Firstly, I received an invitation to join an 'exclusive' (I use the term advisedly) syndicate of anglers that fish the famous river Dove. Believe me, I was more surprised than you. Anyway, I bit their arm off to more or less the shoulder.
Aware of my long list of limitations, I booked an afternoon with JT to give me some expert advice on this hallowed water. Despite it all, I still managed to catch sod all!
The water was gin clear and some of the fish I saw that day were monsters, but then other eyes have seen real leviathans.
JT managed three fish without even trying and, believe it or not, that was enough for me. The end of the day saw us climbing the hill to the Izaak Walton hotel and a welcome pint of Guinness in a snug bar surrounded by stuffed fish, deep leather chairs a large fireplace and a happy and attentive barman - paradise found.
I arrive at work and the sky is cloudless and blue and the early morning sun warms the soul. My brother, Steve, and I both have the same idea - shut the shop and enjoy the day. Soon I am waist deep in a shaded pool of the river Goyt. A far greater talent has shown me a great technique - double nymphing. One on top to catch the eye and one below to make a meal. It works, even for me, and soon I've brought a few small wild brown trout to the net.
The Goyt reminds me of my bedtime mug of drinking chocolate (with a large drop of Bushmills) as I read of Capt. Burnaby's, adventures through Asia Minor, but it doesn't seem to matter with a trout on the line.
I walk upstream to discover a new 'technique'. An old wreck of a guy is casting his fly to the far bank and I stand and watch without him seeing. His hand reaches into his battered coat pocket and he fetches out a fistful of maggots. He sows them across his swim and then casts in again. I say hello and he spins on his heel caught off-guard, he struggles for a word and so I leave him and move along. No more fish come to my nymphs and now the school kids are about and a dog swims by, chasing a stick thrown into my swim. Time for tea.
Ayesha, she who must be obeyed, sniffs the air and declares it's time for another shopping expedition to the living hell known as boundary mills. Rather than reach for my trusty Beretta (over and under) I recall Colne water. All is not lost and I suddenly develop a huge desire to head to Colne.
A few hours later and I drop Ayesha at the gateways to hell, a bit of kissey-kissey and she is away. Impervious and immune she disappears into the melee. I on the other hand come out in a rash, foam at the mouth and bite anyone too close at the mention of a shopping-trip. Strangely enough I quite enjoy a shopping trip to a fishing tackle shop, don't ask me why.
Minutes later and I am on the banks of Colne water, a delightful stream, small river, call it what you will. It's mainly ankle to knee deep and so I follow the masters advice and opt for the Duo - a dry fly on top and a nymph below.
As Ayesha heads up the aisles I head upstream and several fish fall to the nymph. Along with rocks, trees and sunken twigs but what the hell!
The day ends with around half a dozen small brown trout caught and released. My best 'shopping-trip' yet!
3 days fishing in one week, that's my kind of record.
Cheers and tight lines!
ps. I'll post pics when I can.