Magical Mayfly

This past Monday saw me fishing again, would have gone before but my daughter was over on Saturday and stuff needed doing. what was really frustrating was looking down the garden and seeing the Mayflies dancing, I swear that this years hatch is the best for a long time. If this is the case then I strongly suspect the lack of floods over the winter as something to do with it.

Any way, of I went with a stretch of the Avon in mind that I first fished during the winter but expecting it to be crowded. I got there and no, just one other fisher which was a surprise. Speaking to other members later on I found that there was a consensus that the rivers were quiet for the time of year. The reasons are generally unknown at the time of writting. I suspect work and family though.

Upon arrival I saw the odd Mayfly fluttering over the river which in places was covered in willow fluff. I saw the odd fish moving and so did I, heading up river. Near the end of this section of river I saw a few fish moving. I really couldn’t decid if they were big, normal or small. Indeed the first was small, a brown. The second though took me by surprise. The rise said average brown the grumpy fish pull said otherwise, my biggest Grayling of about 1 3/4lb. I always get my best grayling during the Mayfly but hopefully that will change! From this point I really couldn’t go wrong fishing the Annadel (sp) Mayfly. After a while a also managed a couple of decent browns including one of about 2lb, same fly.

I then moved onto West Amesbury, oh, the hatch here was, I am sure the best in years. Flies and fish everywhere. Now, here is a theory. Each fish seemed to either take, look or not bother when the fly past over while rising steady or with a varied frequency. From this I am thinking that each fish is keyed in on a particular stage of the hatch OR colour within the flies spectrum. I did try the Emerger May with a couple of missed fish but nothing (more on this in a other post, it has evolved!). I took a few more fish including one on a foam bodied lively may although this as now progressed beyond the original it needs a new name. This fish took the fly with such gusto that it made the reel scream as it took of but it ended up being only about a 1 1/4, thought I had hooked something bigger.

I got this shot of a Mayfly thinking it wouldn’t work, what a surprise when I got home.


                Natural Mayfly

Until next time…



Mayfly is Up!

About a week ago I noticed a few mayflies hatching of the river at the bottom of the garden and so I knew it must be time. This weekend found me fighting my way through the dancing spinners while I was mowing the lawn. I checked my clubs website and yes, they were definitly hatching. Other members claimed that the fish weren’t turned onto the flies yet and there was very little rising.Yesterday when I got to the Avon I found the opposite, a good steady hatch and the fish were definitly turned onto them and there was a lot of rises. I noticed one or two good fish moving but its early yet. As with this hatch and others, the fish key on to a different stage of the fly and yesterday it was just after the mayfly had hatch and were moving. If the fly didn’t move then they were left alone. I managed 5 browns and all to the Roadkill Wulff. The fish would not take anything else, they would look but that was it. Next time it could be totally different. I didn’t see any of the dancing spinners on that river but it is early yet, An observation from the river keeper that I know. Roll on next weekend. Hopefully I can try the latest version of the hatching Mayfly.


Should Have Paid Attention!

About a month ago Striperheads clave dates were announced,  16th September through to the 19th although many stay for a little longer.  Now, I really wanted to go but I have something else gojng on that month so dates were limited. I carefullly checked dates to make sure that I didn’t mess up and miss the other thing going on.  oh boy,  did that go wrong, I ended up booking the flight that would mean that I would get there a week early. Anyway,  it hasturned out for the best because it looks like a trip that was suggested a few years back is going ahead. For the week before Striperheads I will be exploring the Catskill rivers and Adriondack mountains depending on where the fishing will be best. I  am currently looking for guide books for these areas to try and get some back ground information before I go. So from a stupid mistake comes the opportunity to explore new water.


Something Feels Wrong

I escaped again today to get some fishing in. I fished the Avon near Stone Henge, Wiltshire. Actually I fished two sections of the beautiful river. Upon arrival though I found that the river level had dropped big time since the last time I was there. This could well be an indication that something is wrong. Why?

At the time of year the aquifers should be full with the rivers looking full and healthy but they aren’t. We haven’t had any decent rain full (its raining as I write this) for several months with the past winter being mild and dry (which is OK if you work outside but it doesn’t do the rivers any good). This low level is some what concerning for this time of year, what are the levels going to be like in summer with these levels already reached. Another cause is likely to be the idiots at Wessex Water who think its OK to pump water out of the ground for the benefit of people who seem to be incapable of using water carefully.

Another cause for concern that I saw today was the river life. Yes there were fish (I caught a few trout) but they should be rising all over the place due to large bug hatches but these weren’t happening. I am wondering if the lack of insects is something to do with low water levels and the pesky swans who insist on munching their way through the river weed which the bugs need.

I also spent some time talking to other members of the club, only one of which remarked on the low water and lack of insect hatches compared to previous years. He also mentioned another stretch that is hardly fished, possibly because its behind an industrial estate and most of the other members are to snobby !