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A wet afternoon

Posted by arbocop , 18 May 2009 · 230 views

17th May.  Fly Fishing, Bushyleaze, Lechlade.

Weather was breezy and wet.  In fact, to quote Black Adder it was 'wetter than a haddocks cod piece'.  I had the opportunity to go out fishing but due to the weather forecast I had nothing planned.  What to do with my time?  Watched the weather and then decided at midday to have ago for some trout with my new Greys rod.  I decided to go to a commercial fishery - not normally my thing, but I fancied getting my line pulled, and  having been to this place before, I knew it would be a good option at short notice.  It's also not a bad fishery, the trout go like the clappers and the fly hatch is good too.  I had two 2lb perch on a previous visit on coves pheasant tail - one was a surprise, two was almost unbelievable.

Arrived at 2pm, it was still wet, but was now windy in strong gusts.   Several anglers were already into a few fish so I was hopeful of not being in the wind and rain too long.  Swallows, swifts, sand martins and house martins were whizzing over the water and taking hatching insects.  On closer examination it appeared that there were both sedges and olives hatching but I got the distinct impression that mayflies were hatching as well - the splashy rises were giving it away.  It was very choppy so I decided to fish the surface layers, and include a bushy fly that I could use to create a wake if I wished.  I like fishing the wet fly in these conditions.  I duly set up with  WF#6 and a two fly set up, a bushy invicta on the dropper and a diawl bach on the point -  just in case .   Walking to the bank I heard my first cuckoo of 2009!  Surely a good omen?

Casting was difficult, but I was managing to get a decent line out and from the position I selected, on a point with the wind from  left to right, it was perfect for letting the wind do the work and move the flies round for me.  It wasn't long before I got my first take, an easy steady draw which I tightened into then almost immediately lost.  Around 30 minutes later the same happened again.  This was getting annoying.  The rain then turned into a really heavy squall with very strong wind so I took shelter for around 30 minutes and drank my tea.  I pondered my new rod, and decided the action was very similar to the broken GRX and overall - for the money - the Accuflex was well worth it.

When the rain and wind died down the cloud broke, and it very quickly brightened up, and although the wind was still gusty, it was quite pleasant.  By now there were very clear indications of mayflies hatching so I decided to have ago for them with the dry fly.  I retied a leader with a single grey wulff.  I partly treated it with Gink, but didn't make to much effort, it was so choppy I would simply fish it drowned if it sank.  I wasted a bit of time chasing rising fish but they were moving fast, by the time the fly had been lifted off and recast they had moved on, and not always in the obvious direction.  I therefore fished it along a crease of choppy water with a slick along the edge.  I always find that when fishing with a mayfly pattern, you need to allow the fish extra time before tightening or striking and this proved correct.  The first two rises I had I tightened far too early in eagerness, but finally connected with one -  then lost it!  What was going on here?  I was starting to get desperate and panic a little!

I changed to the previous set up and decided I would move around for the last couple of hours, seeking out fish.  I changed to a mayfly nymph on the point, and then changed the dropper fly to an Irish style drowned mayfly.  As I went round the lake I got chatting to various anglers, wasting my fishing time, but that's all part of it I suppose.  When I was fishing, I was still not having to much success and  the mayfly nymph was bumping bottom and continually being festooned in weed so I changed again.   This time from nymph to a thunder and lightning wet fly and back to an invicta on the dropper.

Finally, I managed to connect with a fish and land it, then another in fairly quick succession both on the invicta.  It was now nearly 7pm and I promised that I would have a short session and be back home for my sons bed time.  I therefore duly left pondering what should have been a bagful, but was in fact only a brace of 2.5 lb rainbows.  I decided that the fish were probably chasing the sedges rather than the mayflies and I got obsessed with  the mayfly.    It didnít account for the missed opportunities and my overall poor result from a relatively well stocked lake.

As well as the cuckoo, nothing more was notable in terms of wildlife, apart from the continuously calling willow warblers and chiff-chaffs.  Plenty of wagtails as well.  I spotted several carp in the shallows, and a largish perch - was it one of the fish I caught last year?

July 2018

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