I had a lot of things to do at the lakes and river before I could fish. It was just as well because the morning was hot and there was only a gentle breeze. It was 32 degrees at lunchtime but in the afternoon the breeze strengthened and the temperature dropped a little. The water temperature at Great Springs was 26 degrees in the shallows at the north end of the lake and 24 degrees on the bottom of the lake at the dam end. The water was not stratified, bad news for the Trout.
The cereal crops had all been harvested and the acres of stubble were decorated with various shaped bales of straw. I prefer the small, oblong shaped bales. It was good to see a lot of proper haystacks. The black plastic cylinders look like litter.
I plumbed the lower lake at Little Bognor and was surprised at the depth of the water. It was a uniform six feet over two thirds of the lake. It was mid afternoon before I set up my rod. I was tempted to fish the open water because the fish were rising all over the lake but I decided to sit in the shade of the Beech trees and move to the open water as the sun went down.
An amber and partridge nymph beckoned to me from the fly box. I hadn’t used that pattern at Little Bognor and the fish would have no reason to shy away from it. I sat at the top of the stone steps and waited for a fish to swirl. I didn’t have to wait long. A group of Trout were cruising close to the bank, occasionally rising for a nymph or buzzer. A few casts later I felt a sharp tap on the rod and lifted gently into the fish. It felt small and just circled around under the branches, unsure what had happened. It went on a short run along the surface to my right and I saw that it was foul hooked in the shoulder. Then the hooked pinged out.
The water had not been disturbed and I thought another fish might wander past. Eventually a couple of fish moved but refused the fly. I changed to a GRHE nymph and flicked it towards the next passing Trout. The fly dropped about a yard ahead of the fish and it took without hesitation. Unlike the last fish it went on a long run, through the submerged branches on my right and out into the lake. I bullied it back past the snags and into clear water. As I thought about a Trout supper, the fish escaped. I moved along the bank and stalked a good fish rising close to the bank but it disappeared after a few casts. Ultra fussy.
I walked up the slope to the top lake and had a few casts at rising fish from underneath the Oak tree. They also disappeared. I lost a fly in the lilies which prompted me to pack up. I think that I have lost the last nine Trout that I have hooked. Nevermind, it had been an enjoyable day.