9 June – Day Five

My fifth consecutive day trout fishing.

I’d glued a new copolymer leader on the end of my fly line. A drop from a fresh tube of superglue had set rock hard in two seconds. I liked the transparent leader, much better than the dyed Platil leaders. The taper was very steep which would help turnover.

I drove to Petworth but turned off the main road just before the town and went along the country lanes to Little Bognor. The view across the fields to the South Downs was spectacular.


From Little Bognor I went to Rotherbridge, the river had risen slightly because of the overnight rain. I didn’t see any sea trout. Next stop was Jacksons and then Luffs and Figgs. I didn’t fancy any of those locations, the water in the lakes was too coloured. As usual I ended up at Great Springs. Both lakes looked good, the top lake was ruffled by a westerly breeze but the water was clear. I decided to fish with an extra long tippet. Nine feet of tippet on the end of nine feet of leader would avoid scaring the trout with the fly line.

I used my long rod, the novelty of the little rod had worn off, it had been hard work. I sat on the bench looking over Great Springs and started with a weighted GRHE nymph. I had a take, close to the wall on my right. The fish was lightly hooked and came off after a few seconds. After thirty minutes I decided to move and reeled in the line. The inevitable happened, a fish charged at the fly a few yards from the bank. A couple of quick casts into the swirling water were fruitless.


I walked around Little Springs and had a few casts but the fish were not rising. I went back to the bench by the top lake, the water was calm and the fish had started to feed. I put on a black Neoprene buzzer with a sparse badger hackle and fished it downwind just under the surface. I had to tweak the line to sink the tippet. I had another take but again the fish came adrift. The small barbless hooks do not hold as well as the larger sizes. As the wind dropped and the light faded I had a take at long range and this time the trout found the back of the landing net. Initially the fish had not reacted but in the deep water near the wall, it burst into life with several long, deep runs. It only weighed 1lb 2ozs and had taken the fly so far down all I could see was the tippet disappearing into its gut.

As I left Great Springs the sun was low over Midhurst and the rolling hills of the South Downs looked beautiful in the misty sunset. I stood and watched the sheep grazing.