The rainy forecast hadn’t put off the crowds. The car park was almost full as I arrived at this Surrey fishery mid-afternoon. A woman played a fish from the bank right in front of me. One chap was weighing his catch. I felt the swell of early season optimism.

The water in the Weston main lake was clearer than I ever remember seeing before. However, this only highlighted the lack of visible fish. Not a trout was to be seen as I trudged up the muddy path to the smaller Wood Lodge pool. Four or five anglers were already in situ. I found a space – albeit with a limited back-cast space – and tried my luck with a Cat’s Whisker…which shortly found its way into a tree. I re-tied with a Blue Flash Damsel and continued.  The low light conditions and murkier water in this body of water conspired to hide any fish. My co-fishermen had little luck and one-by-one they dispersed. I tried a few other spots around the pond, and then on the main lake. Neither produced a fish (or even a single sighting of a fish which was unusual).

Wood Lodge pool

Nothing was working for me. I’ve struggled at this fishery in the early part of the season before. Time to take stock of the situation. I took a break, lengthened the tippet, de-greased it, rubbed a lucky rabbit’s foot, crossed myself, made a silent prayer, and the other activities you try when hoping for a change in luck.

If the dropping light and smoke from a nearby bonfire, I wandered down to the gloom of the third lake of this fishery. I’ve not fished Millhouse Lake before, however I was encouraged by the occasional sighting of a fish close to the banks in the murky water. One fish snapped at a bit of debris attached to my line, but ignored the fly itself.

A curious movement in the shallows turned out to be mating toads. I began to worry that the amphibians were going to be the only ones getting any action today. A change of tactics was definitely needed.

The fish were clearly shoaled up deep in the centre of the lakes. A long cast and a lure fished more deeply seemed to be the solution. On my first visit to this venue, an intermediate fly line and a Fulling Mill Blob Twinkle Orange did the business. I re-tackled accordingly and returned alone to Wood Lodge pool for a last attempt to bag a fish.

The sun had just set as I cast towards some surface activity. A few delicate plucks and a fish was hooked and in the net within two minutes. Not the biggest of rainbow trout – just over 2lb – but most welcome.

Rainbow Trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss caught with Blob Twinkle Orange

I walked back to my 4×4. A few last casts tested the fishery’s fishing-till-dusk rule. Small bats were already hunting across the water’s surface. Time to go home.

Total Catch:

  • 1 Rainbow Trout (Blob Twinkle Orange)