First fish of the year!

Have managed to wangle my way onto a small syndicate on the upper river Wensum. It’s all wild brown trout, no stockies, and the river is not managed in any way at the moment. Yesterday was my fourth trip so far, and the first time I’ve seen any fish rising, and also the first time I’ve managed to catch anything!
It was a lovely day as you can see, and the first thing I noticed when I got out of the car were all the hawthorn flies at the roadside. When I got to the river itself I saw a fish rise, just upstream, almost immediately. It was a splashy, confident rise, and there was another fifty yards further upstream where the trout left the water completely. Until now I have to admit all the fish I’ve seen have been disappearing at a rate of knots upstream, leaving me looking in bewilderment at the puff of silt they’ve left behind. I swear these fish have a sixth sense, similar to how you ‘feel’ someone looking at you and then when you turn round, someone actually is. I’m learning though; now I look upstream and mentally divide the river into twenty yard sections. I’ll fish for twenty yards, then I’ll get out of the river – you absolutely have to wade or the fish can see you easily because of the nature of the banks – go under the barbed wire and keep below the skyline for twenty yards. Then I get back in and fish the next twenty yards. Because of the small nature of the river if you fish continually upstream any fish you spook automatically spook in turn the fish that are above them. It was almost a case of herding them upstream, the odd fish darting downstream, but the majority joining a bigger and bigger shoal with me behind! Anyway, I think I was fishing quite well. My casting’s improved; particularly my roll casting which is essential because of the bank-side vegetation. I rose a fish with almost my first cast on a hawthorn imitation but missed it. Then I hooked and lost one a few casts later. Then a bit further upstream I spotted a fish rising regularly just above some faster water. The fly landed nice and gently and almost instantly the fish grabbed it. A lovely brownie about eight inches long. It was an almost silvery fish pin-pricked with tiny black spots above, and red lower down its flanks. Unfortunately I’d left my bag and camera downstream, so let it go straight away.
Upstream of where I caught the first fish the river has a sharp s-bend, and above this the last time I was here I spotted a good fish of, maybe, a pound and a half. The bigger fish are few and far between but they are here. Typically, today when the fish were rising freely, the biggie was nowhere to be seen. However, on the way back to the car I spotted another fish rising, and managed to catch that one too on a size sixteen c-de-ce muddler. There were a few large dark olives hatching aswell. All in all a thouroughly enjoyable afternoon.
In other news, have booked our traditional week on the Hampshire Avon for June 18th. We nearly decided we couldn’t go this year for several reasons, but in the end I just couldn’t resist and booked it anyway. Now I need to invest in a new centre-pin. Thinking of either an Adcock Stanton, or a Grey’s Bewick.

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