These streams are, in the main thin, stony affairs where the fish struggle to sustain themselves and are populated with small brown trout with the occasional chub.They provide amazing sport taken on ultra light tackle and a fix to a moving water junkie in the coarse closed season.
At this time of the year these small valleys are paved with carpets of wild garlic and bluebells patterned with myriad spring flowers, the light filtered through the acid greens of new foliage.
Often these small streams are best tackled by careful wading but when the water is as low as it is currently and when the water is unruffled by the breeze I find it better to stay on the bank and use what ever cover the vegetation provides. I love exploring new ground and it often involves walking long distances and many trips up and down the bank in order to find a place where it is possible to thread a cast under the trees. This is often one shot fishing with takes coming in the first run through a riffle or pool. In water often only a few inches deep spooked fish go tearing off, either upstream or down, alerting their stream mates of the imminent danger.
Wanting to take advantage of the light evenings I returned to an area I haven't visited in years to explore a new stretch of this particular ribbon of water.
My preferred set up is a 5'6'' Majorcraft Trapara rated for lures up to 3g, a mini Abu fixed spool reel loaded with 4lb mono and small crank baits.
The action was instant with fish hitting lures everywhere it was possible to present one. The shallow water means that the fish often go air born, cartwheeling repeatedly before being tamed. What these fish lack in size they compensate for with attitude and sheer beauty, each one in its unique garb.
The Halco Sorcerer is my all time favourite in low water conditions, it has a super tight wiggle and due to its arched shape a rare ability to tick over the bed without constantly getting hung up. As the bill contacts the stones it goes veering off in a new direction and does a superb impersonation of a fleeing meal. The brown trout pattern is often the most productive, revealing the cannibalistic nature of these protein starved fish.
I regularly lose all sense of the time when engaged in this type of fishing, constantly wanting to see what lies around the bend and find myself miles from where I started.
For all I love the satisfaction of big fish captures I hope I always find joy lost by these small streams.