Later on I went in search of our native Brownie on the lower Chew. Unfortunately the previous days rain had coloured the water this far downstream which made fly fishing difficult. However I managed to tempt two nice fish to the surface with a klink on an otherwise quiet stretch of river. Always worth a speculative cast even when there are no fish rising.
Monday, 21 April 2014
The Rainbow dilemma
I fished the Upper Chew on a beautiful spring day. Ladies Smock together with Wild Garlic decorated the banks and the stream glistened in the sunlight. The water was clear but flowing well exposing the clean gravel. For a while the pools seemed lifeless but as the warmth of the afternoon approached fish started to dimple and rise in the head of the deeper sections. In the space of about two hours I handed in at least a dozen young Rainbows up to about 8 inches. A rare but welcome sight were a couple of small Brownies. Although the Rainbows livened up the day with their spirited fight I couldn't help but think how this stream must have fared before its incarceration between two reservoirs - it would have been wild Brown Trout heaven without the pressure of cormorants and mink exploiting the local fisheries. After all the Rainbows are no more deserving of being on the stream than Signal Crayfish or Himalayan Balsam that have now become recognised pests in many of our waterways. The saving grace is that this small stretch of river is confined and I don't see parr cropping up regularly where rivers are not subject to the levels of Rainbow exposure this stream has. Perhaps therefore the Upper Chew can viewed as a local treasure which should be cherished as an oasis of North America/Asia within Somerset. My conscience eased now, I have to say I really enjoyed the fishing!