Even though I knew it’d be hard going after yesterdays downpour, I had the opportunity to steal a few hours on the river this afternoon, so I took it.
My lovely wife decided to take the kids to the cinema, but suggested if I wanted to head of fishing I should do so as the film they wanted to see wasn’t my thing. So after the morning doing the kids homework (I’m sure the kids are supposed to be doing their own!), cleaning and a few other bits and bobs, I mounted up and moved out.
I’d decided Allansford was going to be my destination, but not before calling round at Lintzford and Shotley Bridge first to check out the state of the river.
As expected, it was still high (by nearly two feet) and running very coloured. Ironic really as when I made a flask of tea to take with me, we’d run out of milk so I had it black. That’s almost the colour the river is usually – right now the river was the same colour as a mug of tea with half a pint of mile in it.
Anyway, I made it to the car park at Allansford Park. Instead of heading downstream to the caravan site and beyond, I wanted to head upstream. This means going through the gap in the wall at the very top of the park, over the road and along the footpath to the river. I’d spoke to a couple of our ‘senior’ members about this stretch a few weeks back, I’d always been curious as to how I got down to the water – the footpath isn’t easy to see as you drive past in the car. It is when you walk over though, so give it a go.
The river along this stretch was fantastic. I’m not sure how different it’ll be when the water is back to it’s normal level and colour, but if it’s anything close to what I saw today I’m going to be heading back very soon.
However, as I suspected, there wasn’t a thing showing. Before I tackled up, I sat in the car for 10 minutes wondering if it was worth the effort. I read a couple of blog posts on my iPhone about fishing high and coloured water – they tipped me over the edge and on went the waders.
I can honestly say I only cast a dozen times. I really was going for a walk and taking my fishing tackle with me. I’ve been using the Ordnance Survey app on my phone to see exactly where I’ve been, it also tells you how far you’ve walked (more about the app on another post). I can confirm I had a 3 mile round trip, and a good amount of that was pretty hard going with a nice picnic stop in between.
Mind you, my walking skills are excellent. I never fell, nor tripped up once. I managed to put one foot in front of the other without fault. I climbed over rocks, under trees, in and out of the water to avoid obstacles too big to climb over – I can honestly say that if the goal of the day was to successfully and completely perform the act of walking along a river I succeeded 100%.
Sadly, what the day (or afternoon) was supposed to be about was catching trout, and as per the last umpteen times, I failed miserably.
My only saving grace was the state of the river. I will be back to this stretch, sooner rather than later too.
In the mean time, I might take up professional riverside walking – is there an equivalent to a ‘tackle tart’ in the walking world?