Small stream fly fishing: First attempt – a bit of a horror story.

The river trout season is barely a week old in my part of the world so I’m keen to get to the water as much as possible and as soon as possible. I’d spent quite a bit of time over the closed season identifying rivers and streams that were close to home and didn’t cost a fortune to fish, and I’d managed to secure myself free access to a stretch of privately owned water. This stream is a tributary River Tern, which in turn feeds the longest river in England the Severn. All was looking good!

Then I learned that the once healthy fish population of the stream had been almost wiped out in the 1980s by a pollution mishap from a nearby farm, and the result was that the fish and fisherman had gone elsewhere. Over time the coarse fish had returned followed by the coarse fishermen who generally targeted the stream’s Chub, Pike, and Barble. But what of the Brownies? Local knowledge indicated that no one had fly fished it for years so no one truly knew if the trout had returned. This meant that I’d be fishing in unfamiliar waters, using tactics I’d never tried before, in a river that potentially had no target fish. Well we all like a challenge don’t we?

I got there at 8:20, got into the water at 8:40, and was ready to come home again by 9:15. After getting snagged in tree after tree, after getting scratched by brambles & stung by nettles, and after wading out to slightly deeper water than my waist wader’s design limits I concluded that anyone who fished small streams instead of still waters must be bloody mental.

But I decided to carry on so I moved to a stretch of water that was relatively free of fly eating trees so I tried again. Ummm better, quite pleasant actually (ignoring my wet pants), I could see the appeal of this. Plus my casting was behaving and my waders were working as designed. The river was moving pretty quick so I opted for weighted wets and nymphs to get some depth but I was still having to retrieve at full speed to keep up with the flow and try to retain some tension in the line.

Might of had 50 takes or none for all I know as there was so much slack in the line, but still it was better than being at home watching tv and I was starting to enjoy it, but there’s definite learning curve is in front of me now.

Final score:

Fish in net: 0

Takes: ?

Flies lost: 3 (2 spiders and a buzzer)

Chance of returning at a later date: 100%

Section of the river where I had some fun and was able to cast. See those trees round the bend to the left? They beat me up and stole my flies.

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