The trout season was rounded off with a trip down to Salisbury and a visit to a couple of beats on the Avon. The first port of call was new water to me and, to be honest, I fished it poorly. Despite signs of feeding fish I just never got into the swing of things and fished poorly and managed to miss the couple of rises that I was able to attract. I was fishing with a 9’ 5 weight rather than my more usual 7’9” 3 weight and to be honest the bigger stick did feel rather unwieldy. I fared rather better at the, more familiar, second venue and was able to bring several fish to hand, the pick of which was an 18” wild brown.
With the trout season now over I can also end my self imposed limit of 5 flies. I don’t feel that I suffered at all this year in terms of catch rate. Although I probably fished less this year than last year, a depressingly consistent trend, at no point did I find myself cursing an inability to select from a larger selection of flies. However I did find myself chafing a little when sat at the vice, there were a couple of times that I would have liked to select from a broader palette of materials. In terms of the actual patterns I did not have occasion to use the spent pattern at all and I, for some unknown reason I just did not fancy the shuttlecock pattern. In terms of the remaining 3 patterns the fish were fairly evenly spread between them, perhaps slightly favouring the CDC Emerger which indicates little other than my own bias – it is a pattern I have always liked. I had not used the CDC Dun pattern at all before this season and I have to say that it was a really good pattern when naturals were on the water and certainly justified the embuggeration factor involved in winding and varnishing stripped quills.