Apart from that I met a lot of nice people and I the reception and hospitality of the owners of "De Ronde Bleek" - Jan and his wife- was great. After the fair I fished for an hour or so and hooked but missed a fish on the dry fly. Next morning I also tried my luck for an hour with buzzers and a slow sinking line, before I took the drive over to Germany to fish on the river. Even though I caught no fish I think I will be back to fish De Ronde Bleek for real one of these days.
Back to the river a was also at two weeks ago. I started with checking out a part of the river on which I had never fished before. Apart from spotting some brook trout and scaring the living daylights out of a few carp (yep, spooked them), I didn't find any active fish. Casts under the overhanging branches with various dries didn't work. In fact it worked so bad that I even considered nymphing.
In the end I decided not to and try my luck on another part of the river.
After relocating to another stretch I finally found a few fish which were picking flies of the surface every now and then. On the first stretch I saw a lot of different insects.
Rhodani spinners, Soldier beetles, a few bibio's lots of midges, baetis muticus duns were taking off, sand flies and so on. But over on the second stretch It was just muticus duns and sand flies.
A cast in a small hole between the branches and a downstream drift (upstream was impossible) with an imitation to represent the B. muticus ended in a rise to the fly, a hook-up and.... a straightened hook.
Needless to say, the fish stopped rising.
A bit upstream from this fish I found a shallow pool were I saw some fish moving into position at the tail end and start rising. Small duns were floating on the surface and I saw a couple of fish a bit further up making splashy rises ("aha! sedge hatch !", I thought.)
The fish closer to me were clearly working on the small baetis duns I had also seen.
Because off the shallow water (about 20 cm deep) I got a very good at the way the fish reacted to my offerings. The shallow water also meant that the trouts window of perception was very small which called for some very accurate casting. On the first few drifts my fly started dragging after about 10cm.
With some fancy casts I managed to lengthen that to about a meter which was more than enough to get a drag-free drift over the fish. But low and behold.... nothing happened with the dun. Tried an emerger for the same species, with exactly the same result. A few fish had a look at the fly but rejected it at the last moment. For me an excellent example of the importance of presenting the fly in the right way.
A fly that dragged within the trouts window, was completely ignored.
A fly that didn't drag got a good look, but was rejected; both the dun and the emerger.
After another splashy rise from one of the fish further upstream, I tied on Gary LaFontain's Emergent Sparkle pupa and cast it at one of the fish at the tail of the pool. The fish locked on to the fly as soon as it landed, let it drift over its head and grab it at the very last moment it was in its sight.
The fish was a good 30cm and turned out to be a brook-trout. My first one on this river.
Nice. I caught another two fish in the pool, also on the Emergent sparkle pupa.
Like Hannibal from the A-team used to say:"I love it when a plan comes together!"