Saturday, May 21, 2011

First rain is absorbed entirely by dry earth, river scarcely rising to normal levels. Later rain brings a brief small spate, dropping before the first opportunity to fish for sea trout. A small window of five minutes casting across to swing the fly under the new bridge brings a sudden tug and commotion and a fat little brown trout for release in quiet shallows. A later opportunity to fish down into the tidal weir pool only yields one small trout. Driving back, steering wheel is smeared with thin black tar with fish scales and distinct pungent smell of Otter spraint from a rock used to steady against the flood. Next day, walking the now exposed rocky river margin, only the one old, dried out spraint is found characteristically on the top of a prominent rock as the Dipper buzzes upstream to fuss and dip on a mossy rock. Wind too strong to fish the sea or exposed mountain lakes, we drive to a sheltered lake set in a boulder clay hollow, rich in vegetation and insect life. Lily pads float beyond a fine Mares-Tail fringe; exquisite pale lilac Bog Bean flower spikes set above tripartite bold leaves emerging from shallows. Whilst watching the lake, a dark shape lifts head and shoulders out of the water, dropping back amongst lily pads. Having walked around the lake we stand again to look for rising trout. Just off a headland, another movement brings binoculars up just as a huge Carp rises out of the water, appearing to stand on its tail before falling back like a log, waters closing over, radiating a circle of waves into the lake. A second time it lifts up, magnificent pink-bronze pale belly, with large scales and distinctive rounded pelvic fins before again pole-axing back into the lake.


By C.F.Tunnicliffe

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