An actual day off work, no one trying to reach me and no email to worry about until much, much later.
It’s proving a longer drive than I thought though, not helped by what I’m convinced are poor directions. I eventually find the lane that leads to the Lyepole beat. This is a beautiful part of the country, rolling hills and a wide, flat valley floor. The entire landscape is a shade of green and ‘picturesque’ does not do it justice.
It’s one of those Autumn days of bright sunshine punctuated with the occasional small dark rain cloud, but they’re just teasing and there’s not a drop all day. I gaze over the bridge near the parking space and I’m hit with two thoughts; this is a smaller river than I remember and there’s not much water in it.
I head off to the bottom of the beat (a decision I’ll regret) armed with a shortish 3wt rigged with a french leader, sighter and a pair of weighted nymphs. In the first faster ripple, I catch a 9” brownie with my second cast and then briefly hook another. Might be a good day after all, in spite of the water level. This is fishing though and it’s an hour before number two comes to hand.
Back at the bridge I ponder the 5 little trout I fooled and wonder what the afternoon will bring. Resuming my efforts, almost immediately I realise my mistake as the top half of the beat is where I should be spending my time. More fishy places and better access. Nice pools with heads and tails all holding trout. One or two pools are deeper than they look and even with chest waders I’m lucky to stay dry.
The little trout keep coming and then close to the top of the beat, where the water cascades through a series of faster runs, I see the first surface activity and so on goes a small olive emerger. My first cast is off and I wonder if he’s bolted. Then I get the mend right and I’m rewarded with the best fish of the day that leaps twice before finding the net.
This really is a beautiful beat. I’ve caught around 15 trout and a couple of grayling and enjoyed a day of solitude. The light is telling me it’s late afternoon as I stroll back through the fields and my legs are telling me I’ve waded and scrambled enough for one day. But what a day!