16 March – Great Springs

I arrived at the Estate mid-morning. The south westerly breeze and hazy overcast were ideal fishing conditions. I was in no hurry to catch a trout and spent quite a while walking slowly around Great Springs with a cup of Darjeeling. Milk and two sugars.

There were no fish rising on the top lake but there were a few splashy rises on Little Springs where I saw the big brownie. I crept down the track to see if the monster was about. Although I was well back from the water and under the trees, the rise stopped. Had the fish seen me? I stood still and watched, nothing moved. The fish were aware of my presence.

I went to Cox’s and Jacksons for a look around and to take some photographs.ย Both lakes bore the scars of last year’s improvements but the new grass on the banks was hiding some of the raw clay. The water was slightly coloured but it looked as if it would clear when the bankside plants establish themselves.

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I returned to Great Springs and sat in the sunshine for an hour chatting to another member.ย  The breeze had swung round toย due west and the fish were moving, it was time to start fishing. I started with an amber buzzer but changed to a size 16 GRHE nymph after thirty minutes. I had a take from a roach but missed it. I walked round to the ‘island’ and sat on the bench by the point. A few fish were moving along the downwind bank. A fish rose ten feet from me, I flicked the nymph into the ripples, not expecting a response. The line drew away from me and my first fish was hooked. It was a short, very fat trout. I spooned it and found a few buzzers, the tiny nymph was a good imitation.

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After a tea break I returned to the point. A willow tree on the upwind bank was shedding debris and a trail of catkins was blowing across the lake. Fish were following the wind lane and testing the debris to see if it was edible. I put the nymph in the path of the trout and had several takes all of which came unstuck because of the small hook. Delaying the strike resulted in a well hooked trout to end the day. A self imposed limit of two fish. It was another wonderful spring day, how long can this last?

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