Hottest May Bank Holiday ever. It was always going to be tricky conditions for trout. I recalled the patchy results of last year’s trip to the River Usk during a blistering heatwave. Accordingly, I postponed a planned weekend trip to the Wye and Usk area and settled for something closer to home. After a recent house move, Syon Park is now the nearest of the Albury Estate’s fisheries. Although, I prefer the Surrey lakes – with their bonus wild brown trout in the River Tillingbourne – I chose this West London venue for its convenience more than anything else.
My last visit to Syon Park was three years ago. My recollection was a long lake lined by mature trees. A lovely place, only a few miles from central London. On that previous occasion, I found that most of the fish seemed to be holed up in the deeper central area of the lake. This was most likely going to be the case in today’s bright sunshine. I opted for the longer range of my six-weight Greys GR30 fly-rod.
“Buzzers” suggested the warden as he took my day-membership fee. The clouds of insects just above the water’s surface suggested this would be a good tactic. I started off with a #14 red superglue buzzer. No interest from the trout. I switched things up with a diawl bach, GRHE, and in desperation some larger lures. Not so much as a tug. I saw just two fish come out from the dozen or so fishermen around the lake. Slow going all round.
At seven o’clock, with the light fading, the fish started feeding from the surface. Time to try a dry fly. I initially opted for a #14 black klinkhammer, then downsized to a #18 black gnat. Neither worked. I fished on alone till dark at 9 o’clock. Tough conditions, for sure, but I just couldn’t crack the code today.