Good Friday and minus 1 at 6 am. Last year at his time…… well we all know about that one as its been done to death on the news.
So it’s gear on as if I am off to Northern Russia, thermal tops and bottoms, thermal shirt, thick fleece, jacket, two pairs of woollen socks, thermal hat and gloves. Not ideal gear to be fishing a small river with a Sage 2 weight at the end of March.
This season I’ve been very lazy and not prepared the tackle since it was used last season. Big big mistake. I tackled up and gave the leader a good pull and off popped the braided loop. After a bit of first aid however all sorted with a temporary fix and off into the river.
By 11 o’clock it was almost tropical, a balmy 2 degrees and a freezing breeze, still nothing ventured…. and so commenced a weird 2 and a half hours of fly fishing tramping through snow drifts and sodden fields as I moved between the beats.
As time went on a good number of Large Dark Olives started to appear on the surface, but not a fish in sight. The flies must have thought that it was their birthday as they floated off safely down the river with even the birds giving them a miss. A downstream Waterhen Bloa brought no result, nor did that other early season standard the Partridge and Orange, so after fishing half a mile of water I switched over to a weighted Pheasant Tail Nymph and started popping it upstream. I reckon that the fish weren’t just sitting at the bottom doing nothing, after all we all have to eat and trout are no exception.
I’ve not just been lazy with the tackle but I’ve also been lazy with the flies. Only one weighted nymph in the box, and all of the other gold heads are light, so I only had one chance with the fly.
After 10 minutes I was beginning to feel that it was a complete waste of time, until the fly stopped in the water under the far bank. I tightened up and off it went. 5 minutes later and a fine 2 and a half pound Brownie in the net. I flicked the fly out of its mouth and off it went back up the river to hopefully grow into a 4 pound Brownie.
Nothing else came to the fly, but it just shows that patience and perseverance pay dividends. It was bloody cold, not a fish in sight and seemed largely pointless. However as there were Large Dark Olives on the water it seemed weird that the fish wouldn’t be eating something at least, and they were, just not with much gusto.
So what have I learnt today?
Preparation is everything, I will have to check out all of my rods, reels and lines (Easter Monday task);
Flies – stock up with decent flies of the right kind. There’s a lot of crap on the Internet, so it will have to be a hands-on visit;
Chill out and concentrate on the casting. This season I want to iron out all of my bad habits and start to throw a proper line.
Wait until its warmer.
So the next trip will probably be in August!