11 May – River and Lakes

We started the day at the Fish Pass. The water level had dropped but the colour hadn’t changed much, it was a pale muddy brown. Like Yorkshire tea with milk. I could see the beds of Starwort close to the bank upstream of Rotherbridge but there was no streamer weed in midstream. The constantly coloured water had suppressed its growth. The river was just fishable. I started well above the weir pool, at the stretch where the bankside trees form a tunnel. I concentrated on presentation and explored under the bushes with a Black Spider. I expected a wrench on the rod at any second but there was no sign of a Trout. My left-hand casting was quite accurate at short range. I moved down the river fishing under the trees and bushes from both the upstream side and the downstream side. The wind was warm and blustery. Thankfully, it was upstream which helped with casting and controlling the fly. Each time I came to a productive stretch my hopes raised but eventually I arrived back at the weir pool fishless. I had neither seen a rise nor had a take. We agreed to have lunch at Great Springs and to fish the lakes in the afternoon.


After a sandwich and a cup of tea I felt energised. I crept around the far side of Little Springs looking for feeding Trout. There were many. Some jumping but most of the fish were porpoising. Classic dorsal fin and tail rollovers as they sipped buzzers and nymphs. Mayfly were hatching and the large, green flies were fluttering into the tops of the Oak trees. A solitary Grey Wagtail gave chase vertically but most of the Mayfly made it to safety. There were clouds of Spinners rising and falling along the grass verges.


I started fishing with a Black Neoprene Spider. I sat on the damp grass and waited for a fish to cruise past. A fish came into range and I positioned the fly just ahead of it. The Trout inspected the fly but turned away. It came back and took the fly but I was watching a newly hatched Mayfly and missed the take. I changed the fly to a small Mayfly imitation but the fish didn’t like the look of it. Several passed underneath but ignored my creation. A pale fish about 4lbs, possibly a blue Trout, drifted into view. I put a parachute emerger a couple of feet infront of the fish which turned towards the fly, rose up and took it. In my excitement I lifted the rod too soon and the fish departed at speed. I missed several similar takes from smaller fish but connected with a fast moving fish almost under the rod tip. It was probably the smallest Trout in the lake. Nevermind, it had been a lovely afternoon. Warm sunshine and a cooling wind with lots of feeding fish.

As I drove back I thought about the weeks fishing. Monday Trout, Wednesday Carp with my Grandsons, Thursday traditional Carp fishing and Friday more Trout fishing. Excellent.