Wednesday 31 July 2013

Wait for it...

With the arrival of some rain, it is fair to say things have freshened up. The rivers have risen and there's a bit of colour making its way through the system. The chalkstreams remain clear and their fish willing to make the most of the Blue Winged Olive spinners fall in the evening.

No need to arrive to early though and those leaving the river early are missing out. The fish never really looked up until around 8.45pm and sport lasted for just thirty minutes or so. There were some good fish feeding hard too. There's nothing like seeing that large snout break through the surface to get the heart racing!

Sipping BWO Spinners

Handsome reward for a pin-point accurate cast


Friday 26 July 2013

As the light falls

The best of the fishing is, without a doubt, as the light begins to fall. It is almost like a switch, with the fish starting to feed confidently. Blue winged Olive Spinners and sedge are all for the taking and the fish are quick to seize the opportunity with added security and raised confidence that low light levels bring. The moral is to never leave the river too early!

Taken on a size 16 para-spinner as the light disappears


Thursday 25 July 2013


Although big trout may be the focus at the moment, large grayling are not to be ignored. Whilst I prefer to target them in the winter, these summer fish are looking in prime condition:


Tuesday 23 July 2013

Cool waters

One of the many advantages of having access to chalkstreams is that, even when the temperatures sore, this filtered, clear water remains relatively cool. Whilst the brightness may remain, the fish are still willing to feed. Whilst the very best of the fishing can be found as dusk sets in, nymphing can result in some superb results, even during the hottest and brightest hours of the day:

Presenting a nymph to an actively feeding brownie

A handsome reward, taking a deeply fished nymph

Another super condition trout falling for the nymph

A solid fish, scoffing down nymphs

The crystal clear, cooler waters

2lb 8oz of brown trout


Monday 22 July 2013

Low Flows

These sustained high temperatures and lack of rain are leaving many of the rivers on their bones. This, coninciding with the brightness means the middle of the day can be tough. However, waiting until last light can pay dividends. Caddis and Blue Winged Olive spinners (Serratella Ignita, imago) will persuade the fish to rise.

This handsome fish had been rising earlier in the day, but despite it coing to the fly, the anticipation must have got the better of me and the fly came whizzing back towards me as I lifted. Several hours later and the fish was back on station, feeding happily:

A fine brownie that was sipping down spinners

Carefully drawing the fish out of the pool and netting it a little downstream allowed another fish in the same lie to continue feeding - only to be winkled out by Nick Steedman shortly afterwards: 

The cooler waters of the chalkstreams offer the chance of some good sport  even in the day time. More on that soon.


Friday 12 July 2013

Some Like it Hot!

I wonder how long this BBQ weather will hold on for - we have had some super warm days over the last few weeks and it has pushed the very best of the fishing into the early and late hours of the day. The river has been best approached with the nymph; the longer French style leader coming into its own.

The stillwaters are also showing some good form. However, whilst these warm conditions may prove enticing for some good sedge hatches and rising fish chasing them, making contact can be tricky. The fishing is a little tricky at times, but target the cooler parts of the day and ensure your approach is super-stealthy and a decent fish can be your reward, be it from river or lake.

A lovely brown trout taken as the light fades

Chew Valley Lake, as the light fades

Just over 3lb of prime rainbow on a 1 weight

There are plenty of sedge showing

The next month or so is very busy with guiding, teaching and some fishing for myself. I'll report back soon on the search for some sea trout too.


Tuesday 2 July 2013

S&DAC Open Day 2013

A video of the Salisbury & District Open Day back at the start of May:

S&DAC Open Day 2013

Filming and editing by Ian May