After an interminably long wait the trout season finally opened in Wales yesterday. I can’t ever recall anticipating a new season quite as much as I have this year but I suspect that has a great deal to do with having three or four grayling trips cancelled in the winter on account of the weather. So I promised myself to make a trip to a river no matter the state of the weather on opening day. No surprise then that the conditions were poor for fly fishing!
I chose the little Pinsley Brook on the outskirts of Leominster given that it’s one of the few roving voucher beats accessible by train. Visually it is one of the prettiest streams of the Welsh Marches that I have visited and it’s easy to see why it is described as being the closest we have in the region to a chalkstream. Being in the lowlands of Herefordshire the surrounding land is flat and the river is at the mercy of the wind which, unfortunately, was very strong with relentless gusts blowing from my left to right all day. Casting was an extreme challenge.
The clarity of the water was astonishing, as limpid as any chalkstream I have seen. In hindsight it was probably not the wisest choice for a visit so early in the season. I felt rusty and, on such a small stream, about as conspicuous as a bull in a china shop. I saw a few fish but only after they had seen me. No more than a handful Large Dark Olives hatched briefly at the day’s zenith but there was no interest from the trout. I observed the river for great lengths, willing the trout to show some interest, but I saw no sign of a rise all day. The cold water seemed as lifeless as the dry, brown grass and the bare, thorny branches of the ubiquitous bank side bramble, still gripped by winter.
I am curious to find out more about the little trout which exist in this pretty stream and promised myself to return a little later in the season once the better weather arrives. It was a bittersweet start to the season – great to be out fishing again but frustrating to start the season with a blank.
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