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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


Olives, Rising Fish, and A Pulled String

Olives, Rising Fish, and A Pulled String

It was just after noon when we pulled into the syndicate car park, "Tea or coffee David" I said as I lighted the Jetboil, while waiting for the water to boil I dropped a tea bag in one mug , a spoonful of coffee, some sugar and cream powder in the other. As I poured on the boiling water David said "Notice how much warmer it is from Grindleton". As David dragged the bench seat outside on the veranda, I opened the lunch box extracting two sandwiches. Cheese and pickle for David the lucky man, plain tomatoes for me. cholesterol and diabetes plays havoc with the diet. Still I was lucky to be at the waters edge as I have been stuck indoors for three days with a kidney infection. Its rather painful and with only one kidney its also worrying. But I needed my fix to keep me sane.As we sat in the warm spring sunshine we discussed our trip to the Mississippi Delta next November in search of 40- 50 lb redfish with ten and 11 weight fly rods hunting these huge fish in two three foot of water. We let our thoughts run riot.

Lunch over we pulled our rods and reels from the cases, both choosing to use 5 weight Thomas and Thomas Helix models floating lines and Ross reels. I attached a 12 foot Frog Hair leader with a 3lb point and tied on an Adams. I would make my final fly choice at the waters edge when I had decided what flies were coming off.

Having pulled on waders and fly fishing vest we made our way across the meadow to the waters edge.We decided to fish the Wood Pool, I chose the top end, while David went off down to the bottom. Several Grey and Pied wagtails flitted about the pool catching flies on the wing, a Kingfisher flew low over the water, while a Pheasant crowed from nearby. A few dark olives were coming off, the odd fish were rising under the far bank,small groups of Primroses were scattered along the bank. Life was wonderful. I tied on a Paythorn olive then I quietly waded out into the pool so I could fish a fly upstream and tight against the far bank. I wanted to drop the fly some ten to fifteen feet above the feeding fish. The cast had to be spot on, I would only get one chance. A Dipper alighted on a rock bobbing up and down, suddenly it shot skywards grabbing an olive, it then resumed its bobbing motion on the rock. My cast was spot on, the drift perfect the fly slowly drifted downstream. I retrieved the excess line, the fish sipped down another olive, my fly had six feet to go then three. Suddenly it was gone in a swirl, seconds later I tightened into a good fish. Line was taken off the reel, I let the fish go on its first run. As the fish stopped, I pulled the rod over to my left pulling the fish off track I started to take in some line. The fish headed upstream. I was able to take in quite a bit of line. I then had the fish beaten where I was able to draw it to the net. It was a nice brown about one and a half pounds. It was unhooked and released without being touched by hand.

Looking downstream I could see David playing a good fish. I stood still watching the water for another rising fish, I noticed a slight dimple in the water a few feet upstream. I made a short cast, dropping the fly a few feet ahead of the fish. It was a perfect drift but the fish didn't think so, as it was ignored. I made two more drifts but no fish. Suddenly there was a big swirl tight against the far bank under an Alder tree. The branches were just a foot or so above the water. It wasn't an easy cast. I decided to make a long cast well above the fish then make a few mends upstream and hopefully get the fly to drift under the branches. The drift was on the wrong line. I tried several time without success. It was time to find an easier fish. Looking upstream to the neck of the pool I spotted a nice rise, a minute later the fish showed again. I decided to slowly wade upstream. As I was doing so the wind started blowing hard downstream from a easterly direction. It ruffled the water surface. the flies stopped hatching off, there were no rises.I waded ashore. Sitting on the bank I glanced at my watch it 2-20pm. Sitting there contemplating how enjoyable life really is I heard David say "Shall we go and have some tea or coffee" What a great idea I thought "Yes lets go" I said. An hour later with the icy cold wind still blowing we decided to call it a day.


Martin James Fishing