What is going on? – its early May and I’m wearing neoprene waders and still getting cold. Is it my age or has the weather pattern gone out of kilter? Its May on an archetypal English stream. The trees should be a watery pale green as young foliage bursts forth, the river should be an inviting sparkling bright babbling flow that dances and catches the light, whilst Hawthorns and Large Dark Olives hatch to slashing fish that want to feast upon them. Yesterday the air was full of House Martins and Swifts – (no Swallows yet) hawking for the Hawthorns, but they’ve also been duped into thinking the weather would be more hospitable. I’ve only travelled a few miles by car, but they’ve put in days and nights of unrelenting wing flapping thousands of miles from the Southern hemisphere, just in time to meet the low temperatures, gusting cold Northerly winds. And rain. I know we needed it but that was during the winter. The rain is rapidly becoming of Biblical dimensions, but it is too late to refresh the underground acquifers for the summer months, so in a way its mocking us, filling to the tops of the bankings, but flowing through too fast to help the fishing for the coming summer, – presuming, of course, that there is one on the way.
After breaking my rod last week at the beginning lower end of this reach, I decided to return and finish it. The river is the colour of cold tea, Wrens and Robins huddle in the denser brambles for warmth, while Gulls are blown like animated stunt kites scudding across the sky. So, surely for fly choice it has to be something dry and brown…ever the optimist. An hour later, no fish, so it was back to the nymph, but I only saw one fish rise during the whole four hours.
Following are a few pictures of what I caught, nothing special really but a couple of the Grayling were circa 16″ – one of which had a lesion on the flank – probably from spawning because Grayling are out of season at the moment, but Trout aren’t, difficult not to catch them when nymphing.
The trout were all under 11″ but thats no matter, yes I’d have liked them larger, but they all went off like little firecrackers, performance exceeding size. Here’s one.