After reading up on why I might be losing so many fish and decided it was due to too much aggression on my part in the early stages of the fight I decided to tackle up and go after some river Brown Trout. The River Tern is the closest river to me that is known to hold Brownies and is fishable without a joining a syndicate, so on a Tuesday evening I set out.
I arrived at the car park and tackled up with a Klinkhammer. At the water’s edge I soon realised that on this particular stretch at that particular time a dry-fly was the wrong choice. The water had just come over a 30 foot riffle and the speed of the flow meant that my line was bowing and pulling the fly around in an unnatural way. So I opted for a weighted wet fly to get some depth and avoid the line drag by high sticking my rod. So on went a Gold Head Bibio fly in black & red. First cast out got into something, “great, hooked into a stick” I thought, but wait a sec … its moving and shaking … and ping the hook was out. Still a promising start. A few more casts and I hooked in again, I struck and set the hook. As I did the little fish leapt from the water and flew off downstream. It must have only been 2 inches long and the combination of my strike and his leap sent him off to freedom a long way off from where he started.
Cast again and hooked in again. This time “breath, relax, and let the fish run” I thought to myself. This chap gave a good account for himself but my God was I pleased (relieved) to get him into the net. My first wild Brown Trout and my first fish in sometime. All that blanking pressure was suddenly lifted and now I could settle in to enjoy my fishing again.A few more casts and a few more fish were taken before I got caught up in some wood stuck between the rocks in a riffle. I didn’t want to lose my fly and I as I had my waders on I decided it was time to go for a walk upstream. The fly was retrieved and I took a few casts to explore the riffle, but upstream in the pool at the head of the riffle I could see signs of surface activity so I pressed on. In hindsight I should have worked the riffle more as I’ve learned since that they can hold good fish, but they’ll have to wait till next time. I waded through the riffle into the pool. The first twenty feet of the pool were unfishable for my standard of casting due to the amount of low tree branches, but luckily the rises were further upstream. I must have taken me at least five minutes to reach the spot I wanted to get to by slowly and stealthily wading up. The surface was calm and the flow relatively slow so I switched to a dry-fly and started casting. The first few casts had no interests but then I had a bit of an offer but no take, so I switched to another dry, and a lighter colour one as I was struggling to see the olive & browns in the sunset. I stuck with this white moth fly for a few minutes before deciding to switch back to the Bibio. First cast out … bosh! Fish on! Fish in net! Fish released! Ah the joy success. I took a few more Brownies and even took a young Rainbow (which must have escaped from a fishery upstream) and ended my day with a respectable tally. The light was fading now and as I still had to wade back downstream through the riffle to get to my car I decided to call it a day. This spot will probably be my new favourite venue for a while so hopefully my run of blanks is behind me, but as I’m reenergised for fishing I’ll have lots of opportunities to find out!