Brown Trout, Grayling & Chub but no Sea Trout – May 2017

Since my last visit to the River Ribble near Grimsargh I had been waiting for an opportunity to fish for sea trout in the evening. This week’s high tides coupled with the hot weather, with day time temperatures reaching 28°C, were ideal for an after work session. I left work at 5.30pm and was parking in the field by the river, at point 2 on the map, by 6.30pm. It was still quite sunny so I eat my sandwiches and set up a couple of rods to fish for brown trout in the fast runs near the top of the beat. The temperature was still in the mid-20s when I started walking up river and by the time I arrived just below the big bend (point 7 on the map) sweat was running off my head!

While resting for a few minutes I didn’t notice any fish rising for the odd fly that was coming off the water. The river was very low (0.94m @ Samlesbury) and there was lots of weed growing in the shallow areas and it was even building up in the deeper sections. I decided to work my way down through the fast run with a team of Czech nymphs 18” apart on 4lb fluorocarbon (point: size 12, Pheasant Tail nymph (3.5mm black tungsten bead); middle dropper: size 14, Hare’s Ear nymph (2.5mm tungsten bead); top dropper: size 18, red nymph (1.5mm gold tungsten bead)).

After working my way, about 50 metres, down through the run the line stopped and I lifted into the first fish of the evening. After a short struggle I guided a 30cm brown trout safely into the net, which had fallen for the Hare’s Ear. Continuing down through the run I just caught one small grayling (ca. 20cm).

The light was now starting to fail so started to make my way back to the car, stopping off to fish the fast run above the bridge (point 5) before it became too dark. I started fishing at the top of the fast run that leads down to the bridge with the Czech nymphs. However, they were not touching the bottom so I switched to a heavier point fly: size 12, black nymph (4mm silver tungsten bead). I resumed working my down the run with this new set-up and about halfway down the line darted off and a lively, wild brownie jumped a couple of feet in the air. After a short struggle a plump 1lb brownie was safely guided into the net.

After carefully returning the trout I continued fishing down through the run but didn’t get any other interest. The light was now fading fast, so I headed off back to the car to set up the rod for sea trout fishing and some refreshments. I loaded my 7wt rod with a floating line, tipped with a floating tapered leader and 7ft of 8lb copolymer (point fly: size 10 Teal Blue & Silver; dropper: size 12, fluoro-green tag stick fly).

Just before 10pm I walked down to the fast run at the end of the beat (point 1) and started fishing at the head of the run. As I worked down through the run I noticed a few fish surfacing just below the large rock on the opposite bank, which raised my hopes. I covered this area with the flies and almost immediately the line as pulled out of my hand and fish tore off downstream. Initially, I thought I was into my first Ribble sea trout but when it slipped into the net it was clearly not a sea trout but a big chub (3 to 4lbs), which had fallen for the Teal Blue & Silver.

After safely returning the chub, I continued fishing through the pool until about 11pm but didn’t get any other takes. At this point I call it a day because I had work the next day. In spite of the lack of sea trout I had a good evening fishing, especially with my first Ribble chub. Hopefully, I will manage to get a sea trout on my next visit.

Tight lines till next time, Andrew Overend (25/5/17)

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