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Sunday 22nd March 2009

Posted by OwdTrout , 24 March 2009 · 160 views

What a difference a week makes! After last Sunday's great start, I spent all week looking forward to getting back to the Irwell. work rules out a mid day trip in the week. Yesterday dawned bright and clear, not too windy, it looked ideal. by 7 am I was sat at the tying table cranking out flies at a good rate. Sustained, as usual, by a steady flow of coffee. Anticipation was building nicely, until 9:20 that was. When I was disturbed, mid whip finish, by my door bell. It was Mr Plod. He kindly informed me that they had just had to break down the front door of one of the residents. The property couldn't now be secured so could I attend until the emergency joiner arrived to replace the door. Ah the joys of being an estate manager.

At least there was time to get to the river so long as the joiner turned up soon. To my joy he did, but, there is always a "but", Mr Plod had not been restrained in effecting an entry, and the joiner didn't have a door to replace the wreckage with. The resident was safe. At least I didn't have a body to deal with. Finally I got away just too late for the fish. Back to the vice, and finish Alan's flies then. There is always tomorrow.

This morning it was a good bit cooler, thanks to a strong gusty wind. On the way to the river I have to cross it via a road bridge. Looking over the parapet revealed that the water level was down about 18 inches on last Sunday. Hmm, not promising. As I set up my rod a few minutes later, the trout started to rise.

This stretch is sheltered by high banks. Access isn't easy. I had hoped for some shelter from the wind. I had hoped in vain. Gusts of wind found their way into the steep valley, and made casting difficult to impossible. two fish rose half heartedly to a Klinkhammer, but it soon became obvious that they had their sights set just sub surface.

Once again the Large Dark Olives trickled off. I didn't see a single one taken from the surface. The big splashy rises should have given me a clue sooner, that the fish didn't want a dry fly. They were just turning at the surface for insects just below it.

Well what to fish? I decided to go back to something that has worked for hundreds of years, and fish North Country Wets. A Polt Bloa on the point, Orange Partridge and my favourite Hare's Lug 'n' Plover on the top. From bob to point about 4 foot. fishing them upstream as one should. (Was it Pritt who said, about fishing these flies across and down "'tis the devils work, my son, and do not let me catch you about it."?) After about ten minutes the Orange Partridge brought a nice brownie to hand.

By this time the rise was petering out so I made my way back to the bank. My feet being numb with the cold, (some would say to match my head) I stumbled on the bank falling and jarring both shoulders with the impact. I certainly don't bounce as well as I once did. My knee pads earned their keep as I landed heavily on my right knee as well. A pair of strap on knee pads to go over your waders is a worth wile investment. That was it for me, not a total loss but the river had the better of me today.

I wouldn't want it any other way. Sometimes the river should win. Otherwise where is the sport. we'll see what next weekend brings.


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