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After work

Work is the curse of the angling classes, but now we can make the most of the evenings


At last! As the days lengthen, the working man can now fish the evening rise.
At last! As the days lengthen, the working man can now fish the evening rise.

Work is most certainly the curse of the fishing classes, with some near-perfect conditions during the daytime this week and me only able to drive past and drool at the prospect of rising fish and hatches of olives.

Still, with the march through into May it’s also good to note the evenings are finally getting into swing and we are at last able to head out late in the hope of an evening rise or two. This week the water’s been low, much as the same almost everywhere we need rain, not just a wee shower or two but some real rain – the kind that lifts the rivers for a few days, cleans everything out, stimulates fish movement and (equally if not more importantly) fly hatches.

With the recent very warm, low-water conditions and the bright, sunny days (not to mention the often harsh downstream winds that I seem to be experiencing almost any time I pick up a fly rod at the moment) the fly life has been subdued. That being said, the fish have been keen to pick off whatever seems to run past them or chase flies worked through faster runs and riffles.

Interesting to note that up here on the Deveron, the fish in the middle to lower sections of river have been notably more active and more numerous than in the faster areas, lying where you’d expect them to be as we move rapidly towards summer.  But the fish in the upland, headwater areas are still in the slower pools and deeper glides, which had me wondering as to why when I was sneaking through the undergrowth in an attempt to get onto rising fish in very low, very clear water.  Or at least I was until I finally had to get into the river! Simple fact was the upland areas are still carrying markedly colder water to those bits further downstream. 

All this shows just how important temperature can be to our native fish especially with regard as to where you might encounter them, something we too readily overlook when chasing our quarry.  In other countries I’ve heard of anglers being obsessed by water temperature, and many carry a thermometer to record this accurately before deciding on approach, and something that might be worthy of bearing in mind next time we head out.

Still whatever the fish’s moods and fly life cycles, when out there we can at least enjoy the beautiful surroundings and a stunning sunset can make a wee evening foray memorable in itself?  Add the appearance of a few of our countryside residents, especially the more cautious ones that come out later,  can make it a very memorable outing, even more so if the trout are playing ball.

One wee danger though is the fact that you can become so mesmerised by the tranquillity and magic of this type of evening that you risk staying out way too long (as I tend to do) arriving home in the ‘wee small hours’ meaning you might be knackered come work time. The joys of the nocturnal angler; Danger! Strong coffee may be required!

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