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spot-on and one of them would surely succumb to my offerings.
Casting into the same area, I let the fly sink for five seconds again. A steady figure-ofeight retrieve allowed me to bring my flies back through the water on a level plane. S everal unmolested casts later, I changed to a quick 2in strip. This makes the fly flutter steadily in the water. It didn’t work. I finally tried the good old 1ft pull and pause, causing the fly to lift and fall in the water column. Second cast and, just as with the first pull, as I lifted the fly line to recast the loop of line from the rod tip to the water straightened. I continued to lift and bring the rod behind me to set the hook. This thing had taken my fly no more than two metres from my position in the water; they were obviously a lot closer in than I imagined. As soon as it was hooked the fish thrashed on the surface. Given that it was so close it soaked me! It ran towards the tree several times but it wasn’t huge so I soon had it netted. It was a lovely little fish, but if it had been a pound or two bigger I’d have been a little more enthused. The trout w as quickly unhooked and returned to the water.
Several more followed, all close in and in relatively shallow water. I had the technique; more importantly, I’d found the fish and my confidence was high. Nevertheless, following a hectic 40-minute spell things dried up.
I switched to a Cat’s Whisker – change your fly, change your luck – and tried a little closer to the trees so that I could bring my fly right past the branches trailing in the water. Before I had counted to five the l ine tightened. The coils at my feet rose up through the water and slipped through the rod rings as I lifted into something a little bit heavier than before. This trout fought so much harder than the others, twice heading out into the reservoir, taking line as it went. Finally, I managed to get it subdued and into my net.
This was what I’d been after, a proper trout, about 4lb of solid muscle, possibly one of last year’s residents. What a fitting end to a hard day and it just goes to show that you don’t have to cast to the horizon; the fish, as always, are closer than you think.
If you experience pulls but no hook-ups, trim the tail. First remove the moisture.
With your fingertips – never with scissors – tear the marabou to length.
Once the trout were located it was just a case of tailoring the retrieve and the fish just kept on coming.
TOTAL FLYFISHER 10