16 June – Little Springs

While having lunch at the clubhouse I chatted to another member about the fish in Little Springs and how to catch them. The Trout were no longer gulping down Mayflies, they were patrolling the margins looking for buzzers and emerging damsel flies. Yesterday I saw a small wild Trout leap vertically out of the water and snap at a hovering damsel fly. It missed. The fish was waiting close to the bank and jumped for another damsel a few minutes later. It missed again. My advice was to approach the water quietly, stay hidden and target passing fish with a small dry fly or black nymph. Continual casting scares the fish and they move away into the centre of the lake.

While drinking a cup of tea and munching on chocolate biscuits, I sat in the sunshine and thought about what I had said. I’d described a method of fishing which I had used to catch a few fish from several lakes. It worked for me. It’s easy to give advice but I thought I should validate my suggestions.


I started with a long leader and a size 14 black spider and sat on the newly mown grass behind a screen of cow parsley and rushes. Several fish were cruising around the shallows on my left but the wind was blustery and it was difficult to see through the ripples even with polaroids. A Trout about 2lbs swam past and I dropped the fly about a yard upwind. It was ignored. I sat quietly and fish came close every few minutes. Some reacted to the fly by changing direction towards it but they all refused. I swapped to a lightly weighted black spider with a red hackle. That produced a response, the fish departed.

I moved around the lake to the opposite corner and found several large fish. They moved towards a size 14 Black and Peacock Spider and followed it but turned away at the last moment. I crept along the bank and sat  down well back from the water. I watched a procession of fish swimming past about a yard from the bank. Some showed interest in the fly, most ignored my offering. I crouched behind some tall rushes and looked along the margin, a fast moving fish was swimming straight towards me. I flicked the fly ahead of the fish and it was taken without hesitation.


After a short but frantic tussle I netted the fish and returned to the clubhouse satisfied that my advice was valid. The wind was getting stronger, rain threatened and I decided to leave. It had been a pleasure to fish open water without overhanging trees.