|High and murky.|
What's a guy to do? Well, if an angler is willing to abandon the aesthetics of the fly in favour of something altogether more practical, there's still fish to be caught. During this flood periods, trout will gather along with all manner of fish in the slacks and back eddies, feasting on a banquet of slugs, catepillars, worms and whatever else is washed into the river. So, the intrepid trout botherer must match the hatch. This found me in my garden yesterday morning, hastily digging up as many worms as I could before my mother (not a sympathiser with the angler's plight) discovered what I was doing to her beloved lawn. I then took my time in getting the rest of my gear together, allowing myself several cups of tea and a lengthy breakfast before eventually leaving to catch the train at about 11 o'clock. I was in no rush the reach the bank, for the longer the river had to drop, the better.
By the time I arrived at the river, thanks to one of Northern Rail's daily cock ups, it was well past lunchtime, and the river in front of me was in a far worse state than I had initially envisaged. In most places it was tearing past, and there was water in places I'd never seen water before. The bank behind me wash strewn with debris, and the vegetation had obviously been steamrollered by the current over the previous days. This could be tricky - I would have to pick my spots carefully and fish well. The set up could not have been more straight forward. 5lb line straight through, with a single swan shot pinched about a foot above a size 6 hook baited with a juicy lobworm. Tentatively I began to place searching casts here and there. Many fly anglers would have you believe worming is a mindless 'chuck it and chance it' technique... the fact is most of these people have either never done it or not done it properly! Worming can be a highly enjoyable and thoroughly absorbing way of fishing. You feel every bump and scrape of the bait as you twitch it through the swim, and the rap-rap-rap at the fingers when a fish strikes can be utterly electrifying.
|A nice trout to the garden fly!|
|A fine brace of Wharfe trout - a reasonable reward on a tricky day.|