Today was to be the last session of my trout season, with domestic commitments ruling out the remaining days of September. One is tempted to say good riddance, but that would perhaps be churlish. But it has been a dismal latter half of the season – and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one with that sentiment. Before today I’d been up to the Seven twice since I last posted, and on both occasions blanked. That makes probably half a dozen trips with no fish to show at all this year, by some margin the least productive run I’ve had for many years.
Whatever, today looked a bit better. There’d been a good downpour of rain a few days earlier (I was fishing fruitlessly during that deluge). The river had gone up and then dropped backed, but there was a tad more water in it still and it possessed just a hint of colour, which I generally like.
It was a chilly but bright morning with a stiffening fresh breeze. I pitched up at about 11 am armed with the Burns 7.5 footer, furled leader and about four foot of tippet. I put on a size 16 golhead tied with a simple body of pink floss; I assumed that given the relatively low temperature (the car said 10C) that not much would be topping at least early on.
I started downstream of the weir pool on the lower beat of the river and surprisingly saw multiple dibbly little rises in the slacker water to along the left bank:
I couldn’t be bothered to change the fly, so lobbed the pinky into the middle of the rises. I wasn’t using an indicator, so was just relying on keeping a beady eye on the kinks in the leader. Sure enough after three or four casts the leader twitched almost imperceptibly and I tightened into a fish – not big. I brought to hand a rather raggedy little rainbow, presumably an escapee from the adjacent trout farm:
It wasn’t what I was after, but I’m pretty certain it was a trout, having almost forgotten what one looks like. So muted satisfaction and it was good to feel an albeit slight bend in the rod. The little rises continued so I carried on with the nymph and ended up taking a total of nine of these little critters. Then I had a more interesting take and the rod jerked with a bit more vigour. I pulled in a nice grayling, maybe 12 oz:
This was followed by a smaller one a few casts later:
Things went quiet after that so I made my way a few fields up to where I was hoping the odd brown trout might be lurking:
It was starting to warm up, and now and again I’d see the odd rise. I persevered with the nymph for twenty minutes or so to no avail so switched to a fairly bulky emerger with a peacock herl body. I put the fly over a faint rise and was rewarded by a brownie. No records broken, but it was nevertheless a brown. Hurrah!
I continued upstream, covering rises where they occurred and putting the fly in likely looking lies but all to no avail. I switched to a yellow emerger for no particular reason. One tiny fish took a look at it before turning away, but nothing else was interested. I switched to yet another emerger, a size smaller and with a black body ribbed with flashabou. Almost immediately it elicited a splashy take and I brought in a really nice ten-incher:
I worked my way upwards and came to a small pool where fish were producing little dimpled disturbances on the surface:
By now I’d lost the previous fly and had replaced it with a similar one but with a claret body. I cast in and let the fly drift for five or six feet. It was just about to start dragging when I had the take. Given the weediness of the rises I assumed that the fish were small, so was delighted when the pull on the rod suggested something a bit beefier, and I brought in another good 10″ brown:
I had two more of a similar ilk from the same pool before things went quiet once again and I called it a day. A good day: nine small rainbows, two grayling and four browns. A pleasing way to end the 2018 trout season. Now come on you grayling!