New Beginnings, Secret Streams, And The First Brown Trout of 2011

The weekend started rather well, exactly the way it ended.

A bacon sandwich and a good coffee to start any Saturday morning is a rather good Saturday morning indeed by my book. A short while later and I was shaking hands with my client for the next two hours who’d booked a casting lesson; happily smiling as he chatted about his past coarse fishing background and how he is interest in entering the wonderful world of fly fishing. As I ran through the fundamentals of what we’d attempt to look at in our session, he listened intently but questioning with excitement.

Working from the ground up with the overhead and roll casts, Stuart was then into a great set of roll cast pickups and, by the end of the two hour lesson, was even double hauling and shooting line.

Great to see the moment when everything clicked and the smile that makes it all worth while.

Well done Stuart!

Stuart almost done with the creation of his D-Loop
Stuart nearly done with the creation of his D-Loop...

…and the delivery. Sweet.
...and the delivery. Sweet.

A de-brief with Stuart over a coffee before we eventually shook hands for the final time and parted company. Then I was back in the car and headed for my streamy destination of the day.

The stream is a secret to those that fish it. Hidden deep in a steep valley, a hike/climb is needed to even reach the water, which is fine by me, as it tends to keep others away; perfect for an hour or two of solitude. As the descent is made she becomes a little more visible with every step or slide, winking enticingly through the bare foliage of early spring.

My entrance to the stream made, and after spotting a good number of LDOs on the wing, the rest becomes a blur of focused enjoyment. I owe one particular memory to a small wild brown trout that fancied a meal of emerging  LDO as it sat in a shallow food lane picking off the sail-like olives with ease. After a confident rise, my artificial was easily sucked from the surface, to be followed by a feisty fight and, shortly after, 6 inches of wild trout is cradled in my hand. before being quickly released. My first trout of the season; small, totally wild, and as beautiful as they come.

After a couple of hours of small stream adventure the temperatures began to drop and, with it, the LDOs became less prolific, forcing the trout to stop rising. My time there was done, but that one special little trout meant oh so much.

Bacon & Egg Sandwich – A great start to any Saturday morning!
Bacon & Egg Sandwich - A great start to any Saturday morning!

Steep valley sides mean a slippery slide ever downwards…
Steep valley sides mean a slippery slide ever downwards...

…as she winks ever enticingly from below.
...as she winks enticingly from below

The run looks good, almost too good…
The run looks good, almost too good...

…and good instincts are rewarded with the first brown trout of the season. Beautiful.
...and good instincts are rewarded with the first brown trout of the season. Beautiful.

Spring bursts with life…
Spring bursts with life...

Trundling, wild, and hidden…the sounds of a small rustling stream is magic.
Trundling, wild, and hidden...the sounds of a small rustling stream is magic.

At the top of the steep valley, the walk back to the car ensues on the only path I’ve seen all afternoon.
At the top of the steep valley, the walk back to the car ensues

Memories of that first fish of the season. Magic.
Memories of that first fish of the season. Magic.

Sunday saw a slightly different plan of attack and, due to family commitments in the afternoon, a quick early morning session with dad on the main-stem of the River Taff provided a couple of hours of enjoyment. To be fair, I don’t fish as nearly as much as I’d like to with dad, so the odd time we get together to spend a little time on the water is always great.

Early mornings aren’t the most productive at the moment, but we jumped at the chance. Although a little cold and with down-stream winds in abundance, midge were on the wing in between the gusts and, once the air temperatures rose sufficiently, a good hatch of LDOs took place.

I noted two rising fish that morning, but they quickly turned off again as soon as the down-stream winds kicked back in. Great to be back out on the water again with Lewis Senior, a catch I’ll treasurer more than any fish.

Early morning and dad fishing a great weir pool…
Early morning and dad fishing a great weir pool...

One of my favourite runs, offering smooth glides and great riffles…
One of my favourite runs, offering smooth glides and great riffles.

Large Dark Olive – Baetis Rhodani (female)
Large Dark Olive - Baetis Rhodani (female)

Large Dark Olive – Baetis Rhodani (male)
Large Dark Olive - Baetis Rhodani (male)

One of the last casts made at distance before admitting defeat and heading home…
One of the last casts before admitting defeat and heading home...