Monday, 19 July 2010

Last of the magic....



All anglers must have one, that perfect pool that draws you back time after time, Mine is on one of my local rivers, I will not name it here and would hope that if you recognise it you to will have fallen under its spell and just keep the secret….

As I drove down the track towards the river driving as usual with one wheel in the middle of the track and the other on grass beyond the edge. In order to straddle the deep ruts that the tractors and 4 x 4 s had left. The way marked in front by a pair of jays flying in front flashing the route with the white rumps and looping flight.

As the avenue of trees opens slightly I was pleased to see that no other cars were there the place was mine alone…I walked over to the box on the tree and opened the door to look in the fishing reports book… It was three weeks since my last visit to the river, a sublime evening of mayfly madness with fish after fish coming to hand. My last entry was there of “ 3 hours stopped counting at 12, all on mayfly “ I smiled as I read it and wondered what the anglers since had thought…doubters all I would imagine… Great no one had visited for 3 days, the last three days had been high winds and some rain. But before that it was a tale of regular but not spectacular catches. I shut the door on the box and walked onto the old bridge the evening sunshine lit up the pool below me. I love this pool, it has never yielded great catches for me but it has such promise. I have seen huge Grayling and Trout larger than any I have caught in the river rising below me. Fishing the pool is like dating a gorgeous woman one that you will never get to give herself fully to you but beguiles you and yields just enough pleasure to keep you under her spell…




Tonight the mayfly madness had left the river; Odd fish were rising but without a clear pattern. There were Olives in the air and the odd sedge. At the tale of the pool the fingerling trout were splashing at the midges all across the pool there were occasional rises, swirls and splashes, topping and tailing. After standing on the bridge a while I went and tackled up and donned my fishing gear. Chesties, waistcoat hat far too much but everything essential or as my teenage boys describes the kit, “Dad you look like a right twat in that”…

Walking to the poolside I sat on the bench seat and surveyed the pool strange how it always seems so much bigger when you look at it from a different perspective. I am sure I read that on a problem page once anyway that’s a different story. As I smoked and watched it was apparent that main group of rising fish were sat in an eddy in deep water they looked like they were taking spent olives judging from the lazy way they mopped them up, The hatch seemed much heavier down here as the low evening sun shone through the clouds of spinners revealing their dance.

I had learnt through experience that to go down the stone steps and enter the pool from the steps provided is not the best plan the disturbance resulting sends fish speeding of into the pool to send word of your arrival. So back up the bank and head downstream 30m to wade carefully up through the fast water which hides your approach…

I waded into the pool. This time of year the cold striking through the waders is welcome cooling. Come November that wont be the sentiment… Moving slowly into the pool you have to get to waist height at least to give you a chance of reaching the top of the pool. My size 16 kites imp touched down at least 2 metres short there`s that perspective again. Stripping some more line of the reel next cast right on the money. Cast after cast followed the fish rose to each side of mine but showed no interest. Flies were changed. Red tag followed the kites then a greenwells then a klink changes in size nothing worked . Then as if to send me a message a single late mayfly fluttered down the pool, I reached to the fly patch where the bedraggled veterans from the weeks before were arranged a quick dust up and dab of gink and out it flew it sailed along like a yacht under sail amongst the little flotilla of olives then it was gone in a swirl… The mayfly magic cast its final spell. The fight was hard and dogged on the 3 wt rod the trout was one and half pounds of spotted perfection. I think we both felt embarrassed, the trout for falling for it and me for trying it. The fish was released and melted away into the depths. I waded from the pool, I fished the rest of the river for an hour or two but the magic for the evening had already happened. Back at the car I opened the catch book and left my report it read. “Three fish, kites imp beautiful evening “ There was no need for the others to know I had cheated with magic…