A busy start to the year has seen my angling take quite a hit, with only a couple of half days managed since the new year. I promised myself a little more time on the bank but has yet to materialise. Queue the manic scramble for the gear, off down souf to target a little piece of piscatorial heaven. Picture a gin clear chalkstream through pristine Hampshire countryside, a plethora of animals to keep you entertained and Roach to make you shake like a crapping dog, Grayling to whet any anglers appetite and Trout....trout to drive you crazy and lots of them.
After eating up the tarmac we were ( Brian, Richard and I ) back on hallowed ground where my date with a three-pound Roach beckoned. Never content with any redfin my lust for specimen fish is always at the forefront of my plans. Arriving in the courtyard around 20 minutes before dawn we got ourselves together and got a full on quick march to the salmon hut, fuelled with confidence of a good day ahead. Conditions were pretty good, cloudy, light winds and a gin clear river, albeit the highest I've ever seen it.
My trotting gear was setup the night before so I wasted no time by setting the standard....first trot....a trout.....not a bad one either but certainly not what I was looking for. The peaceful surroundings were sporadically punctuated by the thrashing of water as all hell would break loose. Any chance of getting grayling and roach feeding with such ravenous trout about would prove to be the real challenge. Beautiful gravel runs broken up by the odd weed bed often held solitary grayling, these fish would be targeted, only to end up catching a trout and spook the grayling off.
Roach unfortunately could not be found, I searched the beat up and down a few times over in the vein hope of locating just a couple of fish, no matter how hard I tried to find them the colossal redfins remained anonymous. On my way back up I had the pleasure of trying to knock two "2lb+" Grayling off with the net as Brian slipped into his groove, ( 2.00 and 2.04 ). After conceding the fact a roach was not likely I turned my attentions to a grayling and after much trout trouble I finally managed three ladies ( 1.10, 1.06 and 1.06 ), certainly not monsters but beggars can not be choosers.
|Best of the day, good nick.|
|Resting a pest.|
|Lovely looking fish.|
I think we all left happy, but we were left in no doubt as to who fished the best, a pleasure to see a couple of decent grayling on the bank.