Growing up as a child summer holiday entertainment consisted of mostly fishing with nets for minnows, stone loaches, newts etc. that lived in a small brook that ran past our garden.
That is possibly what led me to my life long addiction to fishing for any thing with fins. It was only later when I gained transport in the shape of a bicycle that rods and reels replaced small nylon nets and local gravel pits replaced the brook.
Fast forward to this year and the discovery of a couple of small rivers containing Trout and Graylings with fly only the rule.
Both rivers are in secluded valleys surrounded by woodland with overhanging trees protecting most areas not extreme combat fishing but difficult enough to make life interesting.
With an eight-foot rod, built by myself, line and a small box of nymphs and dry flies I can loose myself for a full day or a couple of hours.
The river consists of deep pools shallow riffle sections and flat glides and the fish tend to move around dependent on conditions. Moving very slowly and carefully is the key to success with quite a bit of waiting for the area to settle before casting the nymphs or dry fly.
Dry flies and nymphs are small, tied on size 18 or 20 hooks with the minimum of weight need to present them as the fish expect, tippets are light 0,08 or 0,10 being usual to allow them to swim as naturally as possible. Boiling the leader helps protect the light tippet on the strike and any lunges from the occasional large fish.
Whilst I do fish other water up and down the country I keep going back to these small rivers as they remind me of my child hood days and they are constantly changing and presenting a new challenge.