10/05/2015 - Back to Braunton
Another weekend trip down to Saunton and another chance to have a go at those urban brownies in the little River Caen that runs through the centre of nearby Braunton.
Spot the river
A quick recce on the Saturday found the river low and clear despite the recent rain, but the sight of a couple of little brownies sat behind the ranunculus gave me some hope for the following day.
Got up bright and early on the Sunday morning and was soon working my way upstream from the fish ladder, casting a goldhead nymph up to the head of the runs and into any likely looking spots as I did so. Had a couple of modest, little scrappers, but also lost a few through their airborne acrobatics.
The graffiti was still there on the bridge over to the supermarket (they still don't like Goths in these parts!), including some more recent additions.
The urban nature of the river was also apparent in the quantity of trash including fridges and other bits of scrap metal, pallets, beer cans, bottles and plastic.
Err, not hungry thanks!
However, there were plenty of little jewels to be tempted out of their hiding places in the deeper pools, undercuts and tree roots.
Diamond in the rough
Whilst I didn't hook or hang on to every one, it was particularly satisfying to pitch the fly up into different spots thinking "there's bound to be one in there" and get rewarded with a rattle on the rod top as they took it on the drop. It was with that thought in mind that I catapulted the nymph into a little run from behind the cover of an old kitchen sink that had been embedded in the bank by a previous flood.
Saw the leader twitch forwards as the fly drifted back towards me and lifted into a good fish that momentarily slack-lined me as it charged off downstream. Quickly regained contact and, after a short but "proper" fight in the tight confines of the tree-lined channel, was soon looking at the best fish of the morning.
Small stream bruiser
Had got well up into the town by now and as the morning had worn on more dog walkers and pedestrians had appeared on the footpath next to the river. Therefore took this as a cue to call it a day. Had landed 9 fish in all and hadn't had to share the river with anybody else apart from a pair of dippers and a couple of ducks. Headed back to the bungalow for a late and well-needed breakfast.