Its that time of year when my family dread with the appearance of the laburnham (sp) yellow flowers. There is a old tradition which says that the appearance of these signals the start of Mayfly hatch. Thanks to the weird weather this year they are out of sync. But the hot weather of the last week or so as got the bugs active.
After what seems a lengthy lay of due to a number of reasons (finishing my degree, etc) I escaped. Still with my foot recovering I went fishing with my good friend Barry on a private stretch of the river Avon near Durnford, Salisbury.
The recent heavy rain and low temperatures for the time of year had somewhat delayed the Mayfly hatch (E. Dancia) so it is now just kicking off with the fish just getting used to the large flies. Tried a number of favorite flies for this hatch including the Roadkill Wulff. The rise forms did suggest that they may have been taking the spent flies which were around in very small numbers. The other option was that the few fish which were rising late morning was that they taking the emerging flies. I also tried an upside down dun which bought the fish up but these resulted in long range releases.
As is normal when I fish with Barry it was a pub lunch, a chat with the landlord/barman result in a report that the river had only cleared the day before with very few fish (actually, his exact words were nothing)caught.
After lunch we moved to a different stretch of the river a small way up stream, there were a number of fish rising. I changed the fly to an old French fly, the Anadell (sp), which is basically a soft hackle fly (dressing tomorrow).
I fish this fly as a dry with floatant, I find that when first applied I can shape or mold the wings to fish it as a dry. It seems to be taken as a newly hatched Mayfly due to the coloration, the soft feathers probably help as well. The result was a change in my fortunes with a number of Browns to roughly 2.5lb.
There seems to be some colour variation amongst the browns.
This butter brown coloured fish.
And this small wild, fin perfect fish.
One thing I really like about the mayfly hatch is the accidental catch of large Grayling which I put back (they’re out of season). It must be the decent size of the bugs that brings them up. Roll on the autumn when I can try a heavy nymph for them.