the 4th September 1988.
The farm “Avon” on the Mooi River.
It was one of the best spring fishing years that I have had. The diary records it as being a dry spring, with the river not flowing all that strongly, and plenty of algae around.
On this particular day PD and I were only on the water around 10 am. It was cold, clouded and blustery. I remember we went up to the top boundary, and fished downstream from there, although we were of course upstream nymphing. I know, it is illogical, but were were younger then, and it made perfect sense at the time.
With it being cold and windy, the fishing started off slow. But the sun started to poke through, and although it didn’t exactly get hot that day, it got brighter. What a day it turned out to be!
PD started hooking fish first. They were really good size fish for a midlands river.
Tom Sutcliffe once wrote a piece about “Champagne day on the Mooi”. Well this was to be one of those. Both of us got fish over “over two pounds” according to my journal, and a string of fish of “a pound and a half”
By early afternoon it had brightened up a little too much perhaps, because the fishing dropped off a little, in the stretch below the Gordon’s farmhouse.
But by evening, in a large pool back upstream, near the farmhouse, the fish started rising, and we had a lot of fun at the tail of the pool, casting to spreading rings, missing the strike, and generally dabbling in Trout heaven.
For many years now, there have been a great many advocates of the upstream nymph.
No one has dictated that you should fish that way, but there have been the odd derogatory remarks about the downstream boys.
“I’d sooner be sitting on my arse plunking for Bass, than turn around and fling my fly down this here river!” said the old codger in Robert Traver’s story.