Friday, 30 May 2014
Images Below: Trout and Priest
Wind Turbines at Royd Moor, above Scout Dyke Reservoir, Yorkshire
The reservoir had filled since my last visit a little under a year ago when a summer drought had lowered it until it had taken on the feel of a dry dock in the process of being drained. The rough stone banks had gone and the water now reached around the bases of the trees meeting the grass in small bays. A healthy growth of weed and pads hung about the more sheltered stretches of bank and out of view of the imposing dam wall the waterscape felt almost like a natural lake.
The last weather forecast I had heard had been a little over-enthusiastic and what had started as driving rain in Manchester had subsided to a drizzle over the heights of the Pennines. The drizzle despite being unable to dimple the water’s surface had quickly soaked through my jacket marking my clothes beneath with damp patches around the seams.I was not alone everthing was touched with a sheen of water from the barded wire to the blades of grass, while the low cloud muffled the wind turbines until they sailed like ghost ships across the moor above. I had visited an agricultural supply shop on route and bought a pair of green dairy over-trousers something I hadn’t worn for a few years. The assistant kept pulling out small and medium sized pairs from the pile before getting closer with a large. I advised him to add enough X’s before the L to make it look like a large roman numeral. The trousers turned out to be a wise investment as my legs were the only part of me that stayed just damp instead of saturated.
I had come with three basic requirements for the day to fish, film and test a few things; if I could combine all three and catch a fish on video while testing a new lure it would be gold. Sadly the rain never stopped long enough for me to get any footage apart from some cutaway shots of tying on bits and bobs under a tree. Fish wise the reservoir is stocked with rainbows and a few brown which have to go back, there is also a good head of perch.
When I had gathered myself a little a wave of relief washed over me as I remembered I had caught a fish with a previously untried lure. I caught another trout at the next bay guaranteeing dinner and then predictably threw the lure into a tree overhanging some very deep water. At this point I decided to return to car to dry out my clothes, the lenses and reassess the general direction of my life.
Slightly less damp I returned to the water and managed to get something to tug on one of my Devon minnows but it failed to make to the bank. Looking for a second fish I tied on a flying ‘C’ minnow and it quickly proved itself by filling out my bag limit. With a few hours to left to fish and feeling eager to avoid trout and treble hooks I thought I would try a bit of drop-shotting for perch using some of my micro soft plastic worms and new hooks I have been doctoring. I casted around the weeds and overhanging branches but failed to find a single perch, the trout however were throwing themselves at me and in a couple of hours I lost track of how many I had caught the single hook making it easy to unhook them in the water.
It never stopped raining but by late afternoon the drizzle had slowed until it almost hung in the air like wet dust as the distant wind turbines gained some definition to their outlines.