Well another day on Wherewell, I managed this late in the day and thought I might struggle to get on. I called Robbie and he assured me it would be no problem, the weather forecast looked good with -2 and no wind, cracking! My usual fishing buddy was off to a meeting for fishing for schools so I was heading out on my own. I woke to a hard frost on the car and made my way down to the river via the M3 the traffic heading towards London was horrific as ever. Heading towards the A303 traffic was light and in the early morning, there was a great tinge to the clouds as the sun rose. I nipped into the hut to pay my dues and Robbie told me I was the only angler today, even better. The temperature was not quite as cold as was forecast at a very acceptable freezing, and for the first time in a while, I did not need to use low light glasses. It was shaping up to be the perfect day, I could barely contain my enthusiasm as I trotted off down to the bottom of the beat. As I walked down the river looking across at the water I was spooking a lot of fish, I don’t recall seeing as many in the few years I have fished at Wherewell. I resisted the temptation of stopping and fishing and got all the way down to the road bridge before starting to fish. As I started to fish I reflected on how lucky I was to be there in perfect conditions fishing, of course, two hours later when all I had managed were OOS Brownies I was getting a little panicky. I even got up to the little weir which is usually always good for a couple of decent Grayling, two more brownies. The water was crystal clear and I could see plenty of fish but just could not touch them. I made my way onto the main stretch and started to get the odd Grayling nothing big but measurable. By this point, I had been fishing for around three and half hours all for a dozen Brown trout and only three small Grayling. I remember Andy Cliffe saying to me that a good day was referred to as a Beano this was the opposite of a Beano if ever there was one. I persevered and managed to grind out a few more, in my rush to get my day back on track I had forgotten the time. So at 1330 with only seven Grayling on the card I decided to nip back to the car for a butty and a bovril.
Wherewell always fishes better in the afternoon, Graham's voice echoed around my head. I was not going to waste time I was desperate to get into some sport so it was straight to some well-known marks that I would bet my house on. Sure enough, two Grayling came to the net in short order and the day suddenly looked like it was going to pick up. Cue that sound of the stylus scratching across an old vinyl record. As I stepped up only the odd Brown trout was taken, had the Brown trout eaten all the Grayling? I moved further upstream of the hut and managed to position myself just below a shoal of some pretty impressive looking ladies, no tiddlers here. I cast my duo up ahead of them and before my parachute Adams started drifting towards me it was gone along with some line of my reel. Another Brown trout no doubt, but no as a brought the fish under control towards me I could just make out the stunning and rather large fin on the back that told me this was a big Grayling. As it came towards me in obvious distress it spooked the shoal and I have never seen so many large Grayling head for the hills. Another day I might have been lucky and had two or three of those. Ah well, not worry onwards and upwards as they say. After I had taken a couple of photographs of the fish and measured it (45cm) I slipped it back into the water. I moved upstream again about 100m and started to get a few more decent fish, the Brown trout were numerous and avoiding them was nigh on impossible. Soon enough I had latched onto another good fish that gave a fantastic account of itself running first upstream than down, it was well hooked though and soon came to the waiting net. I measured the fish and it was another 40+ but before I could get the camera out it had wriggled free and made its way back to the bottom of the river. I fished on for another half hour after that but the sport could not be classed as fast and furious. So at 1550 I called it a day and headed home for a hot bath.
I have fished Wherewell in the past when it has been difficult but was always consoled by the fact that I had not seen much fish. Today I had seen more fish than you could shake a stick at and could not tempt them. I am off to the Lambourne next week and guided by Graham I am sure my fortunes will change.