River Lambourne : 4 May.
Arrived at the river to find the water level very low and a strong crosswind making things doubly difficulty. Dry fly was not safe so upstream nymphing, but lack of water and my lack of skill, conspired to allow only one, 18’’ Brown on a #14 PTN.
River Kennett, Benham Estate : 9 June.
Arrived to find a fierce downstream breeze, making fishing upstream very difficult. Finding sheltered areas through until around 5pm allowed a couple of wild fish to be caught, both on #14 GRHE’s. Early evening saw the wind abate and a sporadic rise start which resulted in 11 more fish, 3 in the range 2lb – 3 lb and 9 wild fish in the 8 – 12oz range. All of these were on Jonathan Barnes’ #17 JB Jinglers (Soft Hackle Dries) and LDO’s.
Upper Avon, Salterton. 20 July.
Low water and a strong crosswind made fishing difficult, but having found some sheltered stretches. I was able to winkle out 3 trout in the range 2 – 3lb, all on #17 JB Jinglers.
Upper Avon, Salterton. 3 August.
Arrived to find the river in perfect ply and with a blustery upstream wind which resulted in 14 fish; 1 chub, 4 grayling, 5 wild browns and 4 stocked fish in the range 2 – 3lb, all of which were on #17 JB Jinglers excepting 2 trout, taken at last knocking on a #16 PTN.
Upper Avon, Salterton. 7 September.
River very low with a strong crosswind, so a case of finding the decent pools where fish were showing which enabled 3 wild browns to the net in the range 8oz – 1lb, all on #16 Elk Hair caddis.
Lower Avon, Bicton. 6 October.
This fishery is 800m of stream runoff from a trout farm varying from 3 – 15 metres wide and very fast flowing in places. It is home to rainbow escapees up to at least 6lb and brown trout. I hooked a rainbow within minutes which came off in short order. This was followed by 4 more hooked fish and only one landed, on a #14 pink bead PTN. The last fish hooked ran upstream for about 15m then full tilt downstream and round the right angle bend below. No way a 4wt rod with 4lb BS tippet could stop it!!
Tackle was – 4 wt, 9’ & 10’ Greys Streamflex rods with DT lines, 7’-6’’ Stroft or Orvis tapered leaders and 3lb fluorocarbon or copolymer. A 7’-6” Orvis Superfine carbon has turned out to be brilliant.
The dry flies are Jonathan Barnes’ patterns for the Jinglers and LDO’s and Stuart Crofts LDO emerger pattern. Take a look at Jonathan Barnes’ website – www.onstream-guide.com, to see him tying and fishing these flies.