Monday 23 July 2018

Dog Days

Rain please bring rain..... Many years ago on this blog I made the above plea.   To my amusement and  the astonishment of my readers .  It rained , and it rained , continuing to do so for a couple of months.  Until the rivers were bank high and the lakes over topping... So God if your listening again ,  just a little less this time .  Ideally a good steady week of rain to start with, nothing to heavy you understand we don't want to have flash floods .  Oh and maybe if you held of another week because the farmers haven't quite got the grain in yet.  So after the first week of steady rain we could do with another good rain that lasts 48 hours maybe once every ten days .  That would bring the sea trout and salmon up the rivers nicely .  So to be clear this needs to start at the beginning of August .  Yes I know its the start of the kids summer holidays but we don't want the little darlings getting sun burnt do we?.  Guess I am been pretty picky but on the of chance that someone upstairs is listening it would be nice to have the right amount..Anyway where was I .. Oh yes Dog days

The fishing of late has been challenging ,  the local spate streams are on their bones .  So low in fact that I am getting concerned about oxygen levels .  Apart from last Saturday the only river related activity in the last couple of weeks was down my little local stream on a work party .  Basically trying to gently manipulate the stream to form some deeper pockets for two reasons ,  firstly to give the descending smolts a bit extra depth of water to live in until a spate takes them out to sea.  Also to create a few holding pockets for the Autumn Sea trout coming upstream.

Work parties are a very contentious subject with most clubs.   Fortunately we have a hardcore of members whom are very generous with their time for them.  Last weeks was fairly hastily arranged but resulted in seven members turning up.  Unusually including myself, the group included age spans from  under 20 to nearly 80.  They are good natured and friendly affairs and always enjoyable.  Grown men messing about in a river on a warm summer evening what could be better . 

This Saturday evening I decided I had to get back on the water back on the little chalk stream which although running lower now has its size constrained by the rapidly growing lush vegetation so keeping a decent depth, I was on the river for about 7.30 ,  my first hour or twos  fishing was pretty frustrating.  Careful stalks and then slipping silently into the river were undone time after time by two families of swans and the same of mallards Noisily protesting and or flapping their way up stream .  Silently slipping into a river is something I struggle with more than ever these days then to be thwarted by irate waterfowl on four or five occasions was doubly galling . It was getting tedious but planning ahead I had saved a couple of favourite long stretches undisturbed till the light was going.... 

On these bright days its only when the light goes that the fishing comes alive .  A seemingly barren stretch transforms into a scene of fish rising everywhere as the hatch starts and the trout emerge from cover .  Apart from the BWO there are plenty of sedges the trout sit tight against the reeds gorging on the sedges as they emerge .

The fish here are very lively this one jumped and cartwheeled like a rainbow .  In an hour I hooked probably eight and landed three .  The deep weed and thick rushes means fish must be held hard , several failed as hook holds pulled .  The 4lb tippet and soft tipped rod meant no breaks but several made it into the weed never to re emerge 

Apart from the ducks , swans and a barn owl which was hunting up and down the river my only company was the combine harvester in the adjacent field he was still there as I drove away in the dark. Dog days of summer for sure but that last hour oh my is something else...

Trout bum or mildly eccentric ?

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