Just realised it has been over a month since I last posted on the blog and unfortunately the reason for this is that it has been a month since I have been out fishing! My other commitments have left me house bound and as the end of last week grew near I was going mental with so long spent indoors. Luckily I had a day booked at Avon Springs with my Dad and Paul so the itch was soon to be scratched. None of us had ever fished Avon Springs before so didn't really know what to expect, the reviews on the internet did not seem great but who believes the opinions of people who post on the internet ;-).
When I arrived my first impressions were good, staff were friendly (as was the German Shepherd) and the water was gin clear. I tackled up my 5# and made my way to the far lake as there were already half a dozen guys fishing the first lake and no-one at all on the far one. I stalked all the way round the lake seeing absolutely nothing, my heavy feet didn't even spook any (perhaps this was why everyone else was on the first lake). When I got all the way round to the furthest point a glance back to the island produced my first sight of a fish, a dark silhouette moved against the clear gravel. A tungsten beaded hares ear was popped on his nose and he took it on the drop. The fight was spectacular, strong and fast the fish stripped line from my little 5# as he headed for the reeds. Once turned he still didn't give up and it was a good five minutes before he was in the net. About 4lbs of hard fighting, well finned rainbow trout.
There were a good few fish moving out towards the island and the next cast produced an identical copy of my first fish, taken on the drop, on the same fly he put up an equally good account of himself. It seemed there was a deep hole just off the island surrounded by weed and the fish were holding over and in it. The pod was pretty impressive but the fishing not to my taste. A phone call informed me Dad and Paul had arrived so I walked back to the car to greet them.
I thought I was a little crazy with a 5# (a fair wind was blowing and these fish really fought) but all that was blown away when I saw what my Dad was setting up. I thought he must have been fishing the river for grayling as he set up a 4# with a good 15ft of 4lb fluorocarbon, but he was just a bit wrong in the head. We put Paul on the point with the pod and Dad and I went off stalking. Before we even reached the end of the point Paul was into his first.
Alongside the point there is a long narrow bay (can't think of a better word for it) that looked choked and lifeless, well except for the trout in the bottom of it anyway. Dad waved his little 4# to no avail so I very kindly showed him how it was done. A heavy spanflex nymph with dumbell tungsten eyes rocketed towards the bottom and was then twitched up and engulfed. An equally strong fight followed but with nowhere to run it was over a lot quicker, 3 casts and 3 fish.
I think my Dad needs a bigger rod if he is going to be doing that with it!!
Moving round the lake Dad found some more fish and used his little wand to get a line out from between two trees in a spot the larger rods just could not cast in.
He followed my example and 3 casts later there 3 fish on the bank.
The rest of the morning was spent leisurely stalking and I completed my bag with my best fish of about 5-6lbs.
Dad manged one a smidgen bigger (as he always does) and we were bagged up by lunchtime and in the Mayfly pub an hour after. Dinner and beer followed by more beer and yet more beer was necessary along with some good chat as Hugh O'Reilly and some blokes from North of the Border joined us.
Off topic they fished the McMullens stretch of the Test the next day and Hugh is claiming a 3lb grayling, until I see photographic evidence I refuse to believe it! Jammy Bugger!