17 September – Luffs

The weather was unusual for September, the wind was due south and very warm. It felt like July again. The lakes at Little Bognor had a generous covering of Beech leaves and the river looked lifeless. The bright sun had sent the fish into cover, buried in the streamer weed and under overhanging bushes. It would be hard work on the river until the evening rise.

The high water temperatures had ruined the summer fishing on most of the lakes but the chilly nights, wind and occasional rain had cooled the water. I decided to visit Luffs as the south side of the lake is shaded and the wind would be perfect for drifting a nymph, Arthur Cove style.


I walked along the north bank and looked for any signs of feeding Trout, there were none. They were probably deep in the centre of the lake. The shade of the Oak trees beside the hut was welcome and it would have been nice to sit and enjoy a glass of Chablis with nibbles. I set up my rod and decided to use a full length line with a 4lb breaking strain tippet. The fish fight hard, run fast and long. I tied on a red buzzer which would suit both the Trout and Roach.

I intended to fish along the south bank, sitting and watching the line arc round. A relaxing and productive method. It didn’t work out like that. As I walked along the road beside the deep end of the lake, a trout rose and I paused to watch. It rose again. I extended line and dropped the little buzzer near the rise. It had only been in the water a few seconds when the fish took with a bang. I played it gently but as it neared the bank, the fish woke up and went on a twenty yard run up the centre of the lake. The fly line was thrumming as it cut through the water and the weight of the line became a problem. The fish dashed about near the surface and I wondered if it was foul hooked. Then the line fell slack, the hook hold had failed.


I wasn’t annoyed, I normally lose the first fish at Luffs. I was about to leave the end of the lake and find a shaded seat, when another fish rose. It took a pond skater. There were thousands of them in the calm water close to the bank. I remembered the imitations I had tied for Little Bognor, it would be an ideal time to try them out properly. Full of confidence I dropped the pond skater fly close to a cruising fish, it was ignored. Several times. There were so many naturals on the surface that it was pointless imitating one. I swapped to an Amber Nymph, a Black Spider and a shrimp pattern but all were ignored. My black and silver spider produced an immediate response, a fish followed, examined it carefully and took. It was about 1lb 8ozs, one of the smaller fish.

Now that the water has cooled and the fish are feeding, I must explore the other lakes.