Hindwell Brook, Herefordshire
We arrived to find this little Marches river full to the brim and running as swiftly as an amusement park log flume. The weather was good and the water clear, so Laszlo and I decided to post our vouchers in the box and give the river a go.
The river must have seen a remarkable change from last year. This year's Wye & Usk Passport says the Hindwell "suffered from very low flows" in 2011. Fortunately though, there is one constant feature in all of the change which sees us continue in our pursuit of trout come high or low water - fish must eat!
The Hindwell Brook is a tributary of the River Lugg. I fished the Lugg last year at nearby Pilleth and the two rivers share many similar features. They both have some of the most strikingly handsome brown trout I have seen with prominent red spots the size and colour of ripe lingonberries. Perhaps the most noticeable similarity is the very fine, loose gravel of their riverbeds which is quite distinct from the bedrock and boulder riverbeds of the other Marches streams and rivers I have fished. The gravel crunches noisily underfoot making a sound very much like footfalls on fresh snow.
The swift current made the fishing a little trickier than usual. I had no success except in only the slowest of the water, in the deepest pools where my weighted nymph had a chance to sink to the level of the fish. Admittedly, this is not my favourite type of small stream fishing, but it was fun nonetheless particularly as most of these pools yielded more than one or two fish. A scruffy looking hare's ear pattern with a black beadhead (#16) proved the most successful pattern, accounting for 10 of the 11 trout I managed to bring to hand.
I had the added bonus of briefly spotting a kingfisher, the first time I have seen one in the Marches. It capped off a pleasant day's fishing.
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