The estuarine waters that feed tha Hampshire Avon and the River Stour in Dorset, offer rich pickings. The wealth of fishing opportunity in unquestionable - there are bass, mullet, sea trout, salmon and no end of coarse fish throughout the system.
Darkness falls on Christchurch harbour, looking up the River Stour:
Christchurch harbour is a special place to me - as a teenager I spent many hours fishing for mullet - both thick and thin lipped. There were salmon and sea-trout to be seen jumping too. So the chance to revisit this area was snapped up. Both myself and Nick Steedman headed South with the anticipation of mullet and bass in the afternoon and the challenge of sea trout after dark.
Nick hooked a very big fish on the spinner which soon parted company. After landing a school bass, it wasn'lt long before he hooked up again into a decent mullet:
... and safely in the net:
The mullet were keen to put in an appearance and it was clear there were significant shoals of fish moving in front of us as this tidal area flooded. I managed this fighting fit specimen:
As the light faded, mullet moved into the shallows, bow-waving around. They weren't interested in the fly though. Throughout the evening, sea trout were jumping, raising our hopes that after dark we may find some fish further up the river. We were even treated to a display of jumping salmon - one fish was easily into double figure weight.
Resting the water and avoiding the likely sea-trout lies earlier in the evening paid dividends though. After a solid take on a small tube fly and a superb fight, I was relieved to land this beautiful fish:
A great evenings fishing. The sea-trout itch doesn't go away easily though.