11 March – First Day

I woke to a bright but overcast sky. It was a foggy whiteness with no blue bits. It looked a bit chilly outside. The river season doesn’t start until April and I therefore planned to wander around the lakes and take some photos. As I drove to Petworth the sun came out. The hedgerows were lined with daffodils and primroses and the trees were just beginning to show a green haze of buds. When I got to Great Springs the southerly breeze was gently rippling the water, perfect fishing conditions.

I made a cup of tea and wandered around looking for fish. I saw a few orange buzzers hatching but no trout.  I was in no hurry to start fishing and I chatted to the other members as they arrived. Eventually,  I set off around the lake with my rod looking for features that might hold a few fish. I found a small clump of weed about ten yards from the bank.  The breeze moved my line gently across the water,  the nymph occasionally dragged on the bottom weed. I was distracted by a noisy pair of buzzards riding the thermals above the fir trees. I missed a good take because I was looking at them and not the tip of my fly line. I persevered and after a few missed takes, I caught a roach.  It was quite a good size.

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I wandered back to the club house and had another cup of tea. I met three new members,  one of whom had joined the club to fish the river. We discussed rods, leaders, flies and a myriad of other details. The conversation turned to strike indicators and we adjourned to the lake for a demonstration.  I had a lot of gentle takes and caught another roach, much to the amusement of the other members.  It was bigger than the first fish. We all agreed that strike indicators are open to abuse. I do not intend to use an indicator this season.

At the end of the afternoon, after the members had left, the fish in Little Springs started to rise. I saw a big overwintered brownie there ten days ago. I’ll probably fish that lake next Monday. It was a beautiful day.  Everyone was happy. It had been a great start to the season.

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