3 Dead Pigeons and Wee Troots

It’s been a while since I last set foot or wet a line on the river, this summers dry weather hasn’t been conducive to it and add to that I have been busy with work and struggled a wee bit with the aches and pains so all conspiring against getting out.

But, needs must and after a very long day in front of a screen and not having had my usual lunchtime constitutional I had a quick and early tea and went down the river as there has been a little rain of late, I hoped it might be ok.

I reckoned my best chance of a better fish might be to head right downstream and take a walk cross country but night’s are fair drawing in now and I didn’t feel I had enough time to make the best of this option so opted to head a little closer to home and tackle a few deeper runs nearer the mid/upper river.

Right from the off I opted for a Klink and dink approach with a small nymph under a Lifejacket caddis dry. This lasted all of about 2 dozen casts when I rather ambitiously tried to get the rig under some very low lying branches of a tree and cover a spot I have hooked fish in the past. The cast was good as was the line of the drift…but ah! the clutter of some storm swept tree branches and other vegetative waste was hard to see until I ducked down low to follow the drift and could see the caddis about to make contact with the tangle of debris.

I snatched the flies away but too late, something was evidently caught and I lost both flies.

That was annoying.

I decided to move on downstream and at my next glide re-tied the tippet ( on what was really an overlong leader- but I was too lazy to change it ) as I thought I might end up on the dries later

This time another tiny nymph under an olive klink.

My second cast in the glide stopped and I lifted to a very small Brown Trout on the nymph. I had spotted a fish or two rise in the channel ahead of me and I did manage to rise one of them to the dry but it didn’t connect and then I did connect with some old cloth attached to a rock mid current and ‘pop’- away went my light tippet again. Two more flies gone… or not.

I could see the fluo pink post on the klink and was able to wade in and recover it and the nymph with the attached bit of discarded cloth.

Having sorted it all out, about two casts later the point fly wrapped round a high over-hanging branch. Grrrr! Another break off but I was able to use my wading stick to snap the branch, drop it into the river then go fish it out with flies intact….these two were not escaping me!

Re-tied a third time I fished on but never had any further offer though in the deeper slower water I had a rather bizarre sight.

At first, I thought a couple of ducks were coming downstream with their bums in the air, except they were staying down a very long time.

Then I realized these weren’t ducks but two dead pigeons. Wood Pigeons by the looks of it. They drifted by.

Dead Pigeon

One of the trio of pigeons. But was it “murdur”?

Then a minute or so later I saw something white drift into the slower water and it was a third (white) pigeon.


How? Whit? I can only surmise someone was popping off Pigeons with an air rifle somewhere up-river and they had all fallen in, in turn. Quite odd. The long leader was casting like some scabby washing line fixed to my fly rod. I had to change it. So off with the long leader and on with a shorter one and I used the Indicator wax to mark out some visual reference for relatively short line fishing. This cast much better. Still no more activity here, there was a section further down I have only fished once previously and decided to head on down before it got dark.

I struggled to find a cut through the vegetation tot he bankside and when I did it looked kind of deep, so rather pleased I had brought the wading staff along I gingerly edged out into the water. A few times I thought I was about to take a ducking as it was a bit uneven. It wasn’t really deep but a lot deeper than most of the river at this time. With care, I got over the other side and to the spot I had hoped to try. I decided to change tactics and did something I have only very rarely tried. Fishing nymphs under a bobber. ( An air-loc type, in this case). The only time I can recall using one of these on a river was to try for grayling in the odd pool too deep to be able to fish with a short tight line. It had worked on one occasion.

Almost right away The bobber jinked off line and I realised I had an offer. It was another small trout. And soon another. The deep water wasn’t though, giving up much and I had spotted from the corner of my eye fishy movement down beyond the stoney beach I was fishing from. As the sun se,t I took a wander down and though seemingly quite shallow there was quite a bit activity. I tried a dozen casts with the bobber on first and had a couple of fish all on the nymph despite the surface activity. I was fishing a small spider on a dropper above the nymph. I decided as I was in the mood for experimentation that the bobber could come off, and the spider would be replaced with a CDC Greenwells and fished just on a straight conventional line keeping in touch with the flies. Almost right away this worked too. I had quite a few splashy rises at the CDC and one fish and a few more on the nymph.

It was by now getting pretty dark, and not even nine thirty but with a deep hole to cross decided to head back before I really couldn’t see where I was going. I kind of lost count by the end, at 7 or 8 fish and a couple that popped off, though nothing that was going to win prizes. Nice to experiment with methods thoughas you can get a wee bit stuck in a rut sometimes.f