So August bank holiday is almost upon us and that can only mean one thing: rain! The forecast is for a band of rain to come through the South West some time over the weekend. Undoubtedly that will knock many of the rivers out for a few days. This seems to be the ongoing story this Summer.
It seems that Autumn may be creeping up on us. Strange, as I was still waiting for the Summer.
The rain a few days ago had brought the rivers up, but levels were good today and there was a healthy colour to the water. Any more and it I think it would have been time to turn back home. However, it looked reasonable and as I was making some adjustments to my French Leader set up ( preparing for the Autumn & Winter), it seemed ideal territory to throw a few nymphs.
Now French Nymphing is becoming more widely used... and it has its uses. With such long leaders and no fly line to speak of, presentation is really good and it is a super-stealthy approach too - not spooking fish with the fly line. Playing around with some different indicators too can be quite interesting. More on this soon, but a spiral indicator was the first choice today. I reviewed one a while back here: Hends Spiral Indicators.
The sensitivity is amazing and it is worth rtying out a few to see just how improved the detection of subtle takes really can be. As I pitched a size 18 and 20 nymph up the first few runs, it looked promising. However it was not an expected trout or grayling that pinched the first fly, but a small dace. This was followed by fish after fish, and their size was increasing each few casts. OK, not what we usually came for, but when testing out a new system, ideal to be picking up these lightning fast takes. I will report more on this technique in the future.
So after, I thought I'd switch lines and leaders and go in search of any rising trout in the deeper, slower pools. Very little was stirring and as I decided to wander back to the car, I saw a solid rise downstream. Now there was no way this was accessible on my side of the river and there was no easy access point as the river is deep in this section. To remain concealed and get a good cast in, it would mean walking back downstream, giving the fish a wide berth and walking back up the other side. I was in too minds, but the lure of what appeared to be a good fish was too great, so off I went.
A careful approach is the key to success: keeping low and off the sky line as I approached where I had seen the fish, I was willing to see it rise again so I could pin point its position. I waited - nothing... Until eventually a sip from the surface gave a fish's position away. I was pretty sure it was the same fish. Again, it's worth waiting to be sure they are on station and feeding confidently.
Eventually, I made a tricky cast through the tree canopy with a CDC Emerger and to my delight a fish rose immediately to the fly. Suffice to say, it was a beautiful small-stream brown trout... worth the extra effort to get in position:
More soon, after the deluge.