…..just! I was able to free up a little time on Friday afternoon so was able to fish the last day of May with the chance of seeing a ‘proper’ Mayfly hatch. I had noticed the odd dun on my previous visit but not something I would describe as a hatch. I thought to myself that it would be good, given the slow start that we have had this year, to experience a Mayfly hatch in May.
Mid afternoon saw a few duns coming off in a trickle but no real interest from the trout. I was scouting up and down the river trying to find some fish ‘working’ the hatch and was perched on the side of the bank peering intently upstream when I heard the distinctive sound of a fast slashy rise from the riffle immediately behind me. Now I know that I have written before that I have ignored riffles in the past but I did not need a second invitation on this occasion and crept away from the bank and slipped back into the river a little way downstream and began to cast the fly up into the riffle. The fly was making its third journey back down towards me when it was simply engulfed and I was attached to something muscular and angry. After a couple of hairy moments 13 inches of trout were in the net and returned in short order. And from this point on the session turned the corner and I was able to fish up to the top of the beat spotting rising trout working into position and trying to get some response from each. A lot of fun and a fair few fish were brought to hand and one or two I will have to return to another time. In terms of fly I the CDC & Elk in size 12 was a passable imitation of the dun but I would have liked a larger pattern in, say a size 10, with a a pheasant tail fibres as a tail. But I have not afforded myself this degree of latitude this year! But I think it would be fair to say that the sport on the afternoon did not suffer as a consequence of my artificial constraint.