It has been an interesting time and I have had to fit work around when the river has been fishable. Although I have lost a bunch of days there have been a few opportunities and the fishing has been good when the windows appeared. The river might be fishable for a bit and then more rain on Dartmoor would see the it rise and colour. It is easy to get sucked into the old wives sort of stuff about things being delayed by a number of weeks but nature marches to its own beat and to those not on the river it might look like things might be late. On Friday I saw a few yellow mays and yesterday the mayfly (danicas) got going. I saw a few sail down the river and they were unmolested but it will only take a couple of the days for the fish to get zeroed in on them. At the very worst these are two days late.
I was guiding John. It was one of the windows I was talking about and the river was just about fishable but we had to venture further upstream. In the truck he asked me about hawthorn fly and I said they don’t really feautre that much as the river I guide on is heavily tree lines which stops a lot of the poor flying terrestrial fly from getting blown on to the water. It was a tough morning and although we’d had a few fish we’d worked really hard for them. I had though, noticed a couple of hawthorn float by. After lunch I took John to a pool I really like. There were a couple of fish rising and after they refused the usual suspects I found a couple of hawthorn patterns lurking in the back of the fly box. John went on to catch 6 fish from the pool and it made what was a good day into a really good one.
I was also guiding Brian and a similar thing happened. This time though they were splashy aggressive rises that left us little doubt they were on hawthorn. I’d tied a few more the night before but when Brian covered the fish there were no takes. The fish were hitting the flies upstream of us before I could see them but we changed a few patterns just in case I’d got suckered in to thinking it was hawthorn. We tried quite a few different flies but nothing. I noticed a mating pair of hawthorns that were on the water. Were the fish getting two flies for the price of one? I don’t know but the rises eased a little which made me think we were in with a chance. I tied the hawthorn back on and we were in business. Perhaps there weren’t as many coming down and the fish decided one fly is better than none.
I also have to admit that I had a slight stumble and shipped a little water. I haven’t done that for a few years and knew I was due one. It was the sort that you tell your guiding pals about as it wasn’t a head first, fully submerged fall but thought I should come clean.
So it looks like things are starting to really get going on the mayfly front and we are exactly on track, hopefully, some great fishing!