River Lune May 28th 2009
I had received a lovely invite to fish on the River Lune from Rob and Annie Rusby and although I have a lot of things going on at the moment, the temptation to go got the better of my conscience. I managed to get off straight after lunch and arrived at the fishing below Kirkby Lonsdale at 3.00pm. As the Rusby's were delivering wine and not arriving until 4.30pm I elected to fish the top most pool Coneygarth, as I had plenty of time to walk up there, and the two labs Tia and Bolly would get some exercise. A quick look at the river revealed a nice water of perhaps a foot above summer levels with a good tea coloured stain to it.
As I had been invited primarily to fish for salmon I put my salmon rod up and after some deliberation elected to put a fairly bushy size 8 cascade double on. However remembering successful times for sea trout later in the season in the past I decided to add a dropper and try to cover all eventualities. The wading is very easy in this pool and I do not think that the bottom is rocky or weedy so I felt it was worth the risk of fishing two flies. Having added a smaller thunder and lightening type double as a dropper I set of.
The afternoon had got even better, it was warm still but some cloud had come over and I walked upstream with some optimism. The pool has a fast running neck which runs into a widening main pool which continues on for some distance gradually getting slower. On this height of water the pool was still a good 200 yards long. I went in just below the neck and was relieved that by tapering my leader and using different sized flies they were turning over perfectly even though I was spey casting rather than overhead casting as I wanted to fish fairly square. After about a dozen casts I got a take as I was stripping near the end of the swim. It dashed of and I thought sea trout immediately and after a brief fight I beached a nice 2lb sea trout on the large cascade which I returned. As I continued down the pool I caught a further 2 sea trout all on the cascade of a similar size and was starting to regret not fishing with my sea trout gear as the fish were outfaced by the 15ft salmon rod.
I then went back to the top of the pool and as the water was clearing rapidly and had fallen back a little I started higher up the neck in the much faster water. I was rewarded with three more sea trout in quick succession and a feeling of pleasure and elation at seeing and catching so many sea trout. The last few years have been increasingly tough for catching sea trout over the whole country and it would be fantastic if there is a recovery in numbers. I returned all the sea trout but would have been tempted to have kept one but did not as I thought that the law prohibited taking all migratory fish until June 15th However on catching up with Robert and Annie they asked if I had kept one and I said “no its illegal” Robert informed me that it was legal to keep a sea trout and that the laws just apply to spring salmon. I disagreed and several friends in the hotel later agreed with me, but a quick google in the morning proved us all wrong and an apology to Robert was due.
Sadly the clearing of the water and a slight drop in temperature signalled the end of the sea trout though Robert did catch a 2lb plus brownie which the water there is stuffed with. We rounded of a special afternoon for me with a meal back home at The Tufton. I owed Robert a favour so I did the wines out of my own cellar. A 1997 Alsace Pinot Gris, Grand Cru as an aperitif and to go with various starters. A 1998 Château Corbin-Michotte to complement the local racks of lamb. Definitely the highlight of the evening the Corbin was judged blind by Robert and he placed it initially as an older wine of perhaps Figeac or Ausonne class in St Emillion. I was delighted as I have several cases of it and have much pleasure in store. With cheese and putting the world to rights we enjoyed an old favourite from Beaune, Phillipe Dufouleurs 1997, Cents Vignes. A perfect end to a wonderful day.
Sea Trout Fishing
Vintage Wines in Cumbria