Sunday, 28 March 2010
Having finally managed to get out for a couple of hours on the river for the first session of the season I decided that I would head up to Crowdecote. To be honest I just fancied starting away from the crowds of Dovedale and being back to nature.
I arrived at Crowdecote, tackled up with the duo and walked down to the river which was surprisingly quite low and very clear. I waded up the river popping the odd cast in here and there, trying to avoid the trees and all the snags. When I got to the first pool I noticed two fish rising just on the bend of the river, as usual the most difficult place to cast to. Leaning against the river bank with rod in hand, off came the duo and one went a small LDO. I carefully waded to the bottom of the pool taking my time so as not to put the fish down. The first cast, a roll cast, was a total mess but fortunately was downstream from the fish.
A minute later the fish rose again, and the game was on again! So it was another roll cast this time hooking into the branches over hanging the river...damn trees! One went another LDO this time slightly bigger, as usual your last fly always ends up in a tree. A few minutes later another rise....I decided to wait a bit before I cast...calm the pounding heart down and focus on the fish. Next cast, absolutely perfect about a foot and a half in front of the fish...wait...wait...I said out loud. A second later up rose a beautiful little brownie and slashed at the fly, but I was like a coiled spring and lifted too quickly and practically took the fly out of its mouth....damn again.
I waited a few more minutes but no more rises. I put the fly over the same spot a few more times but I guess they knew and had scarpered. I wandered up the river for another hour or so taking in the scenery and just generally enjoying being out and about on the river. The Dove here is such a different river and small river tactics, a 6ft rod and absolute stealth seem essential.....
After heading back to the car I decided that I would stop in on the Dovedale stretch and give it a go, despite promising myself I wouldn't! Arriving in the carpark Dave informed me that the fishing was hard and after speaking to two LADFFA lads, Phil and his mate, who had not caught, I began to wonder if I should have spent more time further up river.
One getting down to the river, I found it to be in perfect condition, not gin clear but with just a touch of colour. On went the duo and I slowly worked my way up to the stones. As usual having to deal with the - "You caught owt mate?", and people letting their dogs and kids jump in the river....but hey this is Dovedale...even had the Bhangra boys up there, car parked by the stones pumping out the latest "bump and grind" tunes!
Despite that managed to hook into 3 fish, but just couldn't seem to keep them on for too long, nevertheless the feeling was fantastic...
Why is it I ask that I get such pleasure from standing knee deep in water casting a line with an imitation of tiny insect made from feathers, fur and cotton and then hooking a creature who is one hundredth of my size with the brain the size of a pea?
I'm really not sure but it sure feels good and I plan to do it again, very very soon.....roll on the new season!!!!