Pickering Beck

Duchy fish take cover under a baking sun


Up to the Duchy beat of the Pickering Beck to do the regular invert sampling followed by a session with the rod. It was baking hot: the car said 25C at 10am, and 28C by the time I packed up at 2pm. The water was tinged by a spot of colour after some recent rain, but was still lowish and running slowly.

I’ve had success here on the emerger in the past, so that was my first port of call. But for the initial half hour or so I saw only the sporadic rise and few fish were visible in the water. Nothing came to the fly, so I switched to a heavy beaded nymph. This was the first pool I plopped it into:

And within a few seconds had the first fish Not huge but welcome nonetheless:

It was followed in short measure by two more, this being the better one (the other was a real tiddler):

Things went somewhat quiet thereafter. I saw a couple of rises in some slack water – actually most of this beat is pretty slow-flowing – so switched back to the emerger but to no avail. So I put on a scruffy PTN, tied in the traditional way with copper wire in lieu of silk. I’ve not had a lot of success with this pattern, possible because the crap tying. This one has lost two-thirds of its tail:

Anyway, I put it here and there without exciting the interest of a fish. Then in this stretch, only a foot or so deep, I spotted a fish sitting on the bottom:

The glare on the water meant that I kept losing sight of the fish, but knew roughly where it was, so put the fly over it and watched the line like a hawk. After a couple of casts the line straightened a fraction and I lifted, bringing in a beautifully coloured little brown. The scarlet border on the adipose fin and tail are stunning:

And that was my lot for a couple of hours in the hot sun. Only four fish, but little wild beauties.

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