It’s early spring and the trout are now starting to look up, this time
of year can see some of the best surface sport of the season and we need
to be prepared. The business end of the dry fly set up needs just as
much attention, this is why Fulling Mill have developed a number of
products in their Lotions and Potions range. Read More
We headed off once again to the Severn, the weather over the past month or so had lacked the promise of any April showers. Forecast was blustery with a mix of sunshine and showers for the day. I really enjoy fishing the dry, so the weapon of choice was the Sage Mod 9ft #4 a proper fishing rod with a softer action than most in the Sage range. It certainly gives a better feel than any other I use especially when playing a fish.
Armed with a selection of dries, both Dad and I headed for some sheltered spots where we saw one or two rising fish, it wasn't long before I connected to several small trout.
It was the lowest I'd seen the river for many many years and the fish were rather elusive and each and every skinny run was worked through. I really enjoy days like this, especially when a trout smashes a LDO imitation in less then a couple of feet of fast flowing water. A run that on any other day I have walked past and headed to deeper water. Most certainly a reality check and not to be so complacent with the water you've fished for over three decades.
One of several trout going back to fight another day and put on a few more pounds.
The Sage Mod 9ft #4 with Click 2/3/4 reel & Rio Trout LT. A great river rod
It was an early start down to Hampshire, I had booked us both on the Broadlands estate for the first days fishing. A river I have been lucky enough to fish on several occasions, it was Dads first time on the main Test and we were both looking forward to the day.
The Test at this time of year was spectacular, having said that when isn't it?, after a quick brew and a chat with the Jon Hall the river keeper who had sorted us the day we were away. The river was carrying a bit of colour but this was to our advantage. I set up with the trusty Sage ESN #2 with the French leader and a couple of nymphs. A heavy 4.6mm jig fly on the point and the fly I have christened the "Licorice Allsort" on the dropper.
The day turned out to be what can only be described as a "red letter" day, every run we searched held fish. A number of larger fish graced our nets and we were buzzing from start to finish. The pink Licorice Allsort accounted for the majority of fish.
As you can see from the below picture this Graylings mouth still had the remains of a previous angler encounter. It's goes to show that the lady of the stream love Pink.
It was a remarkable day and we fished right through until last light a day that will remain in the fishing memory for a very long time.
Day two saw us on the lower Itchen, a stunning river on on this cold and frosty morning. We wondered for some time spotting the fish and refusing anything we threw at them. We did manage to get into several Grayling in the deeper pockets, again all taking the pink dropper. We did see a number of larger fish but also they saw us after a few failed attempts. This sections does hold some large specimens and with more time on the water I'm sure I'd get into them. A cracking day none the less and as always good banter.
Wherwell River Test
We met up for our final days fishing with a good friend of ours Alex Adams, he has fished this section of the test carriers on many occasions. We too have fished it in years gone by but with much more water in. We generally take the trip when our rivers up north are in flood. Alex noted straight away that the river was very low for this time of year, we still located a number of small fish and the odd brownie which you can't avoid. We wondered for some time trying to locate bigger grayling but they saw us no matter how stealthy we were. The river is full of trout and I'm sure during the season the anglers will have a bonanza. Albeit the large numbers are due to a stocking policy.
Both Dad and I had a cracking few days away on the wonderful chalkstreams, coupled with superb food and hospitality at The three cups inn in Stocksbridge. We can't wait to return in the new year to chase the Grayling once again, it was a trip full of laughs and great fishing. To do it all with your best mate and share the experience is simply awesome.