In the height of summer, our stillwater fly-fishing is a fickle affair. Picking your day is difficult, and hap hazard at best.
If like me, you are a working man, you already have the formula wrong. You will not pick your Trout fishing days: Government and organised religion will do it for you. You will have more fishing days available over Christmas, than at any other time of year. And these are the days you will be lumped with:
The water is flowing out of every orifice in the hills. It rushes and gurgles through tall lush grassland. Grassland that waves like a sea in the ever present north wind. A wind that fans giant swathes of obedient seed heads, blown and baked in white hot sun. It is a white hot sun, with a tinge of fierce copper in its light, that has your shirt sticking to your sweaty skin, and your face is glowing red at the end of the day. And that gurgling water that that runs in the grass, seemingly everywhere, enters the dams, where you realise it is peat stained. Brown, but somehow still cool against your waders. Out there on your float tube, the sunscreen is little comfort as your forearms cook in the sun. You splash them with water, apply more sunscreen, roll down your sleeves, and wet them again, unable to escape the veritable oven. Your legs meanwhile dangle in cool, but heavily weeded water. Water that offers up an irritating tendril of weed for your hook on every single cast, until you find yourself retrieving faster and faster to try to keep the fly up out of the stuff.
And while you are out there clouds will form up on the horizon.