So, I've been meaning to write about an excursion with Steve at goflyfishinguk.com for what seems like an age, but due to breaking my laptop charger, holidays and work, I've been sidetracked. The aforementioned also means its been almost a month since my last fishing trip.
I posted about a day with Steve in June, and due to the success I had booked another within a week. The usual evening before phone call came on the Friday with the message that the River Aire was "cock on" and I should be expected "some big fish". Obviously excited I had to immediately calm myself and realistically lower my expectations if only to get some decent sleep.
Having only one experience of the Aire before, on a small stretch near Keighly, I didn't fully know what the river had to offer. It distinguishing feature when compared to my usual days on the Wharfe was the colour, more a 'minerally' clear than peat stain tea brown.
Started the morning off with the klink and dink method which brought success after about 10 minutes, with a beautifully fit brown trout around 3/4 pound. It gave an excellent account for itself and pound for pound an excellent fighter. Things continued this way for most of the morning with a few more around the same size, and one slightly larger taking the klink right on the crease line near the top of a run.
Moving on, Steve informed me that the next section, a slow arcing deep pool, held some big fish but didn't always produce. Worth a try though. Difficult casting into a head on wind that had many a field to build speed across, but after some duff attempts I eventually got the line straightened out. It was almost the perfect pool for casting towards the top and letting the rod follow the line round with the flies in the foam line the whole way. On the 3rd attempt a big old mouth broke the surface for the klink and I managed to hook into it. I knew instantly this was by far the biggest trout I'd ever hooked, heart rate went through the roof as I struggled for 10 minutes to keep control with an increasingly aching arm. Steve warned the trout would jump, and it obliged. I got the first view of the big paddle tail and was seriously worried, as always, that something would happen to stop me landing it. Eventually, with a huge sigh and adrenaline still pumping, Steve got it into the net. We weighed it at 3 1/2 pounds, a good 2lbs heavier than mmy biggest to date, so very chuffed. Unfortunately, just as we were taking a picture I lost control and it slithered back into the pool....oh well, I know it happened, I just hope I don't forget.
The rest of the day was spent on the klink and dink with a few hours on the spiders, all in all an excellent day, with another 2lb fish coming to the klink, below.
Since then I've had only one day out, which was a short four hour stint at Buckden, and I only managed to save a blank with the last cast of the day, using a CDC loop emerger (as seen here http://www.riverflybox.co.uk/page6cdcloopemerger.html) except with nymph skin body (I have not got turkey biot...). This has saved me a few times and is one my my favourite patterns when trout are rising to just below the surface. So thanks to you Dave at riverflybox!
Went to Mexico for two weeks too, except not to a good area for fishing, which pleased my girlfriend. Planning on getting in more grayling fishing this year, fingers crossed the winter will be better weather than the summer. Dare I say the rivers needed that rain though!