What a turnaround in the weather. A miserable start to the spring then all of a sudden the sun decides to get its act together and we’re basking in temperatures of 20C. I’m not complaining. Up to the Duchy stretch of the Pickering Beck first to do the regular invertebrate sampling then to have a go at the little trout that live up here.
Plenty of bug life in the bucket. For those who are interested in such things, these were the results from today’s three-minute kick sample:
Gammarus, 200; Hepta, 105; Cased caddis, 10, Caseless caddis, 15; Baetis, 60; Mayfly, 20; Stonefly, 40. The standout critter was this magnificent monster stonefly, which must have been not far off three inches long. I’ve caught trout smaller than him:
Then it was into the river with the 6ft 3wt Chas Burns and ten-foot leader. Taking heed of my experience on Monday on the Seven, I plumped for the heavy hare’s ear to start with – 3mm tungsten bead in copper. The water was up several inches and somewhat murky. It was breezy, but the wind was in my favour. After half an hour I hadn’t seen a fish and nothing had troubled my fly, save the stones and twigs on the river bed. Then this slower stretch containing a fair bit of submerged debris produced the first little brown of the day.
To be honest I didn’t see the take and didn’t know it was on until I felt the resistance:
The second fish was a corker for this water, maybe 10″ long albeit somewhat on the lean side. Embarrassingly I caught it fully by accident. I was wading upstream trailing my fly behind me when it snagged, or so I thought until the snag started to become somewhat animated. This was the ‘snag’:
If I were a gentleman angler I wouldn’t count it. But I’m not, and it’s going in the book.
Onwards through water like this:
Where I picked up another couple like this:
A few olives were coming off by now, albeit without any great enthusiasm, and I spotted a rise in this stretch:
I whacked on a size 16 emerger, with a pale green body and flashabou rib and covered the rise. It took two or three casts to find my range, whereupon I was rewarded with this little brown:
The upper part of the beat starts to get quite interesting if somewhat tight:
The rises had dwindled by now but I persevered with the emerger and was vindicated when there was a small splash at the fly, which turned out to be this little fellow:
After just under three hours I decided to call it a day. A grand total of eight fish, five on the nymph and three on the top. I’m happy with that and it doubled my haul from last time out.