Contributed by John Garner, Secretary (25.03.2007)
After a day spent dog sitting and playing with catch returns, by Sunday morning I was in desperate need of a spell on the river. Planning on a walk up the Belah, I parked in the layby downstream of Blandswath with the aim of crossing the Eden and fishing up from the Belah mouth. By 12 o'clock I was tooled up and crossing the field.
The first challenge to the plan was when I stepped down the bank to cross the river and watched an unseen fish bow wave away from me. While it's pretty normal later in the season to find fish in water as fast as that, Idid not expect it today.
The second doubts were cast when 50 yards or so further upstream I spotted a fish taking nymphs just below the surface. Judging by the amount of water it was pushing it was worth having a crack at. I spent a few minutes watching it and spotted at least three more fish rising regularly to the trickle of LDOs that were now drifting down the river.
An hour spent covering them alternately produced nothing other than a couple of fish coming short. Despite constant degreasing of the tippet the bright sun seemed to be having it's effect. Or was it the breeze? The hatch fizzled out and I wandered off to the Belah a little later than planned.
A few hundred yards walk up the Belah and I'd seen no sign of either fish or fly and turned back.
Back at the spot I'd left an hour or so earlier, despite there being no sign of activity now, I tied a nymph on a NZ dropper under a Klink and started fishing the water. Tight under the far bank and overhanging trees the Klink disappeared and the strike met with the resistance of one seriously angry fish that had obviously decided that somewhere downstream was the place to be.
A few minutes later it was in the net, measured, photographed and released. 15 inches of trout that took the best part of 4 hours to get but well worth the effort. I left well satisfied.