It was a clear but cool evening as I made my way up the Dale, the river was on its bones at 0.9m the lowest Ive encountered so far this trout season. Standing in the middle of the river which I couldn't achieve at normal levels due to the depth I looked upstream for any signs of movement.......Nothing.
I decided to sit a while and observe the river to see if anything would start moving. It was about 20 minutes later that spots of rain started appearing on the surface of the river as a quick shower passed overhead but this small rain shower had triggered a hatch of flies and almost immediately fish started rising to insect life, mainly small fish but mixed in amongst it all there was a few more substantial fish, and it was these that drew my attention.
Armed with a spent spinner pattern I had tied up during the week I covered a fish which looked better than the others and 3rd cast over it, it broke the surface and violently took my fly, smashing the tippet in the process, not put off I quickly reattached a new fly and waited for another fish to rise which didn't take long and again as I tightened into the fish when it took the fly the tippet and fish parted company for a 2nd time!
The tippet material for me was a new spool bought only 2 weeks ago, Fulling Mill 4X the first time Ive used this manufacturer after hearing lots of good reports about it, so putting it down to maybe some faulty line around the outside of the spool I pulled off about 10 metres and rolled it up and put in into my pocket then re-tied a fresh tippet off the remaining spool. After choosing another fish I covered it and the same again happened as soon as it took the fly, the tippet & fly parted company! Needless to say by this time I wasn't too impressed at being smashed off not once but 3 consecutive times made me revert back to my usual brand of tippet material and a few chosen words over fulling mill tippet which I wont repeat......................... I started again.
Thankfully on my last spent spinner of that particular batch of flies I had tied the fish continued to rise to it and the first fish was soon in the net....thankfully no more smashed tippet.
With the water being so low I had expected the fish to be carrying a few lice on them and true to form they were, I removed around 6 - 10 lice of the side of this fish before taking the picture, the river is desperately needing a good influx of water to rid the fish of these pests.
The rises were dying away now and it was only the occasional smaller fish that continued to rise, the rain shower had worked wonders and I prayed that we would have another but alas nothing. After a walk downstream I managed to extract another trout from some moving water.
I sat at one particular pool which has proved to be good to me in the low water conditions but nothing stirred, so I opted to change over to the spiders and go searching out the water as I knew more fish would start moving again as the daylight faded.
Watching the gloaming come across the Dale was a nice sight last night
The Geese flying right over me and coming into roost for the evening in the low lying pastures next to the river.
I continued on fishing the spiders for a while with only a few plucks and with the ever increasing amount of fish rising again I decided to change over to one of my go to gloaming flies and almost instantly was rewarded with another fish which simply sipped the fly under in the gentlest of takes.
The smaller fish started to become a nuisance as ever cast I was getting small fish plucking at the fly, even the salmon par joined it...
Eyes bigger than its belly and even these don't get away from the lice, with a few around the head area which I removed before releasing.
I made my way down the stretch still connecting with small fish when I heard a better fish rising and in the low light could just make out where it was so I made my way to a spot I could cover it and cast over it a few times before it decided to take my pattern, and I was rewarded with another lovely fish.
And like all the rest of the fish released to fight another day.
I decided to call it a night after this & made my way back to the car.
For an evening which started off with no fish movement at all then to have a 10 minute shower which brought the river to life, all be it my new tippet material let me down....I will bring this up with my supplier! then into the gloaming it shows if you pick your fishing sessions you can still catch fish in what I would class as very difficult conditions with low clear rivers, the fish are still there if your willing to put in that bit extra effort to get them! Pub/TV or river......I know where you'll find me!