|Top end of Telfords|
Weather - Sun, wind, rain, hail, sun, wind, rain, sun
Water - 5-6 cm up
Total - 0
To the blaring fanfare of trumpets (in my head at least) I embraced the beginning of the new trout season with a session on the Esk. With some snow still lying here and there after recent cold conditions, and with forecasts from earlier in the week predicting a lot of rain, prospects hadn't been too promising. However as the date closed in the forecast contained less rain, the river stayed quite low despite the snow melt and I was happy that conditions were eminently fishable. I also had a brand new pair of waders to test.
Opening day is never prolific (for me) on the Esk. Tis my opinion that the season starts a bit too soon as most March fish still have some recovering to do after the winter.
When the fish farm was operating in Penicuik, you'd have a reasonable chance of the odd surprise Rainbow escapee lolloping about if mink or out of season anglers hadn't found them first. But, for better or worse, these days seem to be behind us.
My new campaign kicked off on my home stretch around Valleyfield from the Corner Pool up to the Serpy Weir. While I was happy enough with the condition of the river, there were no real signs of encouragement in the catching stakes. Nonetheless it was great to get back to my old haunts and see if and how the river had been reshaped over the winter.
Next stop was in the Auchendinny area where there are a few pools I like. One is adjacent to the old mill site where, last season they'd begun building houses and flats so I was interested to see how they're coming along. From being a secluded stretch of river, the character of this area will be completely altered henceforth. Probably not for the better so I'm trying to enjoy the place before it's likely change of behaviour. Sure enough access on the left bank was blocked, from being previously OK and some inventive wading was required to get to where I was going. The main pool itself was in good shape - it's prone to shape changing during spates - but it's fish, if indeed it held any, were not showing any interest.
For a final thrash I decided to head further downstream to Polton Mill. Again the river was in fine fettle, but again there wasn't a confirmed flicker of interest from my piscine friends.
Not many blanks can be described as successful, however as we famously call it fishing and not catching, landing fish is not the be all and end all. For a blank, it was quite an enjoyable one. As I write this the next day watching golf ball sized snow flakes falling, it may be a wee while before I'm back out there again (although I'm keen to get a fish and be able to photograph it on snow, so you never know).