We anglers are a strange breed. For the most part we seek the solitude which fishing offers (I for one actively shun waters where I might encounter too many fellow anglers), yet at times we can be uncharactaristically gregarious if amongst like minded others.
On top of that, it must take a certain type of individual who, not content with spending every waking hour either fishing or thinking about fishing, feels the need to broadcast his thoughts on the subject to anyone daft enough to take an interest, via an internet blog.
I met three such individuals today.
Mike, Phil and Tony are the authors of the excellent angling blogs listed adjacent and it was a pleasure to at last meet up with them on the banks of the Ribble at Mitton. It's a strange thing to say, but when you are accustomed to seeing photos of someone and reading their thoughts on a regular basis, it can seem like you sort of know them a bit, despite never having met. It was so today - the three were just as I imagined them to be: friendly, genuine guys with an obvious enthusiasm for angling and the beauty of the countryside. So I soon forgot my 'anti social hermit' tendencies and began scratting around inside Phil's fly box, whilst exchanging thoughts on bugging set ups.
The EA day ticket stretch of the Ribble at Mitton, features some nice pocket water below the bridge, followed by a nice long glide down to the woods. Phil was in to the main run like a rat up a drainpipe, while Mike tackled up and I went in for a spot of kamikaze wading in the rough stuff.
Surprisingly deep below the shale ledges, these little pots looked likely to hold a fish or two and so it proved - a little trout and two grayling got my session off to a nice enough start (the latter grayling put up dogged resistance and I thought for a minute I was into a really big 'un, but at around a pound and a half, I was still well pleased).
When I emerged from the top end, I found we had been joined by Matt and Ian (two fellow 'forumites'), which made a party of 6 eager fly fishers. With a further half dozen rods fishing the far bank beat, it made for an unusually busy day on this stretch of river.
For the rest of the afternoon, Mike and I spent some time down the lower end between the mouths of the Hodder and Calder. By now the day was warm and sunny and the fishing was anything but easy. Mike fished hard at Calder Foot, watching resident salmon moving in the deep pool below. I mooched about just above on the flats where four or five decent trout were sipping down green aphids trapped in the surface film. I tied on a size 18 green 'muller' and nobbled the first one, rose and missed the second, and put down the remainder with a combination of clumsy wading and heavy casting.
That, apart from a few smaller trout and a half pound herling, was about it for me; and when I slipped off a sub-surface ledge, banged my knee and got a soaking, I decided it was probably time to head off and relieve mum of my chaos causing toddler!
On the way back up, I met Tony and Phil and had a good chat. Unsurprisingly, they too had found the going a bit tough, but with a warm evening on the cards, the prospect of some sport late on looked good. I wished them good luck and left them to it.
Sure enough, reading his post today, it seems that Manchester Fishing Fiend had a couple of nice fish later on - well done Mike!
So overall, an enjoyable day out in beautiful late summer sunhine, with good company and a few fish. Thanks for having me along gents. Hopefully we'll get another chance in the not too distant future!
Another cheeky little sea trout!