That's it, that's all the excitement we're getting, Mr Crowe has gone and the only clue that Robin Hood and his slightly Merry Men were anywhere near Dovedale this week is the several piles of horse poo, a-steaming in the breeze. The weather has settled and my favourite river, Ye Olde River Dove, is beginning to relax a little....and the fish are loving it too.
This week, I have accomplished a first for my angling CV, by the end of this evening's session I will have fished every night out of the last five, it's been an invaluable learning experience. The weather and river conditions have been different every day, and the fish have adjusted accordingly. I've found that it's no good expecting that the spot that fished well yesterday, will fish well today. So it has forced me to explore new swims, and new techniques, and to walk for miles, quite literally, up and down dale.....I'm knackered.
I met Glen in the early evening and we decided to head off up to the mid section. Glen missed out on all the excitement of the filming on Tuesday night, and was desperately hoping that "Crowwwweeeeey!!!" would still be there, sitting on his horse at the top of Pointon's Glen, waiting to "av the crack" with him...but it was not to be...he was gutted.
I wanted to walk up as far as Ilam Rock so we set about it, walking as fast as we could, it's always further than you think to get up to that section and you should allow at least 30 minutes from the car park. We spotted loads of good fish on the way up but did well to resist all temptation to cast to them.
The Kelly was filled from the spring at the top of the boards, lit and we rested for a while, consuming our butties and unfeasibly large pork pies, Glen reminding me how much the fish would be "having it" during the evening to come.
A short while later we arrived at Ilam Rock and the fish were rising readily. I fished on the downstream side of the bridge and immediately began to take fish on the emerger variant of the LTD. I had three fish in fifteen minutes, and as far as I was concerned, if I didn't catch again all night, I'd still be over the moon, my confidence continuing to grow.
Glen was also finding that the fish were feeding well, hungry after the recent weather, the river having been so high and coloured, and he took quite a few fish in the first half hour.
We fished our way back to the ford and stopped at the boards where we encountered fish feeding on a massive hatch and there were rises everywhere. We were also taking fish from quite a few spots where they were rising under the over hanging branches, all the while mindful of what might be happening further downstream at the Nursery Pool, scared of what we might be missing.
As the light faded we reached the Nursery Pool where there was a few rises but nothing like what we had witnessed further upstream. The flow was incredibly slow and there just wasn't much going on.
The Kelly was lit once again, and the week's fishing discussed. It has been a great experience for me, to be able to compare and contrast the conditions and fishing on a day to day basis. I've realised that I need to be less formulaic in my fishing style and that I must approach each session and swim with an open mind and to try to read the conditions a little better.
I think I'm up to about 27 fish so far this week, but if that return was nil I would still have loved every minute of it...who wouldn't when angling in Dovedale.