Friday, 25 August 2017

trout from the wildwood

Come away with me,
into the wildwood. We'll take our rods and catch some pretty trout. You don't need those waders, they'll be no use here. And leave those polaroids at home, it's too dark for them under the old beech trees

We will bring the Kelly kettle though so you can be sure of a brew. What? Never seen a Kelly kettle? You are in for a treat. Guaranteed to boil in three minutes, even in a blizzard. Don't  worry, we'll stash the tea kit half way along the bank so no need to lug it far. No-one ever comes here anyway. You can't beat a roaring Kelly for restoring flagging spirits!

Yes, this stream can be a heart breaker for sure. But don't worry, I think we'll catch today. It's taken me a few years to learn how to fish here and there's a few little tricks I can show you.

What else? Just a couple of short rods, and some tippet and line. And my little box of flies. Look, I've tied these up specially. Pale coloured kebari, simple and scruffy, they should show up well in the peat stained water. Right, I think we're ready, let's go. It's not far but the lanes are narrow so we'll take care for tractors.

Here we are. It's so quiet here, until you get to the stream. Just the breeze coming off the moor, rustling the leaves of the trees, and the white sounds of water. See how the old beech lean down over the river? As if they are in private conversation. We'll need to listen to what they are saying if we want to catch some trout. That's it, creep slowly and lowly, the water is clear and the trout are close by. We don't want to make a new shape on the skyline to scare our fish. But it's so dark under the summer beech and that's a great help. It does make it difficult so see our lines though. I've tried them all here. Lime green, like the beech leaves - that's best. 

What? You don't see any fish. No, neither do I but I know they're here! Look for the slack water under your feet or under the far bank. Each little spot will hold a fish. In this slower water our biggest challenge is landing a fly without the trout seeing us or our casting line. That's it, get the fly out, whoops, bad luck! Don't worry I've done that more times than I can count. I've spent ages getting into place and then gone and stuck my fly into a tree on the back cast. Let's move on. Lots of other spots to try and you only get one chance with these fish.

Here's an easier spot to cast, but keep low. There are some places here where I almost  lay on my side to cast. Yes it probably does look a bit funny, but there's no one here to see except the trees. And if it gets a nice line out I don't really care. That's a good cast, well done! The water is up a bit from recent rain and pushing through, but I think a splashy delivery will pull the odd fish up, so let's let it drift for a few seconds. We need to give the fish time to come up for our fly. 

Sometimes you'll feel the electric vibration of a fish on your fly, sometimes the line will just slow down or pause on it's drift. It's so difficult to see that in the contrasting light here, but if in doubt strike. Strike too when you feel a fish on or they will usually wriggle free from the hook pretty quick. The trout here seem to test the fly by mouthing it and only rarely do they properly turn. No takers, so cast again once or twice to the same spot. 

There! It's taken as soon as the fly landed! Well done, but careful, he's taking you into the tree roots under the near bank. A bit of side pressure, that's it keep the rod low, yes he's ours! Such a beautiful little trout, just look at those colours - cosmic-camo! It's amazing how such vivid marking can become such an excellent disguise. A quick photo and let's slip him back. He really gave his all in the fight so let's let him recover in the shallows first. Gently does it. There, off he goes. Well done, proud Dad! 

Now, I know a lovely little pool just down the way..






  1. Hi David... Just discovered your blog... I am really enjoying it. What hooks have you used for the lovely kebari in the wildwood blog? Are they coarse fishing hair rig hooks?? Cheers!

    1. Hello Alan, thanks for dropping by! Yes the hooks do look a bit like hair rigs hooks don't they? These ones are barbless compound curved flt tying hooks size 14. I got them from 'Fish On' and they're one of my favourite patterns.