I only made a single cast last night, but it was worth it! My main focus for the evening was to carry out the latest round of invertebrate monitoring which our club has been conducting on the Eamont and Eden and arriving at Brougham at 6pm after a long drive up from work left a lot to do before nightfall. The sampling passed off without any comment, abundance of the various invert groups being broadly in line with expectations and indicating reasonable levels of health. All the anticipated groups were recorded with caseless caddis, baetids and seratellas (bwo) being particularly well represented, and even a handful of mayfly nymphs turning up in the Eden samples. I have heard several reports of impressive hatches of the latter this season and although this is not something I have witnessed, I have certainly seen more of them this time around than the usual ones and twos. Apparently the trout have shown no interest whatsoever in the big duns.
With the sampling kit stowed and darkness rapidly approaching, I put up my 4 weight and took a quick look at a spot where I put down a big trout last Friday. The fish had been feeding right on the tail of a glassy, accelerating lie the size of a pool table. It looked like drag city and so it had proved - a single clumsy cast and instantly skating tippet, sent the beast packing. And that was that; trout of such a size tend to be contemptuous of crap presentation.
I was better prepared this time around. Crawling into position slightly more square on, I could see the fish was back on station and feeding confidently, so I delivered my best slack line cast (it has a name, this cast - the 'Matt Eastham high stop, bit of a wiggle, let the leader fall in an untidy heap cast'). Happily my target hadn't studied the text books and despite the agricultural manner of my execution, the couple of seconds of unfettered drift afforded to my olive emerger was enough to elicit the slightest of dimpling rises.....and a few minutes later nearly 4lbs of wild Eden trout lay in the folds of my landing net.
I wouldn't choose for my fishing sessions to consist of only one cast, but when the result is sweaty palms and 22 inches of angry trout exploding out of my hands in a burst of spray, then I suppose I can live with it!