It had been 3 weeks since my last fishing outing, 3 weeks since one of my best fish producing sessions since I decided to take up fly fishing a couple of years ago. I was looking forward to getting out and Glen and I had arranged to meet up with John Tyzack and Roger Bryant for a return visit to the fantastic Upper Severn....and what a day of contrasts it would turn out to be.
I'd set my alarm for 6am with the responsibility of providing Mr Pointon with his alarm call. On the 5th call, I'd managed to awake him from his slumber and by 6.40am, he'd picked me up and the van was pointing towards Wales, well, sort of once Glen had negotiated a dubious detour around Stoke. After a huge breakfast (as ever) we arrived at the bridge pool on the river where we'd fared so well on our previous visit, the colour of the water being the first obvious difference, it was green.
There were no fish to be seen, and after a fruitless half hour, we decided to make our way upstream, having been given a little more info by local anglers as to where we might find a lunker lady or two.
The fishing was incredibly hard but Glen managed to find a good fish in some fast, shallow water.
This lovely Grayling of 2lb 4oz gave our well spoken angler friend a right scrap, and we shouted encouragement and abuse at him as he tried to land it. All of us green with envy at his success...Roger and I steadily closing in on him, desperate to poach his swim.
Within minutes though Glen had found the big Grayling's partner, and so he landed another, slightly smaller but beautiful fish of just under the 2lb mark.
Both John and Roger landed a few, smaller fish between them, but all agreed that the fishing was incredibly tough, especially me, given the fact that I was coming to terms with the fact that it was looking incredibly likely that today, I'd be on a dreaded blank.
Tyzack, determined as ever, skillfully endeavoured to reach the parts that other anglers cannot reach with fantastic technique, exploring rarely fished swims that must have held fish, but still, there were very few takes.
We spoke to a few of the local anglers about the tough conditions and the common theme seemed to be that freezing cold water had been released from Llyn Clywedog Reservoir, further upstream, and this had killed the fishing, the previous days angling also proving to be relatively tough.
We'd walked miles and taken very few fish, but it was great to be out with the lads and encouraging to see the first tell tale signs of spring being just around the corner, you could smell it in the air.
As ever, Pointon provided the laughter, reeling off, new, unrepeatable stories that had us all in tears. The fishing had tested us to the limit and we were even reduced to having a stone skimming competition, Pointon clearly embarrassed by the skill shown by myself and Tyzack, both of us producing skims of 10 bounces or more to his pathetic 2 or 3 bounces.
But...he caught a couple of lovely lunkers, and I blanked.
Well done Pointon....you ****
On the Marshes - On the Marshes by Carol Donaldson from Little Toller Books on Vimeo. On the Marshes: A journey into England’s waterlands, by Carol Donaldson (Little Toller...
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