I could write all sorts of stuff about counting down to the start of the trout season here in Devon but if you are reading this you know that already and we have all been peering out of the window each morning thinking to ourselves “nearly there”, right?
I’ve said before that I’ve been tying a few flies and but don’t want to bore you with those pics of flies in vices etc. I’d much rather go out and road test what I’ve been tying so that when I tie one on for a client I know I’ve got it just about right.
I was fishing solo on Tuesday and went looking for some grayling. When I got to the river I rigged up and a lone Large Dark Olive landed on my finger. Now, I take these things as a sign. You can look at it two ways. Firstly, that this is as good as it is going to get today and things could go downhill from here, or secondly that you are hitting the river at just the right time and you might have had a bit of good luck. I prefer the latter and despite the good omen fished the first pool with a nymph as I hadn’t seen anything move. At the tail of the next I hooked into a nice grayling and took a picture of it in the net before releasing it.
Next pool and I saw a rise. I held fire for a bit and the tell tale bubble in the rise told me a grayling was coming on. I tied on a grey klink that I had on my patch from the day before and cast. It was a nice, positive rise and the fish was mine. A smaller one but it was a great start. I added a nymph to the dry and decided I would snip it off if I saw another rise.
Just round the corner I saw one, took the nymph off and covered the fish. Nothing, but I also saw there were a lot of midges about and I tied on a #24 black klink I’d tied recently and the fish thought it was OK and took it.
One more rise and this time the grayling didn’t want the small fly. Perhaps the good number of midges was masking the odd, further, Large Dark. I laughed at myself talking about “masked hatches” several months before I usually do.
The pattern continued and I kept mixing things up and catching some nice fish. I did have a few mishaps. The screw that holds my net handle decided to come loose when I was putting a fish back and at least it was at a time when I knew what had happened. I have had this a few times when you reach for the net and there is nothing there. I’d hate to lose this one as I really like it and it cost way more than any sane person should spend on a net.
I had been thinking about having something to eat and was going to fish one more pool when I noticed that the sole had come off of my wading boot. The fishing was too good to worry about it and as I did a sort of limp into the next pool I was making sure I didn’t loose the whole sole as I wanted to keep the tungsten studs that were in it.
I cast up against a bank and the dry dipped, I hit it and knew it was a good fish. Thump, thump it went and headed upstream. I hadn’t seen it but managed to get it under control and netted. It was a great fish and one I was really pleased with. I took a pic and slipped it back. Time for something to eat.
I limped up the bank and realised that not only the sole had come away from the upper but the whole section had come away meaning that just about everything could get into my boot making it a bit tricky to keep on fishing. It seemed right to stop there anyway and I headed home. So if a LDO lands on your finger first day of the season I hope it brings you some luck but keep an eye on your waders too!
Eat, Sleep, Fish is ready and I will be publishing it on Friday (I think) There is another good mix of fishing and if you like it please let me know.
Fly Fishing in Devon with the Devon School of Fly Fishing Fly Fishing Tuition, Guiding and Fly Fishing Lessons