Wind and rain do not inspire from within the home but get out in the fresh air of the countryside and it’s a different feeling.
The forecast was not good but I had a day off so a trip to the river was in order.
The river Torridge was still low but had a bit of colour following recent rain and I had heard reports of a few salmon and sea trout.
Wading into the river I flicked the fly across the familiar waters of my favourite pool. Cast across, mend the line and drift the fly across the current. Take a step downstream and repeat; asking the question on each cast. Having caught a few salmon I can now fish with constant expectation knowing that each cast could bring an answer.
After ten yards the line tightens there is life on the line. The rod is held high and absorbs the lunges of the hooked fish. There is a moment of disbelief that I always have when I hook a salmon. The next few minutes the battle ebbs and flows as the rod bends and the reel sings. It’s a good fish and tension mounts as I try and steer it to the waiting net. There are a few anxious moments but eventually the silver salmon is safely within the folds of the net. At 30” its a good 10lb, the silver stoats tail is easily removed from its jaws and after a quick snap with the camera the fish is held in the water until with a kick of its tail it swims away.
By the look of the fish it has forged upstream in low water as it has a few marks on its flanks and a small mark on its nose. I hope it will survive until spawning time in late autumn. The landing of one wild salmon is worth a thousand of those stocked rainbow trout I caught yesterday.
I fish the rest of the beat without a pull; that’s salmon fishing though; unpredictable yet highly rewarding. “Carpe Diem” – seize the moment.
An hour later heavy rain beats down and I take shelter in the old fishing hut. No luxurious hut this but it has many a story to tell I am sure. I wonder who else has rested a while here as I sit enjoying my bar of Cadburys?