Ten years ago we moved house to live by the river. This evening's happenings illustrate why it was a good idea.
After a day spent in the home office, with telephone pressed to the ear for most of the time, a complete change was very much needed to maintain sanity.
Living by the river meant it was just a few minutes of preparation and a brisk saunter about a mile from the garden door to put your faithful correspondent and his faithful companion amongst a favourite, evening-time haunt. This section of the river is currently devoid of cover. The sedges, fleur-de-lis, willow herb, meadow sweet, red campion and other marginal plants, which we usually hide behind are still only inches from the ground, if even showing at all yet. Low sunshine meant that, before crawling into casting position, observation had to be carried out from afar. Well afar enough to prevent a big fat shadow scaring all the fish away. It also meant that there would have to be some whistling to get Henry to turn back and not cast his shadow on the water either...
The first wild rainbow trout of the season was tricked by a size 14 Double Badger and a hurried photograph was made using the mobile phone as the camera proper had been forgotten (should have used the check list). Please accept the humblest of apologies for the blurry image but a snap seemed only proper for the first of the season and rushing led to incompetence!
Double Badger may have worked but the treat this evening was seeing the several Grannom flies coming off the water. One or two slower examples were being snaffled by the fish, so a Non-Descript Sedge made with pale buff deer hair wing and similar coloured hackle, instead of the usual darker wing and red hackle, was swapped for the Double Badger. Bingo!
So, whilst his pal was occupied watching, waiting and occasionally catching, Henry went off working on his own behalf. He just wants to please and so he set about searching for quarry in the flotsam on winter's high water mark. Here he is with his haul of three tennis balls...
The summer is coming fast now. It will not be long before the evening sport will last until nearly midnight. Tonight it was not easy but it was a great way to spend "A Couple of Hours".