Yesterday was a lesson in how you never know how things are going to turn out. After only realising at the weekend that my daughters passport was out of date and us travelling abroad very soon ( I know I know such things shouldnt happen but its a long story) . Anyway I had to reschedule my already very busy works diary around when I could get an appointment at the Durham passport office to get a 4hr passport turnaround. I really wasnt a happy chap knowing that my day was ruined and that I would be hanging around Durham for at least 4 hours.
But then the penny dropped and I remembered that I had this spring paid to join a small angling club up that way with fishing on the river leven. The leven was where I caught my very first trout on a fly way back in the 1970s and havent fished it since . It was an itch that needed scratching . It would be about 30minutes to drive from Durham to the river and I reckoned I could easy squeeze in a few hours fishing. Id heard the stream had grayling.
Well kit was loaded and following my passport office visit I shot of down the A1 . I had never fished or even seen the stretch of river and arrival it was certainly a little larger than I remembered but it was a long way downstream of my old stamping ground. Parking at the bank I was foolish enough to answer a phone call and ended up back in work mode for 30 minutes. I then got kitted up and headed off to inspect the stream. Very wild very overgrown and steep banks but it did look fishy. After walking downstream for a while I fished one run and blanked , A little further down I tried another nice looking run. Straight away I was into a small grayling then a better one of probably a pound which hook pulled when at the net. Another couple of casts working up through the pool resulted in no fish but my feet told me where the deep point was in the pool and I probably had walked through the best of the fish.
Anyway after walking downstream a while and only having a couple of tiny trout to show I thought I would head back to the car. As I passed the pool I had caught in earlier I just thought I would work through it again as I reckon I had not fished the best line the first time. Second cast in and wallop, trout I thought as something very strong hooped the 9ft 3wt around. The as the grey flank showed I though shit better be careful. After a fair scrap I only realised just how big and fat the fish was when I drew it to the net and realised its head was halfway up the handle before its tail was over the lip. At the second attempt I netted it . Note to myself buy a bigger scoop net. The scales went exactly 2lb1 oz. Couldnt beleive it.. Waited a long time for a 2lbr and to catch one in a Northern stream made it even sweeter. After writing last month that the season hadnt seen one notable fish I would like to retract that statement. PS sorry about poor pics, I had such low expectations of the day I didnt even take my camera, So pics courtesy of my iphone.