It was nice to have been sent a few presents from other fishing friends. My very good friend who I have been plaguing for several years now to give me some of his Chadwick wool gave me a birthday present of just that, not the haloed 477 Chadwick but the 454 which is still very effective and has caught him and me many Grayling over the years so a few Chadwick nymphs will be tied with that. And from across the water my float making student sent me a baseball cap which was very generous of him. Thank you both.
I decided this year to extend my fly season deeper into the winter and try some long leader nymph fishing so was on the look out for a new rod to suit the bill, nothing fancy but something that would do the job and after a few discussions and advice of another good friend I parted company with a mere £32.99 and bought myself a new 10ft 4# shakespear Agility & I have to say the value for money is very pleasing Im well impressed after using it today it certainly punches well above its low price tag, the cork handle is nice and smooth and very clean and the rod itself is well constructed, a very nice addition to the armoury and if you buy one you certainly wont be disappointed I wasnt!
I headed out this week early as I knew the weather was to change this evening so set the alarm for Oh My God its early and headed up the Dale. As I left home I wasnt the only one up this early as the hot air balloon festival taking place in the town were all heading out for an early morning flight with 9 balloons already in the air and another 3 preparing for take off.
I arrived at the river to find the farmer had been carrying out some excavations again, I just hope the next high water fills it in and nobody gets hurt as they walk along the bank in high water not knowing there is a hole been dug out.
I wanted to try out the Agility so it was to be nymphs all day as I really need to brush up on this side of my fishing so armed with a long leader and an old fly line cut in half I loaded the Remington Zero although I hate the reel it is merely to use as a line holder so I dont mind as wasnt planning on stripping any line from it, the one fault I dislike about the reel.
It didn't take long to find the fish and after bumping the first two fish off eventually the first small brown trout succumb to the point nymph.
As I made my way upstream I seen the first Jay for this year, There isn't many around these neck of the woods so to catch a glimpse of one was nice.
There wasnt many fish showing but the surroundings and sights were certainly making up for their absence.
After a chill period I continued upstream to the next pool of fast water as the river is very low and clear so many places are currently dry so pool hopping was the order of the day, and the trout obliged in the next pool.
A lovely small brownie in mint condition, with a paddle for a tail.
After releasing him back into the pool I went up the the head of the pool and started fishing the nymphs in the fast water only to see this large rainbow trout appear from nowhere and have a go at my dropper nymph, which I seen him take as if in slow motion and as I lifted the rod the nymph came out his mouth, I had lifted too soon!
I dont like to estimate fish sizes but this rainbow was definitely in double figures and obviously an escapee as I've had rainbow trout & blue trout from this pool in the past. I just hope he comes and pays me a visit on one of my next trips, I wont make the same mistake twice.
I decided to sit and have something to eat and rest the pool as I wasnt going upstream anymore it was time to head back downstream and as I sat and ate something I glimpsed a great spotted woodpecker on the tree across from me. This was definitely a day for seeing birds. I haven't seen one of these for more years than I care to remember so it was a great sight to just sit and watch him look for food before finding some grubs in the bark and heading off.
The hatch was well underway by now but as before no fish were taking advantage of the fact they all seemed to be keeping their heads well down apart from the very small fingerling Grayling. This chap I picked from a stone as it was drying off its wings before a few moments later it took to the wing.
Heading back down stream I bumped another couple of small fish, but I have to say overall I was well impressed with the rod, its very light, and does the job brilliantly and the bumping off of the fish is more my fault than that of the rod.
The next pool down seen another small trout come to the point fly, a right buttery belly fish.
As I walked back to the car I stumbled across some wild Iris just about to come into bloom and although not many fish had been caught, the sights, smells and sounds of the riverbank had certainly recharged my batteries and this is why I continue to go fishing, although fish play a big part in it they are not the be all of a good day.