What's a nice mayfly like you doing on the end of my finger?
It is Monday morning and I am stuck in the office with nothing to do. I am merely counting out time. Outside June is unfurling spectacularly and the mayfly is up. It is a terrible situation for a fisherman to be in.
The need to pay one’s way in the world is an irritation universally acknowledged, but it lightens only slightly the intellectual burden of an angler engaged in the impossible task of rationalising the injustice of being imprisoned on such a day.
Upon attaining a certain ripeness of years it is distressing to consider the limited days of mayfly that remain. It is doubly distressing to consider how much of that time will be spent cooped up in the workplace, performing nugatory tasks for nothing more than financial recompense. It is for reasons such as this that blagging a sickie was invented, and I awoke on Tuesday much enthused by the prospect of the day ahead.
New life was evident everywhere...
When I got to the bank new life was evident everywhere. Blues, peacocks, brimstones, and commas flitted insanely about; swallows, swifts and martens were busy gathering insects to feed their young; a red kite was busy chasing crows - hopefully, away from his or her nest; canada geese hissed as I passed on the opposite bank, stupidly drawing attention to their fluffy goslings, and the mayfly was up, although not as prolifically as the previous evening.
I had spent the aforementioned Monday thinking of nothing other than of leaving work and getting to the river. Come leaving time, if I had been in a cartoon, there would have been bongos and a gunshot ricochet sound effect as I departed. By the time I'd cycled home, grabbed my tackle and car keys and driven to the river, the mayfly were already coming off. I tied on a CDC mayfly (see previous post for recipe), walked upstream and hooked the first two fish I saw rising, both on the first cast - perfect. They are pictured below. The first was a fish in perfect condition. The second, however, showed signs of having survived some kind of assault, whether by cormorant or otter I do not know.
The first fish was a pounder
The second was a pound and a half, and fought like stink
Having enjoyed a perfect half hour, and having bagged the brace I had wanted for dinner purposes, I left the river and drove contentedly home to Mrs R and a large Jura. But, in bed, later that night, thinking back on that evening's events (while ignoring entirely those of the day) I began to regret not staying longer. I recalled having come, taken my due reward, and left, with honour intact. But I also remembered how, as I was walking back downstream to the car, the mayfly really started to hatch with abandon. The trout were jumping clear of the water to get them. I should have stayed; hatches like that don't happen every day. I made a mental note, in future, to make hay while the sun shines. An idea began to form in my mind: why not take tomorrow off...?