4 June – Little Bognor

It was roasting hot over the weekend but by Monday morning the temperature had plummeted and the wind was from the north. Very odd indeed. I woke early and was keen to get to Petworth. I arrived at Little Bognor at 9:30am and it looked lovely. There was nobody there, I wandered around munching on my breakfast pork pie and watching the fish rise. I decided to return later in the day.

After visiting the lakes and river I had my second breakfast, a yummy egg and bacon sandwich, at Great Springs and collated the catch returns. I returned to Little Bognor at 2:00pm, the fish were still rising and I had both lakes to myself.


I started on the lower lake with a palmered, ginger dry fly and had a take near the outflow. I was impatient and lifted the rod too soon. I sat on the grass well back from the water and flicked the fly about twenty feet from the bank. A Trout found the fly and took it confidently. I waited for the leader to move but nothing happened so I lifted the rod anyway. The fish was hooked. Briefly. The palmered hackle masked the hook, not a satisfactory design.

I moved down the bank and repeated the process. The next fish stayed on the hook a little longer but wriggled free as I was sorting out the landing net. I consoled myself with the thought that I had intended to release the Trout. I changed the fly to a conventional pattern and I landed the next fish without any problems. The conventional dry fly, a size 16 pale ginger, floated well and didn’t helicopter on the cast. It took another fish in the corner of the lake.


The fish in the lower lake stopped rising after all the splashing about. My best efforts to entice a fish from under the trees resulted in several lost flies. I walked up the slope to the top lake and found fish rising around the Willow tree.

I sat behind a clump of ferns and decorated the trees behind me with a few flies, my arm was beginning to ache and I was losing concentration. I flicked a fly under the overhanging Chestnut tree and let it float near the lily pads. I intended to rest but a Trout rose and moved away with the fly. I hooked the fish but it got off. I moved up the bank, to the other side of the Willow tree and quickly found another feeding fish. It took the fly greedily and when I looked in it’s mouth the fly was well back in it’s throat. I nursed the fish in the net and released it when it was ready.

Thunder rolled around the valley and I decided to leave. I had caught sufficient, one more fish wasn’t worth a soaking.