Up to Thornton Beck, just this side of the North York Moors. It’s a small, sinuous, jungly stream packed with feisty little wild browns but they don’t come easily. In the past I’ve tended to have a go with dries, but to be honest the fish here don’t rise that freely so today I decided to have a go with a heavy nymph.
There’s so much overgrowth that a tiny rod is essential, so I tackled up the 6ft Burns 3wt with a five foot furled leader and about four feet of tippet. I tied on a size 14 hare’s ear on a jig hook with a copper-coloured tungsten bead.
Much of the water looks like this:
There a loads of little fish, but the water is so clear and the casting so tricky that it’s nigh on impossible to get close enough to make a short cast to the fish without spooking them.
In the end I ignored all this sort of slack water and concentrated on the faster runs that had a bit of depth to them on the basis that the turbulence would somewhat disguise my approach:
Basically I ended up flicking out only the leader and tippet. I struggled for the first half hour but eventually hooked a tiddler:
Well, it’s a fish and if today was only going to produce specimens of that size, so be it.
I was fighting a right old battle with snags above and below the water. After one twanging release from a submerged branch I was pleased I took a look at the fly:
That ain’t gonna catch a lot. Anyhow, on with a replacement copper-head and the second fish was shortly in the bag – a bit better than his little brother:
I then got into a rhythm somewhat, focusing on the swirlier water:
Vividly speckled fish started to come:
The jungle certainly wasn’t thinning out:
Took a real little corker in an eddying, deeper pool – this is a great fish for this water:
After around three hours I’d had eight fish to hand and decided to call it a day – almost. Right at the start of the beat there’s a section that is just downstream of a fish farm. This stretch below the bridge holds a number of large escapees:
I thought I’d give it a whirl before packing up, and kept the beaded nymph on the end. Well, I had two whumpers:
The second one must have been well over 2lb. It’s nice enough to put a bend in a small three weight rod, but it’s much more fun doing SAS jungle warfare and catching the luminous wildies.