I never have enough time for fishing, who does…..lol. Still I count myself lucky that often my work takes me very near to some of the best chalk stream fishing in the country. After not the briefest of work meetings I decided to take myself of to the River Wylye at the Stapleford & Druid fishery. As well as the Wylye there is a very short stretch of the river Till available to fish. My goal is always to grind something from a river when I first visit and I was hopeful that I could get a win today.
As I was getting ready in the pub car park two other anglers turned up Kris and Steve also had a mind to fish the Wylye. With the river Avon still carrying quite a bit of colour it was nice to see so clear running water. The Till ran alongside the car park and it looked in top form. We chatted for a while but I was keen to get on so soon made my way to the bankside to finish setting up my rods. It was a mouth-watering sight as pretty a river as you will come across. I set up two rods with one eye on the river and an ear to the stream listening for any rising fish.
I walked down to the bottom of the beat but failed to see a single rising fish on route. I decided to be patient and watch and wait for some signs of life. After ten minutes or so I was bored and decided to have a prospect to see if anything would come blind. I had no sooner started than a bailiff appeared as if by magic on my shoulder. We chatted for a bit and I said to him I had not seen anything rising and was going to plonk a nymph up the edges. He then informed me there was no nymph fish until after the 01 Jul. Unusually I had read my book and was sure that upstream nymph was allowed. After getting the book out and checking he was correct you had to keep reading to find the part about dates. It was disappointing as the prospects of a rise were slim.
I started to wander slowly up the bankside looking for a rise. After sometime I spotted a small fish rising just feet from the bank I was on. I got on my knees and shuffled up to within casting range and made my first cast into a fairly stiff breeze. It was not my best work but the fish did pop up for a look. I gave him a minute and dried out my fly then risked shuffling a little closer. The fish continued to pop up and feed, I waited for a lul in the wind and took my chance, the fly had barely drifted a foot and the little wild brownie came and smashed it. The blank was off, and although not the biggest fish you will see over the weekend it made up for it with its stunning looks.
I wandered the rest of the river not seeing much action in the surface until I arrived at the hatch pool. Although I could see nothing it looked too good to pass up so I made a couple of fruitless casts. Just as I was winding my line in to move on a decent trout rose and took the dry skating across the surface. It took me by surprise though and I was to slow the fight was brief and the trout won. Moving on I bumped into a chap sampling the river, it was fascinating looking at all the nymphs in his sample dish. He reckoned the river was in fine health and from the dish it was hard to disagree.
I wanted to fish the Till the stretch the club has if maybe 80’ long but there were fish in it and I spent some time stalking a small trout. Eventually I had caused enough commotion the trout had moved off, no doubt laughing all the way. As I neared the end of the stretch I saw another good fish sitting in about two feet of water. It took a while to get into position and the casting was awkward to say the least from the bank on my knees. Remarkable my cast was not bad and as the fly made its way drag free into the trout’s window I waited and hoped. There was a flash of movement as the little Grayling shot past the trout like a silver bullet and snaffled my dry fly. The trout was gone and I was left with the out of season Grayling oh well never mind.
I was going to head home but, on the way, I thought to stop by and see if the Avon had improved any since my last visit and indeed it has. It’s by no means back to its old self but was much improved. I could not resist a few casts and the Stonehenge beat does allow upstream nymphing. Only a short session of about an hour that produced two nice wild brownies and a hat load of grayling. Lets hope it keeps clearing and another week or so should see it back to its old self, fingers crossed.