6 June – Little Springs

There was only a brief window for fishing between storms. The BBC weather forecast predicted three hours of sunshine between 12:00 and 3:00pm. The river level had risen overnight from 0.023m to 0.046m, nearly an inch in old money. The North River was high and muddy at Billingshurst and I decided to fish at the lakes. On a positive note, the rain should encourage the sea trout to run.

I visited the lakes and ended up at Great Springs for a cup of tea and a chat. The wind was more extreme than yesterday. The young oak trees around the fishing hut were swaying about, small branches and leaves covered the grass. I had taken an old #2 weight rod with me. I last used it over thirty years ago and I thought it deserved an outing. It was not suited to the 60mph gusts of wind but I thought I might tempt a trout from the margins.


The weather was extreme. One minute the wind dropped and the sun was burning hot, the next minute the wind was roaring through the tree tops and it was raining. The surface of the water was ruffled and I thought that might help hide the tippet. Fish were cruising around sampling the debris from the trees and jumping. A few fish were feeding on buzzers just under the surface. I sat on the sheltered side of Little Springs and flicked a GRHE nymph at cruising fish. I had several takes but I missed them all. I had to adjust from a fast ten foot carbon rod to a slow six foot glass rod. I changed to a dry fly and missed two good takes.

I moved around the lake and covered several fish. Most inspected the nymph and rejected it. On the dam I saw one of the big blue trout cruising away from me. I flicked a nymph beyond it and was excited to see it change direction and rise in the water. A sure sign of a take. It approached the fly, paused, circled around it several times and swam away. How clever is that ?

I saw another fish alongside a bed of Iris. I flicked the nymph at it and lifted the rod when the leader moved. The fish was hooked but it wallowed on the surface and allowed me to lead it into the landing net without any effort. It was suffering from the high water temperature. The heavens opened and that was my signal to return to the hut for a final cup of tea. It had been an interesting session but I need to take the old rod for a proper workout when the weather improves.