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.