Early Spring Beauty (or Damn, That Was A Big Fish!)

I fished today with Rob, who I’ve been meaning to fish with for a long time and, after a year or so of planning, we finally managed to get out for a little time on the water. The plan was to get out onto the lower reaches now that the trout season is in full affect, however, conditions were a little cold, windy, and not the most promising for trout fishing. That said, Large Dark Olives (Baetis Rhodani) were on the wing for a nice three hour-long hatch, however, locating a trout that wanted to eat them was easier said than done.

The day started off with a great couple of hours of casting instruction before we moved a little lower down river for what seemed a beautiful, sunny, early spring day. Daffodils were blooming, olives and LDOs were on the wing, but try as we might, we just couldn’t locate any fish (thanks, mainly, to the rather chilly nor-westerly winds).

A break, and looking at a likely food lane from the hidden confines of a high bridge, we noticed a group of rising fish, some of which were big! Finally! Adrenaline pumping, we spent the next ten minutes working our way into position; ten minutes of deep wading, clinging to rock walls to pass dangerously deep holes, feats of near super-human fearlessness and heroism, you get the idea (although I made that last one up).

We were now 20’ below the still-rising fish, flies changed to CDC olive patterns, and with all communications expressed in whispers. The anticipation was high enough already but increased tenfold as our environment dictated that Rob’s only available delivery was to be made via a back-handed cast. Not the easiest of feats, but after a few drifts, BOOM!

I don’t think Rob hooked a trout earlier today, it must have been a rocket; the thing took off upstream instantly and was happy enough to remove the entirety of Rob’s fly line AND backing in just a few seconds, despite Rob’s attempts at slowing the trout. This, sadly, resulted in the tippet popping as soon as the backing ran down to the arbor knot, ending up with one well and truly stunned Rob.

Tough luck Rob mate, just you wait until Round #2, we know where the big boys are! Thanks for a great day!

Early spring sun, and Rob fishes a great looking stretch…
Early spring sun, and Rob fishes a great looking stretch...

…and even the Large Dark Olives (Baetis Rhodani) came out to play.
...and even the Large Dark Olives (Baetis Rhodani) came out to play.

The day progresses and the cold winds pick up…
The day progresses and the cold winds pick up...

More searching, but the fish still elude us…
More searching, but the fish still elude us...

…and then we find rising fish…BIG rising fish…
...and then we find rising fish...BIG rising fish...

…a connection is made! Pulling all of Robs fly line AND backing!
...a connection is made! Pulling all of Robs fly line AND backing!