If God Were a Fly Fisherman, He'd Fish Here…

On Saturday I returned from a weeks holiday abroad, and after spending the week lounging about the pool/beach with John Gierach’s new book, Fool’s Paradise, I was practically chomping at the bit to get home and out on my home stream.

Arriving at the water at 06:30 Sunday morning, the place looked simply magical. Mist hung over the trees, and was clinging to the water with a ghostly feel, and the fish played all morning, happily chomping down my dry flies when presented right. Just what I needed after being forced away from the stream for the last three weeks by horrendous weather.

The trout season here ends in a couple of weeks, so the stream will be out of bounds for fishing until March ’09. I only started fishing small streams at the start of this year, and so the coming ‘off-season’ is going to hurt (badly!), as I’ve fallen in love with fishing small streams, and the small wily brown trout they hold. I now can’t imagine a life without it; my primary fishing now firmly based around the tiny waters of the upper Taff with it’s small brooks, bubbling riffles, and tiny pools and pockets.

Anyway, where was I…ah yes…

I love being out fishing at this time of the morning. As I stand there in the early morning light watching and listening to the river (miles from ‘Anywhere’ or ‘Anyone’), the water holds an almost celestial feel about itself. The birds have just started singing quietly in the trees, the warmth and glow of the sun is still low behind the mountains, and the light it casts into the deep valley where I stand creates emotions that are currently beyond my ability to express in words…beautiful, magical, awe-inspiring, maybe all three.

The day starts gently, with no haste to catch a fish, but with the knowledge that I’m on my favourite water for quite possibly the last time this season (if work and non-fishing commitments have their way), and so instead, I aim to soak in all of the stream’s challenges, scenery, and it’s vast beauty.

With the rod set up and the reel fixed in place, I lazily feed the line through the line snakes as I casually search the air for a sign of fly activity, making my decision of dry fly that little bit easier. On there being little fly life, my fingers instinctively rummage within the CDC & Elk compartment of my fly box, and a natural coloured, size #16 CDC & Elk is tied onto the 6X tippet.

I see a nice riffle entering the neck of a small pool, creating a nice food lane, and slowly stalk myself into position. The water is not deep here, although the colouration is a little higher than usual due to the bad weather of late. I cast only into the first few feet of the bottom of the run, determined to slowly work my way up the food lane, slowly and surely casting no more line than is needed in the tight confines of the thick trees and bushes I find myself crouched beside.

After the third cast, my little CDC & Elk is engulfed with a loud gulp, and I have a very lively and beautiful wild brown trout attached to my 3wt rod. A short fight with the little scrapper and it is safely returned to sulk after being beaten.

When the sun eventually awoke proper and got itself up onto it’s high perch in the sky, I was happily carrying on with my trout catching, and winkling out a wild trout from the tiny crannies of my favourite stream. The day continued much like this; identify a likely lie, sneak into a suitable position, and with a gentle cast, I couldn’t seem to go wrong. I even managed three beautiful fish over the pound mark (fish to be proud of in a stream of this size).

A wild stream, a small/light rod, a selection of dry flies, and a few obliging wild brown trout was all it took for me to have a fantastic morning. If that was to be my last session until March, it was a extraordinary send off. With over fourteen trout brought to hand, and over three miles covered, I was grinning all the way on the hike back to the car.

Stream, I will miss you until March.

A few images from the morning:
If God Were a Fly Fisherman, He'd Fish Here - 01

If God Were a Fly Fisherman, He'd Fish Here - 02

If God Were a Fly Fisherman, He'd Fish Here - 03

If God Were a Fly Fisherman, He'd Fish Here - 04

If God Were a Fly Fisherman, He'd Fish Here - 05

If God Were a Fly Fisherman, He'd Fish Here - 06

If God Were a Fly Fisherman, He'd Fish Here - 07

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