Adrian’s Mayfly Days

23rd MAY.
My much anticipated Mayfly break at last, with blog reports over a week earlier of good hatches, adding to my enthusiasm, high temperatures and bright sun greeted me and my rod share guest, but the river looked good, although lower than you would expect after such a wet winter, thanks to the 8 week spring drought.
However it was great to be on the Frome again.
Setting out about 12 am to the Middle fishery, hatches were sparse, and the Mayfly were leaving the surface like Polaris missiles in the warm, dry air, resulting in high speed ‘slashing’ rises that were hard to connect with.
By 6pm we had caught fair numbers of the very pretty and healthy looking young Trout up to 10″, a few better fish in the 11″ to 14″ range and some good sport with half a dozen of the very sporting stock fish.

24th MAY.
Even warmer today, less Mayfly, so we moved further up the fishery to find some shade, risking carefully tied Para Dun Mayflies under tight tree canopies, very testing but rewarding when met with success.
Daytime catches were of similar fish to yesterday, with a bonus 17 inch wild Trout from ‘Lilliput Land’ in a foot of water which really got the adrenaline flowing !
A evening rise produced 4 nice wild fish of 11″ to 14″ as some of the reluctance in the bright sun disappeared, but still very spooky behaviour from the Trout.
We had an exciting episode playing one of the fiesty 15″ wild trout above and below a barbed wire cattle fence, which proved it was sharper thinking than us as the leader doubled back under the wire and gave way after yet another strong lunge.
We also witnessed a massive Caenis hatch about 9.45 pm, which led to one or two fish metronomically sipping away and mostly ignoring our tasty looking Mayflies.

25th MAY.
Slightly less hot, we decided to try one of the carriers, very few Mayfly hatching in the morning, finished up hand lining a nice 14″ trout out of a thick reed bed onto the rim of the landing net, which then threw the hook and was away,(premature catch & release of course!).
Some challenging casting in the narrow channel, with some success but mainly small Trout under 11″.
Returning to the main river for our last hour up to 6pm, found fair numbers of Mayfly quickly flying off the water, a couple more ten incher’s and 3 of the nice stock fish, which were feeding nicely in tight ‘under-bank’ lies typically used by the better wild fish, which we haven’t seen much of today, ‘Duffers Fortnight I don’t think so !

A varied and very memorable 3 days with friends.

Adrian Simmons (Wilton Fly Fishing Club Riverkeeper)