12 May – The Take

The river had risen six inches and was unfishable. Prior to the overnight rain the river had settled down to a good level and had lost most of its colour. The start of the Mayfly hatch might be delayed, it was so frustrating. I would have to fish the lakes.

The weather was unusual. A strong North East wind, 70 degrees, humid and hazy sunshine. I parked by the club house and wandered around Great Springs, sipping coffee and watching the trout. The marginal Willow trees were shedding debris onto the lake surface and the trout were cruising up the wind lanes searching for food. Alder flies were settling on my shirt and there were Damsel flies everywhere.


I walked through the woods to Lower Figgs, then sat on the soft grass to rest and cool down. There were fish rising in the feeder stream and along the edge of the rushes. A good fish was rising close to the rushes. It rose regularly in the same place. I chose an Iron Blue with hackle point wings for no particular reason other than it looked nice. No Trout could refuse it. I worked my way down the edge of the rushes casting carefully, gradually getting closer. Finally, the critical cast. The fly floated down gently in exactly the right place, there was a swirl and I lifted into the fish. It went berserk. The Trout screamed off to the far bank then to my right, heading for the island. I left my net behind, trod on the line, tangled it around the reeds; it was amateur half hour again. How that fish stayed attached is a mystery. It was about two and a half pounds and fin perfect.


I crept along the bank by the fir tree plantation, it was too hot there so I walked around the lake to the windy side. Fish were rising everywhere. I stalked a few of the better fish but they shied away from my fly. I changed to a Sedge and immediately had a take. I captured the exact moment the fish took the fly. The photo shows the rise and the leader snaking away, it was time to lift the rod. Although I was messing about with the camera, I landed the fish. It was full of buzzers and corixa, so much for ‘matching the hatch’.

Tony, the Keeper, gave me a lift back to the club house, a perfect end to a lovely afternoon.