Wet fly fishing and wet fly fishing

Wife and kids had gone out for the day to the outdoor pool in Haltwistle today, so after getting in from work to an empty house I decided I might as well head of to the river – well, why not?

Ebchester was the chosen destination; parking up near the old stone bridge, I tackled up and strolled down to the river heading downstream of the road bridge.

Every time I visit the Ebchester stretch I always go straight past the first pool, heading off way down stream then working my way back up. This means the last (or first I suppose) pool before the road bridge is always fished in near darkness, and I’m usually ready to go home; so the conditions and my ability are sadly lacking.


This time I decided to give the road bridge pool a go first, and I’m glad i did! Tying on one of the dry emergers I made the other evening I had a rise first cast (but didn’t connect), then on the third cast had the beauty below – I’d guess it’s getting on for half a pound and in fabulous condition.


A couple of anglers came past on their way home whilst I was in this pool, both said they never bothered fishing here as they always assumed there wasn’t anything in this stretch. Just goes to show…

I took another couple more trout from here before taking a walk a bit further down stream. There wasn’t much showing, but I wanted to carry on with the dry.

Over the next hour I I had another four fish, all casting to intermittent rises. I also pricked what looked and briefly felt like what would have been the biggest fish of the night from a lie on the opposite side of the bank in a slow stretch of the river. It was a roll cast only, something I’ve been working to improve and am making reasonable progress. A big boil under the dry and I struck – saw a (big-ish) flash of golden brown, and felt a solid resistance on the other end of the rod. Sadly with that the monster on the other side of the river shed the hook – which promptly flew past my right ear and ended up half way up the tree behind me. It’s still there if anyone wants it.

With that I decided to walk further down the river and head over the foot bridge to fish the far bank.


As I made my way further down stream, I could feel the odd spot of rain. It got darker, the rain got heavier and before I knew it there was a full on downpour!

At this point I decided (perhaps foolishly?) to put my waterproof jacket on, swap the dry for a gold headed, leaded hares ear and carry on regardless.

This was the first time I’d used a heavily weighted fly on it’s own (I’d tried the klink-and-dink method, with some success before) after tying a load last night it seemed like a good idea.

Not really knowing what I was doing, I roll cast across the river to the outside of the bend. I let the fly coast along with the current, watching the fly line for the slightest twitch. Nothing, so I lift the rod to recast, only to find I’m well and truly hooked up on the bottom. No choice but to snap the fly off, I tie another on and cast out again.

After a couple more casts, and a couple more lost flies I gave it one last go before moving on. Bugger, there it goes again, the fly line twitching through getting caught on the bottom – I lift fully expecting to loose another fly, only to find I’ve hooked a plump little brownie!

I’d caught my first ever trout using a ‘proper’ wet fly method. feeling both pleased, slightly miffed through loosing so many flies, and soaked from head to toe I took the executive decision to call it a night. The rain wasn’t stopping, and the light was rapidly fading; my work here was done – off home for a warm cup of tea and catch up on the days events at the Olympics.

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2 Responses to “Wet fly fishing and wet fly fishing”

  1. Stephen Hynes

    Nice looking stretch of river and lovely brown trout. I mostly fish a dry fly with a nymph on a short dropper in my local creeks. I haven’t had much success with the “proper” wet fly technique which may be just a case of not giving it a decent go. I like using old style wets like the March Brown and Wickhams Fancy and I did catch my first stream rainbow trout on a Claret Dabbler, a fly that I have a soft spot for. After reading your post, it’s given me the incentive to try stream wet fly fishing more often.


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