Last Friday was as cold a spring day as I can remember on the River Eden.
I was sharing my day out with Freddie who just started fly fishing this spring and is always eager to get on the river. He was set up with spiders and nymphs  and already fishing within minutes of arriving....and as he says its just great to be out on the river.
An easterly gusty wind with a bit of Northern wetness thrown in  blowing over the snow capped Pennines accentuated the already nithered feel. I had  previously decided that today was going to be no nymphs, no wet flies, no spiders was going to be a dry fly day no matter what.
Expectations were certainly a tad lower as a result of the change in temperature and dropping barometer however there had been good reports of decent hatches and flies earlier in the week so expectations were lower but certainly on the bottom.
Lunch time arrived without seeing any fly activity...not an Olive never mind a meaty March Brown...absolutely zilch and certainly no sign of a surface feeding fish and therefore not a cast had been made. it was then that a niggle in the back of my mind grew.... tempting a change of tactic, especially when Freddie had encountered a couple of nips and pulls.

For some reason the niggle reminded me of a trip with friends in Ireland a few years ago when we were sat in a pub pondering over a few Guinnesses (or should that be Guinness's or Guinnea...?)  Anyway, I remembered a conversation about contentment and confidence when fishing. The conversation was a bit philosophical and in essence was about one of the great aspects of fly fishing is that you always have a choice to do it in whatever way suits you (within the rules of the fishery of course) 
I do many talks and demos around the country to clubs and many will have heard me talk about "success" and in essence it's really about happiness and contentment. You therefore always have a personal choice to do it your way and in a way that makes you happy and content. You have the choice to decide what it is that makes you happy and therefore "successful". Many however prefer to be judged by others or judge themselves by others which I personally believe is a missed opportunity however I'm not going into this and therefore this is just a snap summary of the lengthy topic in our Guinness inspired  conversation.

So I had already decided that today was going to be a dry fly day and if I didn't catch ..yes I would be disappointed but hey that was my choice. However imagine the feeling of getting one on the dry despite the conditions...ecstatic happiness !!

To prevent this becoming an even longer story and not to bore everyone and because I should really be tying some fly orders here is a summary of what happened:
  • We fished from 10.00am to 3.45pm
  • We saw 6 Large Dark Olives all day between us;
  • Freddie bumped a few more of which he said felt pretty good too;
  • I saw 3 splashy trout rises
  • Managed to land  two lovely spring trout....  best around 12 inches
  • Both were on the dry fly
  • We were in the pub at 4.20 philosophising about dry flies and wet flies and what is the meaning of "success"
Cheers everyone

....oh and before I get loads of questions......YES  it was "The Lifter" that saved my butt again

and just as a reminder of what a Large Dark Olive looks like this one is from a week earlier.....