Late afternoon session after a tip had got me frothing over a stretch of river that Red had reliably informed me, after a recce fish the previous day, held some leviathan fish. The river was not great on this stretch - silted, shaded and in some parts smelly. It didn't look fishy with just the odd dimple here or there giving away any form of life. An impressive hatch of Scarlet Tigermoths was on the wing drifting above the beds of nettle and Comfrey. I waded up just about getting my fly 10' ahead as the tree canopy was making any form of line weighted cast impossible. The dead water suddenly exploded as I drew the dry towards me away from the far bank. A nice fish of a 1lb that darted everywhere in the small river. Next a fish dimpling in one of the faster runs. Without knowing its size I cast and it jumped onto my Klink. It raced downstream past my legs and launched skyward 10 yards downstream. I could see the fish was in excess of 2lb. After several more bursts and brushings with my net the line went loose and I cursed what could possibly have been my best wild Brownie ever. I persevered on upstream wading through deep silted sections. Another small faster run under some Hawthorns and a small rise gave me hope. First cast and I hooked another good fish that raced downstream. This time I got it to the net a lovely 1.5lb wild Brownie. Still trying to figure out why these big beauties like it on this stretch and not a small one in sight!
How do I know whether a Chew Brownie is wild or stockie? Chew wild Brownies genetically have what I call the black spot, more evident in bigger fish. These fish are cursed with the devils thumb print behind the eye. Check out my post of 2nd May 2011 from the Upper Chew to see a stockie with lots of smaller speckles but no black spot.