I parked the car up and headed the short walk to the river passing by one of the old barns on route when I noticed this old belt driven wood saw, I wonder when the last time that seen the drive belts or a piece of wood.
As I continued on my way the oyster catchers seemed to be out in abundance today with a group of 8 of them flying around causing a racket and I stood for a moment and watched as 2 crows fended off a buzzard in mid air, obviously too close to their territory. Soon after 9am I was sat on the riverbank observing upstream and downstream taking some time to see if anything was moving.
I was astonished at the amount of fly life hatching, the olives and yellow sally's were really out in abundance with the sand martins and swallows taking full advantage of this and having a feast on the wing.
It all looked great, the fly life out in abundance the river a lovely level & colour and the wind not too bad with the sun dipping behind the clouds making it ideal conditions for the dry fly, however nobody told that to the fish, there wasn't a single rise anywhere.
I decided to start on dry fly and see if I could entice a fish to rise but after almost an hour of nothing I gave up on that idea and switched over to my trusty spider patterns to see if they could do any better. As I made my way upstream I was delighted to see that my favourite wild flowers were still out in abundance in there normal spot.
The blotched monkey flower - mimulus luteus in all their glory.
And mixed with the fresh wild mint it was really nice to sit chill out for 10 minutes and think of my deceased Dad on fathers day, something special.
back to the fishing and hoping to get a fish as things were really frustrating with an abundance of flies still hatching out but not a sign of any fish moving to them, As I cast the spiders upstream of me I seen a shadow move on them almost immediately and the line stopped, the first signs of any fish I had seen so far and the line tightened and it was on.
A nice wild trout in perfect condition, I was happy, everything was right the fly life, the river etc yet the fish were just playing hard to get so I felt a bit of achievement in this fish which of course swam back to where it came as always.
The sky was turning black and the rain could be seen coming across the Dale from the hills so it was time to take some cover and let it pass over before continuing and what better place than below this big tree strategically placed halfway up the stretch, My good friend and landscape photographer Graham Vasey took a picture of this tree not so long ago with no leaves on and I can say it looked so different to now, it was the ideal place for shelter.
after 30 minutes or so of torrential rain it passed over leaving just a slight drizzle which seemed to exaggerate the fly life as if it was now in a hurry to hatch, everywhere you looked there was hatching flies coming off the water, yet no fish taking advantage of them.
I continued on my way upstream casting the spiders as I went with no luck till I finally got to where I had planned to stop and have some lunch and with my back against a tree trunk sat on the ground this is the view I enjoy having lunch & looking over.
As I started back downstream I seen a few smutting Grayling that I decided to try and entice so swapping back over to a dry fly I had 40 minutes or so catching 6 small Grayling of similar size to this one.
With nothing else moving, I decided to call it a day and walk the short route back to the car where the oyster catchers were still making a racket and a single curlew lifted from the grass as I rounded the stone wall, a nice sight to end the day.