Emanuele picked me up; I was ready to go as soon as he arrived. The day looked promising, rain was forecast for later but the sky was mostly white with the odd dark cloud and patchy blue.
I have known and fished with Emanuele since around July 2004 – old time readers of the blog will remember him as the master of the dry fly- he still is, although has not been doing much angling the past year due to having a baby. I would probably say that out of all my fishing friends he is the one that has taught me the most. As soon as we started fishing together my knowledge rocketed – not just about fishing and entomology but about the ethos behind fly fishing. When I have been having a bad day (surprisingly often) and then caught a fish a loud “Well done” will ring out in his thick Italian accent. He is a mighty angler whose answer to just about every fly fishing problem is to “go microscopic”
He was also my first true fishing partner in my adult years and we have had many a good trout session together.
Alas, today was the start of a lot less trips together as due to his job he has had to move from Glasgow to Hull. Considering he moved to Scotland from Italy purely for the good trout fishing this is a bit of a blow. However, needs must come first with a young family to support and there will always be long weekends in the future – this I have been assured is reciprocal – just down the road from where he will be staying I hear there are some rather nice chalk streams.
Emanuele also introduced me to my other favorite spot of river (the unmentionable), the most beautiful place I think on Earth. I have asked my good wife to scatter my ashes there when I am gone (not on the Kelvin for the riff raff to pee on me), that is unless I actually drown there as the thorn in the side of this lovely nirvana is that the wading is outrageously difficult. The bottom is strewn with boulders and holes, moving sandbanks and sudden ledges which means you can go do knee deep to waist deep in a step. This is good trout water. On its day it can be very good – it can also act like a bloody stubborn donkey at times as well.
Anyway, for all these reasons I wanted Emanuele to have a good day, I wanted the river to give him a good send off.
I was not disappointed.
The day remained overcast, the rain did not materialize, hatch after hatch of small olives, blue winged olives and sedges. Trout rising from the moment we arrived until we left exhausted but happy. I hooked and lost a monster on the dry fly – later I would estimate it to be around 3lb – this with no exaggeration as I am getting a bit better at accurate measurements now. This turned out to be hard practice for me as my next big fish was taken at the exact same place a few moments later, considerably smaller but still one of my best trout at this stretch of river. Camera got all steamed up so a bit of a duff photo.
Trout after trout after trout.
Emanuele did very well too; every time I looked up he was releasing another fish.
It was only later when going through the photographs did I realize there was none of him today holding an actual fish – Makes it all the more necessary to meet up again soon.