Friday, August 07, 2009
An evening with Dad - half-arsed fishing - silverhorns - signs of migratory fish.
Had a walk along the Ribble with Dad tonight. The Old Git wasn't actually fishing, but it was nice to have a stroll and a chat considering that work commitments for both of us have meant it's been ages since we fished together.
The river looked in decent fettle - bright, clear and lively - although a bright, hot sun suggested that the going might be slow until dusk. Sure enough rising fish were few and far between; small trout were prepared to launch themselves at the balloon caddis in fast water, but that was about it. I did find a trio of moving fish in the shadow of some willows. The first one was small (see below), but welcome enough. The second took with a splash suggestive of salmon parr, but when I lazily lifted the rod, drove off powerfully into the main current before shedding the hook. The third did likewise and left me cursing my luck/incompetence/lack of attention (delete as appropriate).
The remainder of the evening followed a similar pattern: find some shade and a couple of rises would follow, with yours truly consistently pricking or missing altogether any offers from better fish....while a succession of parr readily came to hand. In one pool a very nice grayling was dropped, sandwiched either side by a pair of half pounders. A half-arsed display of dry fly fishing if ever there was one!
Of course on an evening like this, there is always the hope - expectation even - that the fish will come on the feed as the sun drops behind the horizon. Certainly a huge number of black silverhorns over the water bode well for later, even if examination of nearby tree-tops revealed a disappointing lack of dancing bwo spinners. However the rise failed to materialise and no further fish were added to the meagre tally.
My heart wasn't really in the fishing tonight. With a hard week at work behind me......and a hard weekend at work to come, I was too knackered to enjoy the subtleties of dry fly fishing on a northern stream. We had a pleasant enough time though, watching deer and walking the river, with the smell of freshly mown meadow thick in the air. And when at nightfall, a couple of salmon started to show in the head of a favourite pool, there was a realisation between us that summer has faded and autumn will soon be here.