Each year I set myself aims to achieve in my fishing exploits. This year, after years of targeting large carp in huge lakes, I decided to go back to the type of fishing venue that I used to fish in my childhood – a rural brook. My aim was to conquer the art of “long-trotting” in its fast-moving water and I was determined to catch my first ever Grayling and Brown Trout.
The Rea Brook wanders through the countryside in tight meanders and gentler curving bends through pastureland just across a few fields from home. It is narrow and tree-lined. The trees are alive with birds and bees and butterflies explore the bankside of the brook. Dragonflies and Damsel Flies fly inches above the fast-moving water in their strange zig-zag flight patterns. We were stunned by their sparkling colours of emerald-green, sky blue, browns and black.
We settled down under a batch of big old willows where the little river had cut into the far bank gradually eroding and moulding a wide pool. the dappled sunlight gave the little patch a magical quality. When the showers came we felt just a soft drop or two as the good old willows acted as our umbrellas.
And did I master long-trotting along the brook – well, I made a start. Did I catch a Brown Trout – I certainly did. My first ever wild Brownie was a real old warrior, a male fish of around two pounds in weight, but I went on to catch three others. Did I catch my first ever Grayling – I certainly did, four in all. These delights have been worth waiting for. I caught a dozen or so fish in all, mostly Chub with the odd Dace and of course the Brownies and the Lady of the Stream, the Grayling.
Will we go again? Yes, we certainly will as I loved fishing in this most beautiful and characterful brook and Jude enjoyed sitting reading her book with the background sound of water running over rocks in the shallows, plus an occasional wander along the river bank.