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The breeze was of such strength this afternoon that I sought the sanctuary of the willows, where thankfully there was decent shelter. Only a sprinkling of mayfly coming off but enough to be able pick off some decent trout all the way up through.
Stock fish sprinkled with a few wild ones and all in really good condition. It is pleasing to finally see the weed growing on the shallows where until a few weeks ago there was none.
Unusually I caught what looked like one of this year’s stock fish a long way from the stocking, so he must have travelled quite a way, including a weir ( unless he came all the way down from above, but I doubt it ). Capped off the afternoon with this nice wild one further up – the net’s 15 inches so she’s a bit more than that. Led me a merry dance in what is quite a shallow part of the river, much to the amusement of some nearby dog walkers.
As the recent strong wind had abated and turned into the South I thought that yesterday would be a good day on the river. I was not disappointed. I arrived to fish at about 14.15 to find a steady trickle of Mayfly coming off the water and a good number of rising fish.
Unlike the previous Wednesday when I only hooked about every third fish that came to my fly, yesterday the trout were in a more determined mood and hardly any were missed. A lot of small fish were around but the big ones were lurking in the usual spots, close to the bank and behind or under overhanging trees.
With a bit of effort and stung hands from nettles while clambering into these difficult to get at places, I had a great afternoon’s fishing. The four most notable fish weighed in at 1.5, 2 , 2 and 2.25 lbs. All of the fish were in great condition and safely returned to the water. I did find one of the 2 lb fish had two blue spots on its belly. It did have that wonderful colour that is typical of the trout that we get from Hooke Springs. I caught it towards the bottom of the stretch and it is interesting to speculate where it came from but it could have travelled quite some way from where it was put into the river.
The highlight of the day was landing a 2 pounder from a side stream. The birdlife was also interesting. I saw a kingfisher and a family of geese on one of the side streams and I have never known so many ducks on the river. Cheeping duck chicks were everywhere and protective parents would frequently do the wounded duck display by splashing their way up the river, much to the my annoyance when I was trying to be stealthy. However, the commotion did not seem to put the fish down for long.
When I left the water at 1930 an evening still had settled in and few fish were moving. I saw no other members and that really surprised me given the near ideal Mayfly fishing conditions.
Today was a classic day for a great evening fall of mayfly spinner and as we walked across the water meadows the mayfly were dancing their dance. When we reached the river the trout were rising to the spinners drifting down and a few fish were quickly caught.
There were huge clouds of caenis fly wafting over the river and we were both soon covered with them and their shucks, thankfully the trout were still keyed into mayfly!
But all of a sudden the wind dropped and so did the temperature, luckily a few fish were still rising and this is the best of the bunch………..
Have managed to get a few sessions in since opening day including one on the Piddle where despite low levels and bright sunshine had around a dozen fish on the dry, all small fish with a couple around 10oz. Had very good sport at the end of April on the hawthorn including two nice grayling but only in a very localised area. Fished the lower water the second week in May where a steady hatch of mayfly started mid afternoon and managed to land several fish including one of 2lbs.
My last session yesterday (Friday) was hampered by very blustery down-stream winds but still managed to pick up a good number of fish on the mayfly, although there was not as good a hatch as the week before. I had two very nice fish yesterday, both just under 18” long; one at 2lb 4oz and the other 2lb 5oz. The smaller one especially gave a tremendous fight by leaping high in to the air over and over like a sea trout. Both fish were returned.
Hope to have another session next week, preferably without the strong winds!
Mayfly are hatching well and plenty of good fish being caught, even with the low waters….
A pair of glasses have been found along the Upper Water, if anyone is missing them please contact me on John@grhe.co.uk (glasses have now been reunited with their owner!)
An enjoyable three hours on the river this morning in lovely sunshine produced three and a half brace (all returned) which included one Grayling.
They were only modest fish, but very welcome, and all took the same fly cheerfully, which became increasingly chewed and ragged. But the worse it got, the more they seemed to like it! I also caught a Minnow on the same fly. The little fish grabbed it as I trailed the line in the water beneath my feet, while having a snack!
A Water Vole put in an appearance, and I found my first Mayfly of the season in some herbage – and saw one of those bright sulphur yellow ones on the wing too.
All the best