The first week has come and gone on my local chalk stream. To be honest it's been a big disappointment. Despite taking a few nice brown trout to 50cm, compared to last season numbers of fish are well down.
On Monday and for the entire week, the river was a dirty brown from recent rain, so fish spotting was out. This left me with a choice, fish with a streamer or don't fish at all. No contest.
Out came the 6# Sage tcr and my favourite lightly weighted size 6 minkie (a relic from my Rutland days) Casting into the bank, and allowing the lure to 'swing around' in the current produced several takes but no hook ups. I had a feeling the fish had gotten use to this tactic, used so often since March, buy the Rappala and spinning brigade.
A change to casting mid river caught me the biggest fish of the week, a cracking 50cm female brown trout. During the following days fish of 46cm and 38cm followed. During all this time, not one fish was seen to rise, despite a good hatch of PMDs, medium caddis, and tiny black caddis each day?
I stayed late two evenings, well past 9pm but nothing came up, and my 3 fish were taken during daylight hours?
One evening as I was crossing back over the river, I tripped over a large stone, and took a ducking (with the water being brown, I just didn't see it.) The place I fell had a fair current, and I floundered for a few moments, before I could regain my footing. Everything got wet, apart from my cap! even the flies in my waterproof C&F boxes!!?
Two French friends watched with some amusement, and discussed who would get the tcr if I didn't make it!
The river is very low for this time of year. I don't really understand why? We have had a fair amount of rain in recent weeks, and that is one of the reasons the river is coloured. But the river has been getting more dirty each season, with suspended silt and other detritus clouding up the water.
Five years ago you could spot fish from 20' away, now you have to be on top of them to see them. And in just a few weeks time, local farmers will take water from the river for crops of sweet corn, I fear the future of our fishing, I really do.