Fishing for Brown Trout on this stretch of river is currently very challenging, and it has been a few weeks since anyone returned home with their four fish limit. In crystal clear water moving at half revs, the fish get a good long look at what is being offered. Fish have been taken by those who have persevered and fined down their tackle, last evening one of the biggest fish of the season, a tubby Brown of just under five pounds, was taken on a Sedge, a beautiful fish stocked last year or the year before, and worth four fish in May. Several large Grayling have been taken on the surface along with many undersize Brown Trout currently learning the trade. Fly life has been a little disappointing with hatches of midday Olives not a patch on last year although sedge fishing has been what it should for the time of year.
The lack of water? take it as read, I have been asked to “let it go” for the sake of my marriage.
Some swans have hatched off cygnets on the Common land below and each day they make concerted efforts to breakfast on our bars of Ranunculus. They can’t be that hungry because they vacate the premises as soon as the wobbly spaniel puts in an appearance, but a few hours of them pulling at weed would result in us losing several inches of water on the bottom bends. It is comforting to know that the wobbly spaniel still has a role play, as he is on his last leg, though don’t tell the swans who currently put him on a par with “he who shall not be named“. There is bitch in season in this parish and the Labrador with a butt to rival J Lo is in pieces and full of ideas about scattering his seed, wobbly spaniel is immune, or else he considers himself a swan, and his advances each morning are in fact foreplay, I wouldn’t put it past him, he has done far stranger things. I have not seen many broods of Pheasant or Partridge on my bumbles about, the intense showers of recent weeks may have done for a number of newly hatched chicks.
We have several snakes, grassy ones, one of which gave our resident painter, GP Jenkins decorator to the rich and famous (an advert, but he did buy me a drink) a start when it popped out from behind a window sill he was painting, we have had one in the pond and another crossed the road while walking the dogs one evening. I have also had cause to pull a bat from tree that had become entangled in some discarded nylon. Funny little things and far more numerous than we think, it was hanging upside down six inches above the surface of the river. Carefully untied, as the thin skin upon which they fly is incredibly fragile, it was given some R&R in the woodshed before taking flight in the night. Over the years, several rods have hooked bats while fishing late at night and there seem to be plenty of them about in these parts.
Work this week has mostly centred around cutting grass, with the warm weather and heavy showers, you can almost see the grass grow. I have topped the meadows, skirting the orchids, giving them a few more weeks to let seed develop, and done much strimming. The fringe, although full of colour, has bolted and will need the top taken off next week if any fish are to be caught.