June began with Robert W and guests on the river, lovely conditions some gentle pulls but no fish. Tony R hit the beat and shared it with some local rods on day 2 I wandered down and Tony was smiling he had seen some serious action in the willow pool but the fish won the battle and evaded capture, Tony reckoned it was a very decent one. Dom F and Nick took a couple of days guided well by Barry Mitchell we saw fish and Dom experienced some knocks and pulls. his persistence and varying of flies depth and retrieve paid off and he was rewarded with a very fat and fast 12-13lb springer.
Tim Down and his fishing pal Chay Hedger were trying the beat for the first time and the rains decided to hit the valley! The river was basically unfishable sadly and it took until Saturday for their chances to improve Barry Mitchell was on hand to guide and assist. A change in tactics was needed as no fish seemed interested yet we knew plenty were coming into the system. Barry got the guys to fish higher in the water with his own fly choices, Chay hit the jackpot and a lovely fish resulted ….sadly as it glided into the waiting net the line parted company with the hook!
I offered the boys a few hours on Sunday to compensate for the lost fishing and little did I know what was about to happen…. I received a frantic phone call from the guys that one of them had caught a fish believed to be well over thirty pounds. Tim the more experienced had netted the thing having failed with both of the nets and got a large carp net. Chay had his first salmon ! Chay sent the pictures to Fishpal and they immediately recommended Chay put it forwards to the Charles Farlows English Trophy! Well done Chay and good luck!
The guys didn’t have tape measures so photographs were used to measure against all 6’4″ of Chays physique his hand to elbow , face ect. Tim runs a printing business and Chay a successful builder so images were checked carefully using software, experts quizzed (these started at 32lb and up to 37lb, from fishery owners and experienced well travelled rods). . Whatever it weighted (we have estimated its and that sits in our Lodge!) it was returned safely and was without doubt a stunning fish (it does not eclipse Stuart Rose’s stunning 35lb, rods present that day still talk about that capture in Dead Tree ) so that beat record remains.