24 March – Little Bognor

The morning sky was grey, with lumpy clouds and no blue bits. There was hardly any wind, it looked like a good fishing day. The lycra maniacs were everywhere but they got out of the way of the Land Rover. I walked around the lakes and saw nothing untoward except a Cormorant fishing on Great Springs. The newly restored lake is devoid of any aquatic life. Serves it right. I didn’t meet anybody at the club house and after my usual cup of tea and a biscuit, I returned to Little Bognor.

The woods were quiet, the mist deadened the sound. The surface of the water was still, feeble ‘cats paws’ occasionally disturbed the reflection of the trees. Trout were moving and feeding on buzzers. I had glued a tapered leader to the line on my new Hardy Duchess reel, I was determined to christen the reel with a fish or two.


I tied a small Montana to the tippet and went to the South bank where there is plenty of room to cast. I started well back from the waters edge and worked the margins. My left-handed casting had improved, I concentrated on keeping the line well to my left on the back cast and managed to avoid the dreaded rod-wrap. I cast towards the overflow and a Trout grabbed the fly. It was very dark brown and weighed about 1lb. It looked like a wild fish but I was unsure. I continued my casting practice and had a couple of half hearted takes. I changed the fly for a Teal, Blue and Silver as the fish had seen dozens of Montana variants. I hooked a fish but it came unstuck.

I moved to the steep bank under the big beech tree. I caught a couple of fish but the awkward casting angle detracted from my casting practice so I moved to the opposite bank and rolled a very small Black Spider along the margins. The wind assisted the roll cast and I saw several takes, all of which I missed. The fish were following the fly but sheering away as I lifted off. Eventually a Trout grabbed the fly and while unhooking and releasing it, I managed to get the fly stuck up a tree. It was time to leave. I was satisfied with my casting and liked the reel. It had been a successful couple of hours.