Another day that is forecast for fine weather with a E/NE winds that will pick up as the day goes on so I had a slightly earlier start on the river today. It was 9:25 am when I first stepped into the Mersey River to wet a Mepps spinner and maybe, just maybe get into a few trout. The conditions were perfect as was the river level, though it wasn't as clear as what I thought it would have been. Still good enough to fish, see the lure & even fish in it and that's all that mattered. This trip I started off using a Mepps #1 Aglia TW Streamer gold blade lure just for something different, hopefully it will be the lure that will do the job today in picking up a few trout. I have used it here before and caught a small brown on it, that day the fishing was very tough going so I had to make a change of lure. Today I started out using it in a headwater where a back water entered the river & never had a single touch or follow from a fish. From there I moved into a large back water and fished my way upstream for close on fifty meters, all I could manage was a few follows from non aggressive trout.
It was time for a change of lure, it was back to the Aglia Furia a coloured spinner that picked up a few fish on several trips now. I continued fishing the rest of the back water and had a bit of fun trying to entice a nice size rainbow trout into taking the spinner. The rainbow was holding out in a deep hole where the main river flowed into the back water. I tried everything to get it to take the lure but it just wouldn't grab it, though it did go close a couple of times as it charged at the lure before turning away at the last moment. This went on for several minutes before the fish & myself gave up on it with the end result being was a 0-0 draw..There was still a very narrow shallow stretch of back water ahead of me that was well protected & one most fisho's would bypass. I never like to bypass any water of this type because it can hold some nice fish. It was a little difficult to get to, but once the worst was over it wasn't all that bad as it was pretty open along one side.
The first cast to the top end of a long stretch of it saw a bow wave appear behind the Furia spinner, that's as far as it went. There was actually two trout that had followed the spinner and they were only half interested in it, no signs of aggression from this pair either. A little further on as I neared the end of this backwater I had another follow from a decent size brown, it like the other two only showed the slightest bit of interest before it darted off.. I was now back into the main river and started working my way up a very wide slow flowing stretch of water. It's one I often bypass from time to time as I've never had a lot of success fishing it, but after seeing a few trout rise here and there I thought it was worth giving the Aglia Furia a good workout. I positioned myself about a third of the way out from the left side of the river bank where the water was between my knees and waist in depth. By doing that I could reach the deeper water near the right hand river bank with the 3.5 gram Aglia Furia. Not really expecting to catch a trout here I was having plenty of follows from some decent fish, still no takers though.
Then out of the blue after a long cast where the spinner lobbed within a foot of the river bank and a few turns of the reel handle the Furia was taken by a solid fish.. At first I thought it had to be a rainbow because the browns weren't taking any thing today. This fish pulled hard and stayed deep before it made it's first leap from the river, that's when I saw it was a brown trout. It was still at least twenty five meters away, I'm praying it will stay hooked until I can get in in close enough to slip the net under it. I lost count of the times it leaped from the river at the same time giving several solid head shakes trying to toss the spinner. Finally it tired enough for me to get it close enough and into the landing net.
It had taken close on and hour & forty minutes to catch my first trout of the day and in a stretch of water where I least expected to catch one. It took another thirty minutes when I was onto another solid brown, this one was also taken from just off the river bank as well and it was a bigger fish. Another one that did everything it could to toss the spinner, no sooner had I slipped the net under it the Aglia Furia popped out of it's mouth..This fish went 540 grams and was soon released after a quick photo.. After that it went back to how it was before, follow after follow with not a single hit so I changed to a small gold/black hard body lure to see if that would get a strike.
Ten minutes later it was taken by a small 280 gram brown that I didn't even bother to photograph. I went back to the Aglia Furia again as I started fishing a fast water run, it was here I hooked into my forth trout of the session. It didn't stay on all that long either, one leap from the river it tossed the spinner. I was worried about it staying on too because it was taken on direct cast straight up the river. It's always a risky cast because when retrieving the lure directly downstream then as the trout hits the lure it immediately turns left or right, nine times out of ten it's always lipped and the fish is lost. That was the last hit I had, from there on it was like before, follow after follow.. The wind had also picked up from the East so I gave up on catching any more trout and called it a day at 1:15 PM.
Adrian Webb (meppstas)
Mepps Aglia TW Streamer
Still plenty of water coming down the Mersey
The TW Streamer managed a few follows here
One lovely wild brown trout
Best trout of the day
The best trout of the day picked up from close in to river bank