Glory be, the first outing of the new season. The omens were good: the water had come down and there was a break in the grim weather we’d been having lately. The sun was out and the temperature rising – albeit from a brisky 7C, leaving faint steam on the breath. So it was up to Pickering to see if the trout had woken up. Well, they hadn’t. Or at any event I couldn’t rouse them. The water looked ok – a smidge coloured and running through a tad higher than usual, but what can you expect at this time of year. I tackled up with the usual 7ft 3wt Hardy Ultralite that I invariably use on this water and bunged a pretty hefty copper-head PTN on the end. I started fishing at just before 11 am. Nothing, unsurprisingly, was showing so it was a question of trying to get the nymph into likely looking spots. Nature had been doing a spot of furniture rearranging over the winter – this tree wasn’t here last year:
I plugged on and on through water like this:
Not a sniff. A few olives started to hatch but still no fish showing on the surface. I lost the PTN in a tree and replaced it with a similarly weighty hare’s ear. The trout were not interested in that either. I had high hopes in this slower stretch, which holds good numbers of decent-sized fish in the summer:
But the fish resolutely declined to cooperate. So in a nutshell that was it – over three hours of hard fishing without a touch. Last year I didn’t blank once, so maybe it’s time for the scales to be balanced. Disappointing? Not that much. It was a terrific day in the sun, the blackbirds and dippers were getting busy, a rabbit bobtailed along the bank and the kingfisher put in an appearance. It was good to be out in the water. The fish will come.