It´s funny how, even if you catch several fish during the course of a day, the capture of one might stick in the mind far more than the others. On Saturday, when I was joined on the river by Steven Lawler, it was the first fish of the day.

This was the first fish I cast to and it was holding in the water which was just accelerating out of a broad pool and into a narrow stream. The fish was swimming strongly just to hold position and, every now and then, it would slice the surface with the tip of its tail.

I was lucky enough to be able to settle downstream in its blind spot and I was able to pitch a little bead head nymph in front of it. I did this again and again and again. It never took but I suppose it only would have seen the nymph for a second or so before it was swept on downstream. Despite not moving to take the nymph, I was encouraged to see that it did not spook either. After dozens of casts the fish drifted out of this lie and into the calmer water. It started swimming in a leisurely arc towards my right.

I cast the nymph in front of it and it took it straight away.

Then it just ran. It took all of my fly line in what seemed like just a few seconds before swirling at the surface maybe 30 metres away. Luckily the pool was pretty much free of obstacles and I managed to work it back before finally beaching it in the shallows. It was a beautiful fish, pretty as a picture, and not only the first, but the finest of the day.

The first of the day.

The first of the day.