This brown trout certainly was impressive for this river, the Wandle, my (semi) local chalkstream. It was at least twelve inches. I reckoned. Unfortunately, I was looking at this trout – not on the end of my line – but on the Instagram page of a fly fisherwoman I’d just met. She had waded upstream to the pool I was fishing, then joined me on the bank for a chat. Aimee had had quite a bit of success already today, and showed my pictures of her catch. She is quite the local expert. We exchanged Instagram details and fishing spots; she wished me luck and moved on. I had quite the fisherman’s envy.

I was fishing a pool that I regularly visit, despite my only occasional success. I like the high vantage point, which gives me a great view of the fish following or rejecting my fly. This, I suppose, means the trout see me too, but to see the fish in the clear water is so beguiling.

This is quite a well frequented stretch of the river. A class of school children and their teacher stopped to watch this strange creature standing in the river. “What are you doing” asked one child. “He is …err…yes…what are you doing?” followed up her teacher. I didn’t mind the interruption. Great to see little people taking an interest in the river.

To cut a long story short, I blanked. Encouragingly though, there were quite a few trout in this section. I’ll return when I can to get those rusty skills better oiled.