Last week I met up with a pal of mine for a spot of urban fly fishing. We headed down the River Almond in Edinburgh, a really pretty river which has seen a lot of persecution over the years. I’m aware of at least 2 significant fish kills on the river in the last 2 seasons, from diesel fuel and industrial chemicals. Amazingly some fish stick it out, and can provide a nice distraction for a quick evening session. I’ll be paying close attention to things on this river in the coming seasons, and really hope it gets a bit of a clean run of health.
We got down for around 8pm, and I tackled up a little nymph to fish through the pockets of water. It was quite difficult fishing, with plenty of current tongues to drag your line around. I soon found a cracking looking spot in front of a nicely angled boulder which slowed the river current a little. It was one of those times where you absolutely know there is a fish lying there, even though you can’t see him.
It took a bit of inventive casting/chucking of the nymph, but eventually I got a really nice drift. It was really difficult to see the leader, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to detect a take. Then something wierd happened, a bit like an experience had a few months back on a similar urban river. The feeling struck, and I struck, and the fish stuck. Worth practising this nymphing lark.
Now a good part of this river is very close to Edinburgh airport, and you certainly know about it fishing in the evenings. I know Alistair has plenty to say about urban fly fishing, but this was hardcore! Planes, planes everywhere, every two minutes rushing a couple hundred feet over our heads. At first it was exciting. Then it was a little tedious. Then it began to get downright annoying. We do suffer for our sport 😉
It was getting pretty late, so we found a nice run and tackled up some big scary flies, hoping for a passing sea trout. After a good while of fruitless casting, I opted rather bizzarly to do some extreme roll casting practice. Not a pretty sight, especially when there’s a size 8 longshank muddler minnow on the end of the cast.
Once the water was almost completely churned up by the beautiful presentation I was getting, the fly was left dangling in the current whilst we had a natter about something or other. Probably the damn aeroplanes. Out of nowhere the line tightened sharply, and I was into a fish. For just a split second I thought maybe, maybe it’s a sea trout. But it turned out to be a feisty brownie of a nice 3/4lb. Really good for this bit of river. We decided I’d reached a new nirvana of fishing, where I hook fish without even meaning to.