7 April – Morning Rise

I was keen to visit the lakes early in the morning and leave plenty of time for fishing in the afternoon. When I arrived at Little Bognor there were lots of fish feeding close to the bank on the bottom lake, trout were rising in all the usual places. They were feeding on small, white flies. On a previous trip I had made the mistake of ignoring the morning rise and returning to the lake later in the day when the intense activity had tailed off. I had the lake to myself but probably not for long. I tackled up from the back of the Land Rover where everything was close to hand. The roof is a convenient place to leave the rod while choosing the fly.


I tied on a 2lb tippet about two feet long and a dry fly made out of white Neoprene. Closed cell Neoprene does not soak up water and the little fly would float for hours without any dressing. I started in the corner near the overflow where a lot of fish were swirling and sipping down the newly hatched flies. I cast left-handed and reminded myself not to lift into a taking fish until the leader moved. After a few minutes a fish swirled at the fly and the leader slipped across the surface. I lifted slowly and the fish was hooked. The Trout had the fly neatly in the corner of it’s jaw and was in pristine condition. No hook marks.


Trout continued to feed under the tree and I positioned the fly close to several rises. The fish swirled at the fly but the leader didn’t move. At least I hadn’t scared them away. The tippet was visible on the surface so I rubbed it with clay and recast. The next rise resulted in a positive take and after a spirited fight, another small Trout was released.

The wind got stronger and colder so I packed up and continued on my journey around the lakes and river. Above Coultershaw Bridge I saw a Red Kite and a Crow arguing over road kill, the bigger bird lost the battle. The river looked much lower and a lot clearer, it would be fishable in a couple of days if there was no more rain. I walked around Little Springs with a cup of tea and some biscuits, quite a few fish were feeding. There were some big swirls close to the bank. Fry feeders.

On the journey home I resolved to fish the river on my next visit. A Black Spider fished down the margins at Rotherbridge should produce results.