16 June – Dry Fly Only

After four days of rain the river level had risen and the water was coloured. Not the peaty brown of May, more of a green tint. There was no point in fishing the river, it would have to wait another week.

When I arrived at the lakes the wind was due South and it was warm, the rain had just stopped. I made my usual cuppa and had a wander around Great Springs, I had the lake to myself. Trout were rising and splashing everywhere, mainly around the dam area. I decided that it would have to be a ‘dry fly only’ day or I would be going home in an hour. I also resolved only to cast to rising fish, the bigger ones ! That should be a challenge.


I tackled up at the club house; surely the most luxurious fishing hut in the country, if not the world. The Iron Blue Dun looked very attractive so I tied on the best example in my box and walked off around the lake.

I found a group of fish feeding on the far side of the point and watched them taking nymphs around the edges of a weed bed. They were about 2lb so I held fire. A bigger, pale fish moved past me about ten yards from the bank, between two weed beds. That would do nicely. I put the fly down gently about a yard infront of the fish which ignored the fly and continued on its way. I waited. Another good fish came towards me from the right. I presented the fly nicely, the fish rose up and took the fly confidently. I lifted into the Trout and tried to keep it in open water but it dived under the nearest weed bed and got off.


I found another feeding fish near the point, it was quite close to the bank. I showed it the Iron Blue and it was on. Briefly. It also crashed under a weed bed and got away. It seemed pointless repeating the process for a third time so I went back to the club house and had another cup of tea. I watched the lower lake which was more sheltered and saw quite a few good fish moving along the East bank. They were feeding not just leaping about. The lower lake has very little weed and I decided to fish there. Although I have been to the lakes on many occasions I have never fished Little Springs. I much prefer the clearer, weedy water of Great Springs. The water is clear because of the weed. There is more pond life and shelter for the Trout. Weed is a good thing even if I do loose the odd fish or two.


I sat on a bench at Little Springs and watched the fish. There were quite a few big fish sipping buzzers from the surface film. The porpoise like head-and-tail rise is a sure sign of Trout taking buzzers. I was very patient and waited for a good fish to come close enough. Eventually I cast the fly but a small trout rushed up and grabbed it before the bigger fish had a chance.

It started to rain. I looked to the South and decided not to walk back to the club house, it would only be a shower. Wrong. I sheltered under a Lime tree and about an hour later the rain eased. The fish became very active, they were rising all around me. I dried and oiled the fly and stood by the bench, it was too wet to sit on.


A good size fish was cruising towards me about twenty feet away. I put the fly right in its path, it rose and took the fly without any hesitation. The Trout took off for the far bank and my little Hardy Marquis reel buzzed frantically as the line disappeared. It was very quiet around the lake but my noisy reel attracted the attention of the two other members fishing. When the fish reached the far bank it turned around and headed back towards me. I wound as fast as I could and just about kept the line from slackening. The Trout did a few circuits infront of me and I looked over my shoulder for the net. The fish wasn’t ready for the net and it tore off along the margins to my left taking most of the fly line. My fly line is 30 yards long ! Then the line fell slack, the hook had dropped out. It took a long time to wind the line back on to the reel, it was an opportunity to reflect on the lost fish.

I continued to target the bigger fish but another small fish appeared from nowhere and gulped the fly down. I try and impose a two fish limit on myself so I wandered around the lake for a chat with another member, had a third cup of tea and left for home. It had been a successful day, the batteries had been recharged for a session on the river next Monday.