12th May, Upper Avon at Salterton, Hampshire.
River in fine form and weather sunny and with a light breeze. Started the day upstream nymphing with a mayfly nymph. First fish took immediately and came off immediately! A 1.25lb grayling and 2.5lb brown trout followed and then the fish ‘shut off’ for the day although we tried all kinds of nymphs, both leaded and unleaded and a range of dries.
18th June on the River Coln near Bibury.
This is a delightful small stream. No fish rising so started by upstream nymphing with a mayfly nymph and GRHR. A strong cross wind made fishing difficult but landed 3 brown trout in the 1lb – 2lb range.
23rd June, Upper Avon at Salterton.
The river was low and there was some weed cutting up stream. Started by upstream nymphing with PTN which produced 2 browns of about 1 & 2 lb. Fish started to rise in the afternoon and a #16 Elk hair caddis fished dry upstream produced 8 more fish despite the strong cross wind.
3rd July, River Coln.
River in fine form, but a strong cross wind made fishing difficult. No fish rising in the morning so upstream nymphing was the order of the day resulting in a 2lb brown and a 1lb grayling before lunch. Fish started to rise at about 3pm and a #16 Elk hair caddis fished upstream produced 2 x 2lb brown trout.
11th July, River Wylye at Fisherton de la Mere, Wiltshire.
Difficult fishing with much of the beat overgrown. A very sunny day but a very strong crosswind again made fishing difficult if not dangerous. Lost several fish upstream nymphing with #16 GRHR in the morning and again lost several on upstream dries with a #16 & #18 Elk hair caddis in the afternoon and evening resulting in only one fish landed. A very tough days fishing, but in lovely surroundings. Got soaked through three time by cloudbursts – not much cover in the middle of the river!
On these trips I was accompanied either by our own Keith Vernon or my regular fishing pal, Martin James.
Generally, for rivers I used a 10′-0”, 4wt Greys Streamflex for nymphing and a 9′-0”, 4 wt for dries with a 7′-6”/9′-0” tapered leader to 4lb, with a 2′ – 3′, Stroft, 3lb tippet, although going down to 2lb tippet when the stream is low and very clear.
NB. Great care is needed when knotting Stroft. A uni-knot or at least 5 turns on a blood knot or a 3 turn grinner seem to be needed or else it slips!