Wild garlic, Bluebells, Lancashire trout and a lone dry fly angler, revisiting bygone boyhood passions..
It was a dull afternoon and I reckoned that I should take a trip to the beck, as the overnight rain may have risen the water levels a little.
When I got there I was not disappointed as the stream was running about 6 - 9 inches above summer level. I would have liked more but it was better than last time when the level was very low.
On these small northern becks I have learned, the hard way, over may decades that little fly rods are the order of the day. Any rod much over 6 foot would be typically useless as it would not be able to cast a light line, due to the many overhanging branches present.
I have written about this matter at great length in my book 'Fly Fishing on wild becks', yet some egotistical die-hards cannot quite get the gist of it all and seem to think that they are not 'proper men' unless then thrash about with a huge rod on these delicate little streams.
It is a simple question of logic that when casting under such heavily wooded places the top of a long rod will annoyingly catch in the branches many times. This leads to frustration and lost flies. Alternatively, a faster short rod will not get caught up half as much and it will pick up the line off the surface a lot faster that any lake - length rod.
The trout were visibly taking various types of dun off the surface. Therefore, I landed several with a general little pattern of mine that sits somewhere between a Pale watery dun and an Iron blue.
The old boyhood magic was really there for me on this occasion. The fish were not giants but they just caught my passion this day.
Being alone in a bluebell wood with nothing but the rising trout and singing chaffinches for company is heaven on earth to a dedicated dry fly angler.
All fish caught on my dry flies were of course feeding on the surface and cast to. They all went back to the sparking little beck to grow larger too...
A few lovely hours on the old beck was brilliant - just the perfect place to be on a dull day in May...
Pink campion and wild garlic kept good company with the bluebells along the boulder-strewn river banks...
Glorious Lancashire - why would anyone wish to go anywhere else...?
Find out more about fly fishing on wild northern becks in my book here...
'Fly Fishing on wild becks'