A couple of recent trips to the Wey were, on reflection, a perfect distillation of what continues to delight, frustrate, fascinate and intrigue me when it comes to hunting our spotted friends with our confections of fur and feather.
The first trip started off with a lively fish extracted from a tricky seam and I thought the portents were promising for a lively evening of sport. How wrong I was I managed to raise interest from all the likely spots but I pricked fish after fish. I just could not connect with anything, from the smallest sips all the way through to porpoise rolls through the fly. In terms of fly selection I had hedged my bets and was fishing a CDC & Elk flush in the surface.
The second trip was the polar opposite of the first. The Mayfly emergence was in full flow and the fish were locked on to the emerging duns. The emergence resulted in a flotilla of emerging duns on the river and it was possible to track individuals. The ‘will it, won’t it’ as the dun bobs along the river is the height of suspense. I was fishing with a pattern tied with a pheasant tail body and tail with a deer hair wing and a red game hackle. Very loosely based on a conversation that I had with Philip White many years ago. Initially I had interest in the fly but no success. I was beginning to fear that I was repeating my form from the previous visit. But once one fish was caught others followed and I had a memorable session fishing only for actively feeding fish that were individually targeted. The fish were interested only in the emerging fly and my pattern fooled a more than a few. The highlight of the session being this bruiser that was caught from under a bridge.
The stream really is in fine fettle at the moment. Plan for this week is to visit the Avon to see if I can catch the spinner fall.