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Saturday May 2nd 2009 - Trust your instincts.

Posted by OwdTrout , 05 May 2009 · 286 views

A lone cross boarder raid saw me on the river late in the morning. As I had parked at the top of the length a walk downstream was the first order of the day. That's as it should be walk down, and fish it back up, but who can resist a cast into a likely spot on the way? Not me for one. Though this can have its advantages as well as its disadvantages. If you do well in a spot on the way down you get a second visit on the way back, with the pool well rested. This works if you are the only one on the water. I wasn't.

At the pool where Big Al had landed his fish a few weeks ago, I found Kirton Flyer with a friend. K.F. had a fish in that pool but no more were to be had. We moved down  fishing here and there. At one deep run we came across many small fish eager to rise to the dry, but so small as not to be "hookable".

After crossing the river I came across a riffle at the head of a bend. It looked like good nymphing water: as nothing was rising I gave it a go. It yealded up a stockie of about 12 inches. OK I'm off the mark. A few pools lower was a different thing altogether. Fish rising confidently all over the pool.

Time for the dry fly, but what fly. The hawthorn flies had been about two weeks ago, and I had seen some earlier. Time to try my new hawthorn pattern. It works! By eck does it work, but then it should, it has the pedigree. When designing a pattern I on't try to invent something new but adapt bits from other patterns. Things we know work. In this case the CdC and Elk. The simplest detached body I know is a piece of suede chenille singed in a flame at one end tied to the hook. Add a wing of elk hair, and a shell back of closed cell foam to the body from a CdC and Elk and you have a stunningly effective hawthorn. I tie them on short shank 14 hooks. These are a little large for the fly, but their weight helps the fly land with a convincing plop. The foam makes it buoyant enough to support the larger hook, which helps with hooking... Though not enough. As I was about to find out.

After slipping back the fourth or fifth trout (I wasn't counting, my system for counting trout goes one, two, many, lots). I stopped to think. (I have to stop for this, I am male after all.) The thought went like this. "If I was top dog in this pool where would I be?" That's a good question to ask and has previously paid off for me. So I cast to the spot I thought looked like the prime feeding lie. Two foot of drift and my fly was nailed. Not a big splashy rise but a confidant one. Lifting the rod I felt solid resistance. Then all hell broke loose. I didn't need to "get this one on the reel" the fish did that for me taking all the free line and more off the reel. Thankfully I managed to turn the fish before it left the pool for the one above. I couldn't reel in quickly enough as the fish headed down stream so hand lined the line in, only to have it take line from the reel again as it shot downstream. This went on for two minutes or so then, suddenly, it wasn't there any more.

At one point I was anticipating yelling for KF to come and man the camera, but in the end the only mention it got was to say later that I had "realised a big un at distance". The fish hadn't broken my tippet, it had just thrown the hook. Despite not landing the fish I had proved the point, it pays to trust to your instincts.

Having fished much longer than I had anticipated, I was very happy to get back to the car and make a cup of coffee on a small soda can stove. Thinking I would only be out a few hours I hadn't taken a drink. Forsaking my usual rucksack with hydration pack, for the camera bag. Maybe I should upgrade to something that will carry both. Though experience says that gear will expand to fill the available space to carry it, regardless of weight. Maybe it isn't more carrying capacity I need but a smaller camera? Thinking about it that doesn't work either. I need Alan to come along with his Swedish Army field kitchen. Hmm, that works for me wink.gif


PS Alan was AWOL in France failing to trap carp, getting very wet and suffering poor dentistry. Look what you missed Al - it was glorious in N. Tykeland

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