June and September for me are the absolute cream of the fly fishing calender. Even with a cold spring the weather in June is pretty much without fail a time of plenty. This year I would give it a mixed review. The mayfly whilst giving me a good evening on the Yorkshire Dove failed to deliver a really top event. That evening also gave me an opportunity to once again forget my camera. I really do think age is catching up with me.
The second week in June saw me north of the border in Scotland me and my long suffering wife rented a cottage near lockerbie the place of that terrible air line disaster of many years ago. It was also very near to the Annan a river I have long wanted to wet a line on. The day we arrived we were treated to a full 24 hours of at times torrential rain which proceeded to bugger the river for the first half of the week. If I had been wanting to fish for sea trout I dare say I would have welcomed it , but I was after the native brownies. This is a river that has fish of very large proportions and I was looking forward to getting amongst them.
On Thursday I arrived at the river to find it still a little up but running clear. But with few fish rising the only things on the wings seemed to be fairly large stone flies an empty shuck here against a size 12 shows they were a meaty snack. I ended up with a decent catch on both the well chewed nymph below and some CDC f flies. The top fish was about the average of a few fish caught. I was briefly attached to a very large fish that jumped like a rainbow and by its silvery appearance I would guess was a sea trout, one jump managed to detach the hook from it , I wont try to guess its weight the memory is still painfull.
The next couple of trips were evening affairs, after dinner sorties to the Yorkshire Derwent which is about 10 minutes from my house, it has become my short session fishery of choice. Perfect for filling in those early summer evenings and not having a long trek home afterwards. A strange couple of sessions with just about every form of ephemeroptera hatching. Each small glide or pool seemed to have something different on the menu , the fish below engulfed the mayfly in its gob after bow waving about 2ft up the fast water as soon as the fly touched down . But no other fish showed an interest in mayfly at all. The fly of choice seemed to be a tiny size 22 job.
The river looks damn fine right now , a perfect example of a northern spate stream . Its called the river Derwent but this high up its watercourse it is smaller than many watercourse around here called becks. Just gos to show the joys of the English language.
I read recently on that most excellent blog " North Country Angler " that he fished a small stream and caught brownies that looked like the ones he saw in the older books. Well I must agree, to me the couple of fish below whilst small are to coin a phrase "perfectly formed" and look just as a brownie should look.
Piscine perfection in every sense of the word. Although small I don`t beleive I will ever tire of catching fish like this . The chap at the bottom still has my size 22 stuck in his lip. You know I used to be concerned about the hook hold such tiny things give but the more I fish them the more I realise that with sensible tackle ( soft rod and long tippet ) they are just fine and allow you to put on plenty of pressure with even large fish.
A recent addition has been a threader box . This is a cheapo one of ebay with some of the C and F threaders on it , This was its first outing and for this fisherman with crap close vision I can not overstate how much easier the changing of a size 22 in fading light has now become , the box is filling up fast .
This is my generic small fly , not a proper pattern but a dunn or grizzle hackle, Coq de leon tails and dubbed body in olive green , black and grey dun gives me a fly for aphids which can be a killer anytime now, a small black job and something that works as a general small olive pattern. I will also be adding some tiny cdc F Flies and some Terrys specks , again from NCAs blog . As thats twice I have praised his blog thats it for the year a Yorkshire man can not be overly generous when dishing praise out to someone from the wrong side of the Pennines.