On Any Given Sunday…

As yet another Sunday rolled around, the urge to fish was starting to take over from other work. Despite the colder weather and windy conditions Graham & I couldnt resist returning back to the previous stream.
Upon arival the water was super clear. We tackled up and started to walk up the stretch hoping, perhaps, that the mayflies had started to hatch. Unfortunately it wasnt to be, in fact we had walked a fair way up the stretch before we had seen a fish even rise. 
Before this, we reached a lovely ‘weir-like’ pool and Graham had tied a Damsel Nymph on. As I sheltered from the wind behind a grassy bank it can’t have been more than a few run throughs before Graham cried “Fish on!”. After a short fight, a small trout came to hand. Confident there was still another fish to be had, again he cast – “Fish on!” I heard almost straight away, a better one too this time by the looks of the bend in the rod. Imagine our surprise when this came to the net…

We then moved on and reached a bush where there is often a good trout. Usually I take a peak first to see if anyone is at home, although this usually always results in the fish darting away. Determined to avoid this I cast blind from the bank and watched the fly line. Nothing had taken and so i stripped the line back only to see a trout following. Just as the fly reached the surface the trout took, a spirited fight and a pretty fish.

As we moved further up, the water was turning a milky colour. Hoping to find the reason for this we carried on upstream, but we never did find out the cause. Towards the top of the stretch are two pools that always seem to hold better fish. With the water still coloured there was little happening, just one or two fish at the top pool rising regularly.

It was Graham’s go so he cast over the fish with an Olive (the only fly we could see in any numbers). After covering the fish a number of times it was clear it wasnt what he was taking. This pattern continued for 30 minutes or so, with Graham changing fly everytime the trout refused. After about 8 fly changes he had finally got the winning formula and the fish was his to lose! The fight seemed to last an age as I watched a clearly good trout bolting up and downstream – Graham’s 4wt seemingly undergunned for the power and stamina of this one! Eventually the fish graced the net – Definitley worth all the fly changes!

The fish went back after a few snaps and it was my go. With nothing rising anymore I decided to just cover a likely looking run behind some trailing brambles. I can’t remember how many casts I’d had before my Spent Olive was pounced upon. Maybe I wasn’t really expecting a take as my strike was slow, but as soon as contact was made, it was clear it was another belter!

The trout leaped into the air, coming back down with an almighty splash and after some more splashing on the surface it had calmed down a little bit. Gliding up/down/left and right it was I that now felt undergunned! Every twist and turn of the fish resulted in my tippet pinging off the fins of the fish, I was just praying the hook would hold. A couple of failed net attempts later I felt it had to be netted now or the fish was gone. I held my breathe and the fish dropped in – just!

“That’s got to be worth weighing” said Graham and I agreed. The scales came out and I was baffled by the display bouncing around 1 and a half. “Oh! Thats kilogra…” – SPLASH. Suddenly the weight in the net had gone, the fish had gone! I looked down to see it sat by my foot. Don’t ask me how but with a combination of Graham stood behind and my net coming from above I somehow scooped the fish back out! (thanks Izaak!) With the scales flipped over and the net deducted the fish went 2lb, or an ounce below anyway, certainly my biggest wild fish and from a stream such as this, a true monster! A couple of snaps later and the fish went back.

 Big head!

Wild Brown Trout Release from Adam Rawson on Vimeo.

What a day! We’re still to see the Mayflies, but surely it can’t be long, can it?!

Twitter: @adsrawson

Adam Rawson
Dad, husband, maker of split cane fishing rods and lover of the great outdoors.

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