The water is warmer than the air – I kept telling myself that as I was catching juvenile trout and parr aplenty on the Kelvin. I knew there was big trout here – I had seen them in the past and a recent conversation with someone had made me decide to try this spot for an evening session. There did not seem to be any flies on the surface. When I looked up into the air there was a variety of spinners – some Yellow Mays and some other olives I could not identify.
Come dusk the small trout really started hammering flies and I started to target them for some fun – eventually it got boring. A proper evening rise was not going to materialise. I waded downstream slowly; the water was very slow and maybe 2 feet deep. It is that slow that the trout have far too long to inspect your fly however I thought the darkness (it was now around 11pm) might give that little extra cover. The water was around 2 feet deep and the occasional trout or parr was rising.
A parr “glooped” around a metre away from me, and slightly downstream – I decided to cover it. I drifted my fly (a Comparadun) and the parr slashed at it but missed, I drifted the fly again and the fish took – this was no parr. It was a trout, a big trout – it thrashed around shaking its head and then jumped clear out the water twice, when I finally got the trout to the net it must have measured around 17 inches, when it came to the net the third time (I was using my 4 weight Orvis Trout Bum rod) I quickly turned on my camera so that I was prepared. With the trout in the net I unhooked it; it was still pretty lively unhooking was problematic. Taking the camera out of my top left pocket with my right hand I lifted the trout out of the net with my left – it was so big my hand did not reach around the trout – and there lay the problem – as soon as it wiggled the trout was out my hands and in the water – it cruised slowly away. I smiled - I always feel strange when I don’t get a photo of a big trout – no idea why. It is usually the bigger trout that I don’t get a photo of – usually I am a bit panicky and want to get them back in the water as quickly as possible or I do something dumb like I did with this fish. I got the measuring tape out while the trout was still fresh in my memory and guestimated its size – I then took a couple of inches off to account for fishermen’s memory.
The bats were on the water and it was pretty dark by this point – I relived the fight as I walked back to the car – I thought it wasn’t going to happen tonight but somehow I think it did.