River guru and guide Tony Riley turns geologist, on his left the Southern boulder I’m used to, on the right a good Northern ankle cruncher… the stuff of men.
I took some time out last week to spend a few days with Tony fishing. My ability to pick the perfect week is typical of the luck I have, and this was to be no exception. ‘Ruddy awful’ is the only way to describe it. I’ll not need to explain how poor the weather’s been of late so unless you’ve been living in a bubble for the last week or so you’ll know what I mean.
With moderate to worsening conditions we descend upon the rivers Eden & Bela
We’re aiming to fish exclusively on the dry fly so to be successful on rivers such as this you need a stealthy and deliberate approach. You don’t catch fish here just blind casting at the water, know where the fish are, how and what they’re feeding on, then position yourself for the perfect cast…
…I say ‘perfect’ because it may be the only one you have before putting the fish down… I was humbled on numerous occasions by just misreading a drift as my target submerges to a safe haven in disgust. A steep learning curve when you’re used to home waters and being almost on top of the fish short line casting.
Tony making the most of a known rise… twas a pleasure to watch him stalk this stunning Eden trout
Some respite under a bridge, rising fish in the riffles just in view upstream can’t be ignored. Swinging my 10ft #2 is a challenge, pitch black I have to maintain a light touch and feel the cast…
Fish on!… the need to crouch and maintain flex and tension is hindered only by the sparks my tip ring make on the underside of this inanimate structure more commonly known as a bridge.
The Bela prior to the grey skies above letting loose upon all below looking rather fine and enticing
BWO’s are plentiful and lift a number of fish with which to keep us occupied on the surface
Although a blue spotted stockie, it was a nice fighting fish all the same
With the rain starting to peak and show more evidence of what was to sweep across the North on Friday, we were hot to trot on any likely rise as the fly life started to quickly wane.
Most fish for both of us came to one of Tony’s super secret olive imitations but this beauty fell for a #18 pink post midge having risen it twice during a large hatch following the above downpour.
Sadly the weather on Friday put pay to a day on the Lune so we were confined to Tony’s deep in conversation and constructing leaders with some new materials with a view to finding the smallest of edges with which to stay one step ahead of the fish – if only!
Now to close and relax here at the in-laws in Spain… writing and sketching my next ESF article. Now I’m not normally a fan of the Sun but with the recent weather in the UK you’ll not hear me complain to much… swim anyone?
Wimbledon looks sunny on TV so I hope you’ve some of the same ~ if so enjoy the fishing ~ Jim