Spring is now in full swing and the countryside has been transformed in a matter of days. The balmy weather this week is more charactaristic of mid summer than early May and is the first prolonged warm sunny spell of the season. There were signs of it beginning to break today though - it has been humid and overcast and the air has been charged with the promise of thunder. All day at work I thought about getting to the waterside and it seemed an eternity until I was finally able to escape and speed north towards my little piece of paradise.
It has been an interesting evening, although there are no remarkable events to recount. Even so, it has been a pleasure to fish slowly through the pools, paying more attention to my surroundings than to the task in hand. No matter, I've returned a few fish, missed quite a few more offers, and generally had a fine time of it!
I started off with a pair of nymphs - caddis pupa and pheasant tail - and was quickly rewared with a small grayling from the first run. A few more fishless minutes however, persuaded me to change to a single klinkhamer: although nothing much was rising, I had the feeling that the fish might respond to the seaching dry fly. This worked out about right and the klink never left the cast for the remainder of the session, apart from a couple of size and colour changes.
There was plenty of insect activity over the water - gnats, hawthorns, midge, caddis and an odd medium olive were all in evidence, but none in sufficient numbers to induce a rise of any kind. The klinkhamer tends to cover all bases in this situation and I'm always surprised by the number of times a fish will appear from nowhere to hit the fly. Worked along the current seams, a black or dark tan number did the trick regularly enough to keep things exciting.
As I worked my way upstream, trout and grayling both put in an appearance and I finished up with half a dozen of each, generally around the 12" mark, but with one better grayling of about 1lb 12oz (this beat seems to hold a lot of these big 'ladies').
To be honest, I didn't fish well. For every fish hooked, I missed another couple of offers; but on an evening like this, it didn't matter. I was just happy to be out in the warmth and with the aroma of wild garlic and hawthorn blossom heavy in the air.
I fished right through until an hour after sundown when I swung a team of spiders back through the pools downstream, but the period passed without event, other than the loud splashes made by one or two large sea trout which have made it into the river.
It was pitch black by the time I got back to the car and feeling as warm as it had in the afternoon. A classic summer evening and I hope there are many more like it to come.......
Incidentally, this is North Country Angler's 100th post since I started nearly two years ago. If anyone has resisted boredom long enough to still visit occasionally, then thanks for looking. Who knows, I might even manage another 100 posts!