided to call it on that particular run and have some lunch after this fish ran the full length of the pool, with a few somersaults thrown in for good measure before coming to the net
Lunch even came with its own show from a hovering kestrel which was diving down into the field on the far bank before rising up to hover again, it done this around 6 times, obviously looking for its lunch too but coming up empty handed before it took to the wing and flew over the tree line and out of sight.
After a move upstream it didn't take too long to find another obliging lady, slightly bigger than before.
A few more ladies of around similar size came to my hand before I moved on again.Heading back downstream in the direction of the car the dippers were hopping from rock to rock in search of insects and it didn't take long to reach where I wanted to be and was soon into another fish.
I managed to nip another few fish before finally calling it a day and walking back to the car refreshed and contented, its amazing what a few hours "me" time can do!