Despite my love of fly fishing I have not touched my fly rod for over six months, holidays and coarse fishing taking up most of my free time of late. This wrong was put right yesterday when Nick and I met up for our annual fishing day. Living 143 miles apart we generally try to fish somewhere equidistant between us but this time we ventured a lot closer to my home as we met at Bushyleaze fishery on the outskirts of Lechlade in the heart of the Cotswolds. I thought I might get a bit of a lie-in but whilst lay in bed I got a text from Nick to say he would be an hour early. Cue panic and rushing around the house gathering gear and flask as quickly and quietly as I could so as not to wake the kids.
I screeched into the car park two minutes after Nick had arrived. On the advice of the nice bloke selling the tickets we made our way to a sheltered bay in the corner of this stunning gravel pit. The fish were there in numbers as 'ticket man' had informed us and we could see plenty of 'bows rushing around in the crystal clear water.
We cast several damsels and lures at our adversaries but they did not seem interested.
A pair of brave cygnets came right up to our bank edge having no fear whatsoever of the the pair of funny looking humans waving wands around.
Their parents showed absolutely no concern that their children were right next to us when normally they are much more protective of their young.
An hour or so had passed with no takes so I decided it was time for something different. The Trout were breaking the surface all over the place and having chucked a dry dragonfly pattern at them with only one aborted take I realised they were actually feeding on a hatch of much smaller flies, dark in colouration. I attached a small scruffy looking home-made gnat and within seconds had a take from a battling Trout of about three pounds. It is so much more exciting fishing dry flies than just pulling lures though the water. A proper way to fly fish.
With that Trout despatched and in the bag it didn't take long before I fooled another. In the meantime Nick had also changed to a similar fly and we ended up with a double hook up. The fun had really started and Nick went on to land another two before Lunch.
Whenever we are on one of our fishing days we like to do things properly so we retreated to a local public house and stuffed our faces with 'three cheese' ploughmans(or is the plural ploughmen?) and a couple of pints of Ale.
There were several other anglers fishing the lake and we knew that when we eventually returned our swim would be taken. We were not wrong as there were four anglers crowded into our bay plus two others in a boat. They were all blindly stripping lures and had only had two fish between them. It pays to not have a blinkered approach to any type angling, experiment and you can reap surprising rewards.
We searched the rest of the lake but only spotted a few other fish and our half-hearted efforts went unrewarded. The lunch had taken its toll and our motivation had seriously waned.
I satisfied myself trying to take photos of flying fish which is not easy but I managed a couple of decent shots.
The BBQ was lit when I arrived home so the Trout were gutted, wrapped in foil with butter, garlic and parsley and chucked onto the hot coals. Fresh Trout, delicious.