Saturday, June 02, 2007
High up at Hayeswater - with 1 year old in tow!
I carried out a bit of a selfish experiment today. We have this rucksack/child carrier thing which we use to take George out for walks and I decided that it might be time to take him on his first ever fishing trip. Exactly how I would manage to fish with a podgy 12 month old clinging to my back remained to be seen, but I was up for the challenge nevertheless!
I plumped for Hayeswater today, fishable on a day ticket from Windermere Anglers. A measly £8 gets you up in the hills and amongst some of the most spectacular scenery this country can provide.
The fish here are wild as the wind and of a better average size than many hill tarns. They tend to patrol the steep drop off a couple of rod lengths out - a set of wet flies worked on a short line in the wave should do the trick. That said, my previous visit here (also my first), ended fishless on a really blowy day last July. I was hoping for a better performance today.....
As I made the steep pull up alongside Hayeswater beck, I noticed that a good number of beetles were on the wing. I've no idea what species, but they were quite large - about 15mm - and with a distinct deep claret colouration; I wondered if I would find them being blown on to the water. Sure enough, as I settled down at the top end of the reservoir to give George his lunch, I watched as one of the hapless insects bumbled past and landed, struggling on the surface a few yards away. Straight away a very good trout came up out of nowhere and snaffled the beetle in a splashy rise. My tactics were decided, then. A two fly cast with bibio on the dropper and black & peacock spider on the point.
Once I was up and running with the boy safely saddled up, I got regular takes to the spider - usually by fishing it static as a 'damp' dry fly, or by slowly dribbling it back through the wave. As is usually the case on waters like this, the takes were lightning fast and I missed the majority of them and had a few twist off shortly after being hooked. I did however manage three pristine brownies, all around the 12 inch mark and all beautifully marked. In the clear water they fought like tigers and were a real pleasure to catch. George didn't seem that bothered though....he had fallen asleep shortly after lunch!
So an enjoyable afternoon and not as hard work carrying my son as I had thought it might be, although dealing with landed fish was a bit awkward and my shoulders are protesting now.
I'll look forward to the time when I can take him back up to Hayeswater with a rod in his hand!