Sunday, 15 May 2016

Ever felt like a Prat

I think the heading about says it all really!
Last night it was my night to be a Prat.

Due to other commitments today I wouldn't get out fishing, so I decided to go out for a few hours last night. I drove into the parking area a short time after 7pm,  It was a glorious night, warm, hardly a breeze and I had high expectations of rising fish.

Sitting on the bank tackling up all I could see were Olives hatching everywhere, it really was a massive hatch yet hardly any fish were moving to them in this particular stretch.

As I moved upstream tackled up with a sparkle Olive Dun all I could see moving were small par supping down the Olives quite freely, yet nothing bigger was moving at all.

After catching around 11 or 12 of these small par I decided to swap over to the duo hoping that the larger trout were feeding on the nymphs, so after a few casts I felt something a bit better on the line, alas it was slightly better but not the species I was after.....out of season grayling.

For the next hour all I seemed to be catching were the Grayling, so wanting to try and get away from them I switched back to a dry fly pattern hoping that the Gloaming might see a couple of better fish coming to the surface.

I worked my way back down through a pool searching with the dry fly when right at the end of the pool an almighty eruption exploded from the water and took the dry. A lovely Big Wild Brown Trout well in excess of 3lbs, Yes game on I remember thinking........Then the Prat Appeared!

Trying to play the fish off the reel I let the fly line gather at my feet and then the fish decided it wasnt happy in this pool and wanted to go downstream, so I went to follow only to get the line trapped around my feet and yes you guessed, I tripped and down I went, not in deep water but in less than 6" of water as I got myself up using the one strong leg I rely on to raise myself from such a position the Brown trout took one last leap and Im sure I seen it wave its tail as me as it got free.......& it was gone!

Well as you can imagine I wasnt in the best of moods and the language turned a little bit blue in the next few moments as I called myself various names I cannot repeat. So taking time out I sat up the bank staring at the pool where the fish had just gained its freedom when out of the blue came an otter,
I haven't had the privilege of seeing any otters on this particular stretch so as I lay on the bank watching I tried to get a few photographs but the light was fading and I didn't want to put the flash on as I knew it would instantly disappear. It was diving and swimming around as if playing then the next time I saw it appear it had a big crayfish and it sat on the stones on the opposite bank and crunched  the crayfish to pieces, I was all for this and it was a lovely sight to see, Im just glad it never had the trout I had lost 15 minutes previous. Its great how nature can instantly cheer you up whilst your on a downer as the loosing of the trout after seeing this seemed insignificant. On studying the photographs of the otter today all you can see is a black outline in the gloom so nothing worth putting on the blog.

It really was a lovely sight and after about 20 minutes of watching the otter it disappeared upstream am sure in the search of more crayfish, as for me I walked back to the car feeling a bit better but still thinking to myself....what a Prat!


  1. Lovely write up George. I'm glad it's not just me that this happens too. Similarly, last year on the Frome I sat unpicking wind knots (see bad casting technique) from my tippet, only to have an otter pop up ten feet away. It leisurely fished my swim whilst I was 'tied up' as if to say 'mind if I play through'. Lovely to experience and I'm sure the moment will stay with you long after memories of your misfortunes dissipate.

  2. Thanks Richard, Am trying to keep it positive and informal as much as I possibly can, after all thats over 6 years of the blog and me rambling on. You always have moments but some people hide them, I say learn by your mistakes and if it means telling others so they dont make the same mistakes then Im all for it. The otter was a first for me on that particular river but Yes I have to agree things like this stick in your memory especially when you re-visit the place a few years on and the first thing you think about is the otter, or the bird you saw and it brings the memories flooding back.

  3. Welcome to the club. Not seen a Otter yet (fingers crossed I will) often see mink while on the Swale.

    1. Cheers Neil, a club Im well accustomed to in the past....lol


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