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garethl
06-28-2010, 09:08 AM
04:10 - The magic begins...
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Plagued by hot weather and a lack of rain for nearly four months our rivers are low and sparklingly clear. The days have seen bright, cloudless skies easily putting down any self-respecting trout and any semblance of 'action' has been kept firmly confined to the hours just after sunrise and those just prior to sunset.

There are rules and there are exceptions to rules; no one should have to be up at 4am on a Saturday morning but the exception here, of course, is that Iím on my way to the River Usk, bleary eyed but intent on beating the sun and those high mid-day temperatures.

Rivers are magical things, more so when enjoyed during the early mornings before even the birds have began to sing; I find its chattering riffles and sparkling lights enchanting, and the cool morning air helps to rid the last cobwebs of sleep.

At 5am I find myself standing on the banks of The Red River tying on one of the favoured size #22 Blue Winged Olive paraduns and, surprisingly, without so much of a hint of tiredness about me; I smile inwardly as I watch a trout methodically sip emerging midge and the remainder of last night's blue wing spinners from the surface film.

She lies in a far-bank food lane, as they always seem to; a reach cast is made to a point just a few feet above the spotted feeding she-fish. She inspects and is, surprisingly, quickly satisfied; the angler lifts gently and is graciously permitted to dance with one of natureís most beautifully evolved creations. Several jumps, runs, skipped heartbeats and, after a five minute fight, she is gently held in the recuperating and cooling flows of this wonderful river. A metaphorical bow and the two entities part company, the she-fish swimming strongly and confidently back to her cover, no doubt to sulk for an hour or two.

As the sun rises the heat mounts, and as the heat mounts the surface feeding declines to that of a trickle. It is now mid-day, and a host of formidably sized wild trout have been deceived by fur and feather.

The day began magically in the early half-light and ended blissfully in the warmth of a summerís mid-day.

Until next time...

04:15 - Heavenly waters at first light.
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That magical she-fish...
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...and safely returned.
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Early morning lights and pastel shades.
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Stocked trout, I think not. Wild perfection with fins.
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Summer foliage and without a bare branch in sight.
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Fly fishing tackle, evolved.
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A healthy sign, the River Usk boasts a healthy amount of fry.
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Deceived by fur and feather: the two-pounder who tried to eat a #20 Copper John.
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The river narrows...
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...and Mostyn makes an undercover cast.
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Spotted like a leopard...
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...before her safe release.
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A suumer poppy, Papaver rhoeas.
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Westcountry
06-28-2010, 11:02 AM
A great reward for your early efforts there! Lovely photo's catch the atmosphere perfectly.
I'm ashamed to say that I can never get up before dawn for a trout, a salmon yes but not a trout :oops:

Is your picture of "Fry" a mistake or are you trying to catch us out???


Andy

garethl
06-29-2010, 07:07 AM
Is your picture of "Fry" a mistake or are you trying to catch us out???

A genuine picture that. They were swimming all around my feet in the shallows.

G

Ernest
06-29-2010, 08:37 AM
In my neighborhood the trout fry look like miniature trout. The pictured little fish look like the dace that inhabit our trout streams. They are a different species, a good source of protein for the bigger trout, and the models for many effective streamer patterns.

garethl
06-29-2010, 09:41 AM
My mistake guys. In my rush to try and get the photo I'd assumed they were fry. I stand corrected.

Doctor
06-30-2010, 02:40 AM
Minnow there Gareth , a sign of a healthy river ,also no wonder some of those Usk trout get big !

Mostyn
06-30-2010, 04:43 AM
The early start was rewarding in so many ways; and just experiencing the dawn breaking was worth getting up at 3am, just wish my photos would turn out like yours! And my camera is identical to yours!

Brilliant

Mostyn

WJG
07-01-2010, 12:55 PM
Photos are brilliant!
My favorite time and place. Watching dawn break with the water feeling cool on your waders.
My summer is too short. I am up way before dawn to fish when ever possible.

Satoshi
07-03-2010, 09:24 AM
Gareth,

I enjoyed the post very much.
It's a beautiful country indeed, and you are a great writer and photographer.

Satoshi

garethl
07-05-2010, 04:53 AM
WJG, Satoshi, thanks guys! Really glad you like them :D Keep meaning to try and get another early morning on that water soon. It's a beautiful sight seeing that big red ball rising over the mountains. I love it.

G

Mostyn
07-05-2010, 05:09 AM
Gareth,

I think I've captured the sun coming up?

http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/1797/p6260482.jpg (http://img96.imageshack.us/i/p6260482.jpg/)

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http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/5187/p6260486.jpg (http://img28.imageshack.us/i/p6260486.jpg/)

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http://img810.imageshack.us/img810/7362/p6260487.jpg (http://img810.imageshack.us/i/p6260487.jpg/)

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http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/3857/p6260488.jpg (http://img228.imageshack.us/i/p6260488.jpg/)

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http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/5438/p6260485.jpg (http://img535.imageshack.us/i/p6260485.jpg/)

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BrkTrt
07-27-2010, 04:47 AM
I missed this one.

Being so tuned to fishing small streams I don't always click on to rivers, prehaps thats why.

Beautifully done, both photos and report.


Thanks,

Brk Trt

Brooktrout
08-23-2010, 02:46 PM
nice trout and great pics guys!
early morning fishing is always special.
thx