Andy has sealed all the rights to fish this wild river and I have joined him to see what's in there, well we had a very successful Grayling season and visits gave us plenty of action with fish upto a pound.
We did kick samples and were amazed by the quantity of invertebrate.
In the last few weeks we have wondered the river looking for signs of trout, we started to see trout in likely looking spots but to my amazement these fish are huge! Most looking to be around the 2lb mark, now these are truly wild fish, this river has never been stocked and ever been fished with the fly so we have been very eager to get a taste of the action..
We were unsure about hatches of olives and again it has been rewarding to see fair amounts of Ldo coming off around 1 o'clock but also to see Grayling rising to them yet another bonus, the big question was would these huge trout we had seen be brave enough to rise to the olives. Well this is how the story has gone so far.....
In the middle of our beat wezz and myself were hiding behind a tree watching ldo trickling down, this was great as the river is quite clear and we could watch there behaviour taking the dry, this is when we saw a huge buttercup yellow brown glide into the middle of the run, and hang just below the surface, we both lay there our eyes fixed on this wild fish, before long it did what we had hoped for, it started to take the full dun, now this was pure fun to watch, we were at least 10 ft away watching it on the feed heavily, it must have taken 30 plus olives in a half hour space.. Now these fish have not got this size from being foolish and we soon had to work a plan out..we decided to come back the next day all prepared with the dry..
The next day we once arrived at the river all geared up to have a go at this fish, both of us buzzing of what we had seen before..
As we arrived around 12 the pool looked dead with no hatches or rising fish, I opted for a method explained to me by John Tyzack...we would sit and wait and the fish would eventually feed at some stage..sounds boring but not when you get the rewards of catching a fish like this on the dry, many a angler I know would just work a duo through the pool with no hatch and properly stand a good chance of catching this fish, but as Jt tells me 1 fish to the dry is worth 20 to the nymph..how I believe this to be true, to catch this fish to the dry would be some feat, now you might think this is not hard on most rivers but these fish are so cautious I have seen no other spooky when the river is low, even a branch snap puts these fish down, they have not grown this big in a small stream from being foolish..if not feeding they are down in there lye, this one under a tree root in a deep hole.
After a hour or so of talking shit between us we saw the Grayling start to rise, emergers at first then the full dun, before long into the hatch the big old dogger came calmly into the swim and started to walop olives down like his daily treat, it was Wez who set up to have a go and I was going to stay put giving info to wez as he go in position, we opted for a crawl infront of the fish with a down stream cast hiding behind a tree, wezz got in position and I watched this fish rise every ten seconds full on show to me and told wezz the position..I was buzzin and wezz was too, he flicked his rod back and cast a nice line down the food lane, the fly was drifting straight to the fish and for a reason not known the fish just turned away and sunk back to his deep hole, ahhh gutted, that was it, something had spooked the fish and put it down, there was no drag, the fly was a Jt olive.. The only thing I could come up with that the movement of wezz,s rod upstream in the fishs view put it down or the flyline hitting the water...we had failed but our hunger to get this fish got stronger..
We left it over the weekend and decided to have another go this week, we arrived again at the magic 1 o'clock to see this fish again in the middle of a full hatch on the feed!
It was my chance to get ago at this fish as it had got in my head and Wess has past it over to me as he knows how much I would love to catch it, he has got another one he has seen in his head!!
I opted for a different position on the other bank suggested by Wess, I would have to put a upstream cast in this time as not spook the fish again..
I crept around over the weir bridge to the other side, wess was now opposite me who could see the fish but the light was bad from this side so he had to guide me of where the fish was stationed, I selected a long tapoured leader down to a 2lb tippet mudded up with a emerging olive pattern I had tyed the night before just for this fish, the fish was taking full duns but I think a emerger can look more appealing to a spooky fish...
I had to lay on my front in nettles holding my rod out infront of me, I had told wezz to shout strike when he saw the fish turn as to hook it...my first cast was a bit wank which put me in flat water so I waited and then dropped it perfect in the food lane 3ft infront of the fish, Wezz whispered 'sweet cast bro' my heart was pounding in my chest, I have not been this nervous for a long time but I just knew how hard this was going to be even if I hooked it...the fish would just bolt to the tree roots and would my 2lb tippet hold the lunge as I was going to have to give it some stick..
I could see the cdc sticking out the water as it drifted down sweet, then the fish turned and headed straight to it and the gulped to fly.. My heart was in my mouth, I struck down stream hard and 'nothing!!' I then heard 'strike' from wezz, I had struck too soon and pulled the fly out of its mouth, I had not even pricked the fish but again it slowly drifted back to its hole...I heard a voice in my my mind from my teacher John Tyzack 'bad angling son bad angling' this is something he says to me when taking the piss if I have messed up!!
Wess looked across at me gutted, shaking his hand in the sign of a wanker...
Well you can imagine how gutted I was but the bonus was I got the fish to take the dry and that is sweet for me so as I write this the fish is still in my head big time..
I know I could wait for the river to get some colour and flow back and this will make it easier but I love it hard and to catch it like this would be a memorable one...
This is now my main target, so watch this space...
Andy Warem is doing day tickets for the stretch, and he lives on the bank and will show you the river, it a testing river but the trout are huge and rise to the olive, plenty of grayling that take the dry too but a nymph is a killer. stealth is the key...its catch and release only...
If you want a session ring Andy on
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