I had a very pleasant session on the river fishing the Upper Water last Saturday. The water was clear and a reasonable height, with not too much wind. I was hoping for a large trout, having spotted a good specimen there previously, and did manage to spook a few, but none of them the monster I was after. I had even brought an appropriate snack to celebrate catching a large trout, a ‘peanut slab’ from big fish country, New Zealand. However, the day wore on, and still no monster trout. On the other hand, a fair few large grayling were visible so I changed tactics, dropping a pink nymph close to a good fish. Before it could react, a trout shot out from cover and took the fly, whilst the grayling promptly disappeared.
I did eventually get lucky with a good grayling on my trusty green nymph, and thought I would get an underwater shot whilst it recovered, but before I could even get the camera into the water, it was off. So here are shots of a trout on a pink nymph and my celebratory coffee. I was nervous the peanut slab would reach its ‘eat by’ date before I ever catch a monster trout, so I ate it anyway.
I received this email from a past Member (soon again to be a Member) and it is one post that doesn’t require photographs because he paints the scene so deliciously with words:- PS> he’s in British Columbia fishing for steelheads!!
Tourists and sun-lovers are in their element, this extraordinary hot Fall, John
Sunlight falls on mountains that frame the Bulkley Valley; rich pastures laze in its warmth; wild life relaxes before winter intrudes – hard to imagine a more halcyon scene. But I am a fisherman, longing for clouds, rain and cool to wake up steelhead lounging their idle lives in deep, dark inaccessible pools. Early morning and late evening they slip into faster, shallower runs, where I can pursue my ways, with a little more confidence.
Out of bed at 5.30 am and beside bank 6-8am is not first nature to me; bankside 6-8pm has greater attraction were it not for the imagined bears picking berries in the woods that line the river. So I compromise, staggering to the river around 6.30am, fishing hurriedly before the spoilsport sun blazes down the river. And the evening? I am there poised as soon as the sun throws shade from the now friendly trees, fishing avidly until light thickens, when the thought of munching bears, suggests a million reasons why I should head for a delayed supper. Needless to add, at that very urgent time steelhead show themselves, rolling on the surface as if asking me to play.
Last evening illustrates this dichotomy. With light falling fast, a large and thoughtless steelhead took my fly and set off for the Atlantic – well say about 50 yards of searing reel screaming, with plunges punctuated by huge leaps and surface thrashings. I was rooted to the spot on slippery stones, my foot pointedly imploring me not to set off after that lunatic fish. I shall spare you the joys and curses of a fierce but mercifully short fight, enough to paint the picture of me on my painful knees in a foot or two of fast water, handling a now glowering fish about 15 lbs in weight. It really was a magnificent creature, silvered flanks with broad stripe of purple hue, every inch a rebel. I made a lesser figure on my knees soaked by its splashings but determined to return it safely and unharmed. We parted, he with easy contempt ; I meeker, suddenly aware in the near darkness that an interesting half mile lay between me and the safety of the rented Mazda.
Your near intrepid pal
The Dorset Show with all its hustle & bustle was only happening just upstream, but down on the Lower Water we didn’t hear a thing, just the tweet of the kingfisher as it headed downstream.
The Chairman Bryan Sennett came across the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust tagging parr on the Upper Water yesterday and they were really pleased with the numbers of salmon parr – for more information on their wonderful work please follow this link www.gwct.org.uk