Well the trout season finally got under way , there is three weeks to go before the end of it but today I felt that the trout season has finally started . In September you have to take the opportunities as the arise . Sunday the weather was set to be fine, My wife was working so I had the chance to escape for the day . When I arrived at the river it was low , in fact very low and very very clear . Bright sunshine and the gentlest of upstream breezes with little rising . It was going to be a tough one.
Recently I had been outfished by my guest who was using a leader to hand set up. The river here is difficult to fish drag free. Many current lines across the river mean that achieving a drag free drift is pretty hard unless of course you are directly downstream. I have been toying with french leaders for a while and been out fished a week or two ago had put the method back in my head. looking at the river today I knew any edge I could get with presentation would make a real difference. So a Greys Streamfllex 9ft 6 inch 3 wt was armed with a 3wt line with a 9m Hends french leader which was sightly cut back with about a 9ft 3lb tippet added . I decided to really give it a whirl.
I have only used the 9ft 6 rod a handful of times since getting it in the summer in readiness for the grayling this winter. It has impressed me. I have really enjoyed fishing it. The added length really helped control the line and with the french leader holding line of the water was a doddle. The slight upstream breeze was just enough to help rather than hinder and I was very impressed by the delicacy of presentation the method allows. Things need to be slowed right down but casts can be manufactured . Careful wading was required in the low water but once in range the lack of a fly line allowed supremely delicate presentation. I am sure that the method made a huge difference on the day.
The fish were spread right across the river I had quite a few smaller grayling and about 20 brownies with the best of them shown here. I even had a few salmon parr. Many of the browns are showing signs of getting ready for spawning cock fish are starting to get kypes and females looking heavy bellied. All the fish were returned, the better fish after a quick snap.
It has been a long time coming this season , the season started poorly with low water then for a couple of months it was a wash out. The mayfly after so much early promise with the sheer numbers of nymphs in the sampling ended up as a non event. The rivers have been up and down like the proverbial hoers drawers . Its been a season that so far was very forgettable. So it was great to have the sort of day that you can look back in the winter and remember with a smile.
As for the french leader, well on the day I reckon it was ideal and made a huge difference and I will be fishing it in the future . Initially I had intended only using the approach for nymphing but It works well for drys to. The fly I used was a size 16 CDC quill bodied emerger that I showed a post or two back its caught me a hell of a lot of fish this season. As for the method I will be using it in the future. That is for certain.