To the upper reaches of Pickering Beck on a nippy April afternoon with a gusting westerly breeze. We call this the Duchy section, on account of it being on land owned by the Duchy of Lancaster. The water is not stocked so all the trout in here are truly wild. The club has carried out extensive work on the water over the past few seasons to shore up the banks in an effort to reduce erosion and to generally improve the quality of the fishery. It is a fabulously varied stretch, with long runs of relatively sedate water, deep pools, short fast flows, riffles, eddies: the lot. And plenty of bankside vegetation: many flies are invariably lost. Tackled up with a 6 ft Burns loaded with 3 wt line and a small foam-headed klinkhamer pattern. This was the first run I had a go at:
But only succeeded in catching my fly on the far bank and spending the next fifteen minutes retrieving it. Nothing rising at this point so fishing blind as it were. Covered more water, such as this:
But nothing doing for the first forty-five minutes. No fish rising at this point. Then rose one but it didn’t stick. Plugged away and eventually hooked this small fellow:
There’s nothing huge in this water and this is a pretty typical brownie from here. Continued for the next twenty minutes or so…
Then the wind dropped, the sun came out and a few fish started rising. Connected with number 2:
And shortly after that another one, similar size:
Came to a useful looking pool on the bend and thought I couldn’t fail:
But nothing showing. Got around the corner into some water with a lot of debris in it:
Which produced the best and last fish of the day:
Thereafter it all went pretty much dead. Rose a couple more but did not bring them in. So it was a day of fours: saw four rises, caught four fish and rose four more. Except I fished for three hours.
Four lovely little wild trout on a chilly April day: result.