Twelve hours earlier I was wearing a ‘Top Gun’ pilot’s flying-suit, dancing to live music from 80s legends. To shake off the stag-do hangover I stopped off at the Albury Estate’s fishery Powdermills. With slightly shaky hands I tied on the Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear # 14 which had delivered the results a fortnight ago.
This fishery consists of a four-acre lake stocked with both Brown and Rainbow Trout, flanked by two small streams of the River Tillingbourne. A blizzard of small midges covered the water.
I cast into a large pool of the river, taking care to avoid the dipping branches of a large willow tree. With my second cast I felt a small tug, but no hook-up. This was encouraging. A few more casts resulted in a savage take. A flash of rainbow at the surface and the fly parted from the leader. Seems like there are a few errant rainbows amongst the browns in this stream. I moved onto another section of the river. Dangling the nymph into a section of flowing water I missed another take as the small trout swiped at the GRHE as I lifted it from the water. A moment later the fish was on…for about a second. This set the template for the rest of the evening. Plentiful hook-ups but perhaps I was too heavy-handed with the strike and kept pulling the hook from the fishes’ mouths.
I rested the river-pools and moved onto the main lake. The water was clear, but full particles suspended in the water. Windblown seeds, maybe. I couldn’t see into the water as well as last time, but found some fish near the surface where they had been on that previous visit. A few followed my small nymph, but none were inclined to take it. I was loathe to put on a blue flash damsel or a cat’s whisker to induce an aggressive response, so I kept on the GRHE and turned back to the river.
In the first pool I tried, I hooked into a decent-sized river-fit rainbow. The fish put a decent bend in my 4wt Hardy, as it swam around the pool. An audience appeared from the house across the bridge. Inexplicably, I wound the reel b-a-c-k-w-a-r-d-s and jammed the mechanism. Who says alcohol doesn’t kill brain cells? I was lucky to eventually get the fish in reach of my scoop net. It later weighed in at 2lb 12oz.
I hooked into another couple of rainbows but ‘distance released’ them before they came into netting range.
I still wanted another wild brown trout. One fish was making splashy rises tight to the bank where I could just about get a cast to in. An ever so gentle take, and the fish was on. I could see it was the desired spotty fish. After netting, I’d say it was getting on for nine inches. Very pleased with this fish.
- 1 Rainbow Trout (Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear)
- 1 Brown Trout (Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear)