I had not fished with Mike for a while so we went to a nearby canal even though I felt sick. However, I did not regret this counterintuitive decision.
You might know Mike from one of my first posts about fly fishing the Aare where I caught my very first grayling on a nymph. Pretty vivid memories though when I look back at this post from 2015 when the ExpediTom enterprise started.
In contrast to the Aare trip, we had only a few hours time for fishing due to some deadlines. Therefore, we decided to stay close to our homes in order to spend as much time as possible in the water.
Dirty Old Canal Fly Fishing
The water we were going to fish is a medium-sized, tremendously corrected river. The river looks as if he was stuck in a too tight corset. Once upon a time this river meandered through the entire valley. Due to repeated floods and the need for land for agriculture, the river had been put into a straight canal for almost its entire length. Only recently, a discussion arose about restoring the course of the river partly to prevent greater damage in case of heavy floods that occur once in a century. One first step to bring the river to his former glory has already been done last year. I hope there will be further renaturation although I am aware that someone looses land in every case. Nevertheless I strongly believe the pros outweigh the cons by far. Until further restoring has been done, I just enjoy having at least a river at arm’s length that produces now and then a decent fish.
Do Not Be Lazy
We left the car and walked a bit downstream to fish 2 hours back to the car. Given the proximity of the river to many villages, it comes as no surprise that the fishing pressure is quite high. Nonetheless, I have not seen many fly fishermen yet. Assumably, due to many low hanging branches and the narrow corridor the canal offers. Therefore, the chances to catch a fish with a fly are higher. Or that is at least what I think. Reaching the second artificial waterfall, I stopped and looked for a way through the bushes to the river. At this moment, Mike proposed to walk a bit further downstream. Unwillingly, I gave in. Due to my sickness, I did not want to walk too far.
We started fishing 2 small artificial waterfalls further below.
I prepared the Taimen DRX fly rod in #4 8’6’’ which I had used with Robin Melliger the last time. On that fishing trip I finished fishing with dries, thus having 3 feet of 6x tippet at the end. I almost left the tiny tippet on the leader, but hesitated and realised that laziness might cost you a fish. I learnt this lesson the hard way in New Zealand. About 5 times.
Exciting Moments in the Canal
We both stood at the same cascade. Mike on the true right side and me on the true left. Alternatingly, we casted our nymphs into the pool. We stayed for some minutes, when I decided to fish the immediate proximity of my side. With a roll cast I laid out the line parallel to the bank only a foot or two away. Actually, it was not even intended for fishing but rather to prepare for another roll cast. It floated just close enough to have a snag.
The indicator sunk.
I expected the fish to be small, but soon realised how large it was. The trout dictated where I had to run. As soon the fish went downstream I feared to pull the hook out of its mouth. Mike’s comment that he had lost a good one last time too did not settle my excitement at all. A quick wading run later, Mike netted this beauty of a brown trout.
What a fish!