10 July – Summer Walk

Thankfully the heat wave had ended. It was only 70 degrees with high wispy clouds and a cool westerly breeze. I checked the lakes and collected the catch returns. It had been another tough week on the lakes due to the high water temperature. I also visited the river, looking for fish and taking photographs. There was no point fishing until late afternoon, the fish would be hiding from the sun. The intense sunlight reminded me of the south of France. It made the summer colours surreal. I wandered around taking photographs until about 3:00pm when the wind grew stronger and thunder clouds loomed over the Downs.


As I drove towards Little Bognor I stopped at my favourite gateway to look south at the Downs. The view is spectacular in all weathers.


The Environment Agency had finished cutting down the trees around the fish ladder. It has opened up the pool and increased the flow of water. Sea trout run up the centre of each step where the flow is greater.


The wheat beside the top beat was swaying in the wind, the silky waves of grain looked ready for harvest.


I haven’t seen many bees this year. This honey bee was visiting the flowers around Little Springs.


After lunch at Great Springs I drove to the river, stopping frequently on the way to look at the views.  At the top of the rise most of the Rother valley can be seen.


I concentrated on the stretch between the farm track and the Sandy Pool. The Trout I had seen on my last visit were still there. I stood behind the Himalayan Balsam and the nettles which were tall enough to hide me. I tried a nymph but although a fish continually splashed around the pool, I couldn’t get a take. I changed to a Sedge and after a few casts the fish took the fly but managed to wriggle off the hook.

I walked up to the Wide Pool above the old riffle but the sun was on the water and no fish were showing. I walked back and tried all the usual pools. I caught a small wild fish on a nymph at the tail of the Sandy Pool. It was under the weeds along the far bank.

There was a Trout splashing in the pool by the drainage ditch, it took a GRHE nymph and weighed about 1lb 8ozs. I returned the fish and decided to stop fishing. I was dehydrated, hot and tired. It had been a long day and I had walked too far in the hot sun.